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Travels in Hyperreality: Essays Hardcover – May 1986


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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1 edition (May 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151910790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151910793
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 235,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 29 Jun. 1997
Format: Paperback
Umberto Eco, profound social critic and novelist, does that voodoo that he does so well once again.
Don't let the title fool you. This is not the science fiction novel one might expect it to be. Rather, this collection of critical essays illucidates the theory underlying everyday life for us all.
Sometimes a touch on the scholarly side, in both language and focus. But I recommend wholeheartedly wading through the drier passages; I trust you'll find it's worth it.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 Mar. 1999
Format: Paperback
With the recent releases of "The Truman Show", "Ed TV" and the like, and Neal Gabler's "Life the Movie" book--and politics in the bedroom and vice-versa, it would not hurt one iota to read and reread semiotician Umberto Eco's "Tales in Hyperreality". Gabler nothwithstanding, there are very few of our thinkers who forcasted that everyday life was fodder for fiction--indeed we use fiction to escape everyday life--and that our fiction should be ultra-real, like The Star Wars/ Star Trek entertainment empires. Eco's background in semiotics perhaps may have made certain passages too heavy-handed for the average joe schmoe like me, but I figure that if I can do it, so can you (underlying what Eco is delineating, anyway, is how we millenium-bound inhabitants in the free capitalist world are so easily bored, and so lazy that we prefer the easy way to exciting entertainment--why, for example, would we go to the hassle of travelling to Washington, DC, to the White House, to see the Oval Office when there's a replica of one somewhere close?). Anyway, I read the book once with difficulty, then I began to get a clearer picture with subsesequent readings. There are hundreds of websites that address the Fantasy is Reality theme, but you know what? This is the work that the current post-modern, post-structuralist theory of the theme has been developed. Many of the websites have that "I am Nostrodamus" feel to them, if you know what I mean. Eco's style, however, is personable and witty, particulary in passages he reminesces about his hometown and some of the old traditions. Also, for those of you who ponder trying to flesh out a Madison Ave. photocopy, read this book. It will have you questioning things for years to come.
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By S Robinson on 22 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little outdated now but still a superb set of essays by the genius that is Umberto Eco! Good place to start if you've not read his work before.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Is ficton/fantasy becoming fact or is fact becoming fiction? 24 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With the recent releases of "The Truman Show", "Ed TV" and the like, and Neal Gabler's "Life the Movie" book--and politics in the bedroom and vice-versa, it would not hurt one iota to read and reread semiotician Umberto Eco's "Tales in Hyperreality". Gabler nothwithstanding, there are very few of our thinkers who forcasted that everyday life was fodder for fiction--indeed we use fiction to escape everyday life--and that our fiction should be ultra-real, like The Star Wars/ Star Trek entertainment empires. Eco's background in semiotics perhaps may have made certain passages too heavy-handed for the average joe schmoe like me, but I figure that if I can do it, so can you (underlying what Eco is delineating, anyway, is how we millenium-bound inhabitants in the free capitalist world are so easily bored, and so lazy that we prefer the easy way to exciting entertainment--why, for example, would we go to the hassle of travelling to Washington, DC, to the White House, to see the Oval Office when there's a replica of one somewhere close?). Anyway, I read the book once with difficulty, then I began to get a clearer picture with subsesequent readings. There are hundreds of websites that address the Fantasy is Reality theme, but you know what? This is the work that the current post-modern, post-structuralist theory of the theme has been developed. Many of the websites have that "I am Nostrodamus" feel to them, if you know what I mean. Eco's style, however, is personable and witty, particulary in passages he reminesces about his hometown and some of the old traditions. Also, for those of you who ponder trying to flesh out a Madison Ave. photocopy, read this book. It will have you questioning things for years to come.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Does Disney Own The Planet? 1 Feb. 2003
By Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Unknown Binding
A deliriously funny trip through the mad places the earth's inhabitants call home. Eco skewers like "kitsch-ka-bob" the artificial pseudo paradises we have created with all our so-called modern conveniences. What have we turned our cities into, by the way? Do we really understand art?
If you've ever driven through rural Arkansas or Texas and wanted to capture with words the seemingly inexplicable, paradoxical sights along the way, it's been done for you and can be enjoyed in these side-splitting pages.
Lots of fun.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Interesting collection of essays 23 Jan. 2004
By Frikle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Many readers will probably be attracted to books like these after reading and enjoying Eco's novels, especially The Name of the Rose and Foucalt's Pendulum. If so, be warned. As I discovered, the Eco of the essay is NOT the Eco of the novels. Both Ecos are eccentric, clever and witty. However, the Eco of essays is a more radical and postmodern thinker. His topics can be seen by some as mundane. He's interested in pop culture and some of his theories are a tad obscure.
This collection is a series of loosely connected essays by Eco. It's an interesting book to read not cover-to-cover but to read an essay once in a while until the book is finished. That way the attitudes can sink in. The biggest fault I found with the book is certain essays to do with semiotics have arguments that are complex and hard to follow. This is understandable as they're taken from more specialised publications whereas in the novels, he strives to bring his ideas to the general public.
The essays I found to be most likeable are Travels in Hyperreality (about the proliferation of wax museums in the US and the general obsession with replicas in society), Reports from the Global Village (a series of essays on media), an analysis of Casablanca and In Praise of St Thomas (Eco's PhD was on Thomas so his views can be seen as fairly authoritative).
A good read but not brilliant.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Eco doing what Eco does best. 29 Jun. 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Umberto Eco, profound social critic and novelist, does that voodoo that he does so well once again.
Don't let the title fool you. This is not the science fiction novel one might expect it to be. Rather, this collection of critical essays illucidates the theory underlying everyday life for us all.
Sometimes a touch on the scholarly side, in both language and focus. But I recommend wholeheartedly wading through the drier passages; I trust you'll find it's worth it
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on travels in hyperreality 20 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
i got this book because of the essay by which it is entitled. it is a great work, and a basic reading for those interested on the topics of hyperreality, simulated or thematized environments, and the like. quite contemporary tho Eco's work is Baudrillard's la precession des simulacres. so they are from the 70's and much more has been written on the topic, but these texts are, as i said, basic to understand all the rest. eco's work is quite openning ranging from xanaduswax museums, the theming of nature, etc. it is worthy.
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