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81 Reviews
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69 of 72 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The shaggiest shaggy dog story of all.
This is not an easy read, indeed the first forty pages or so make some of the most intense demands on the reader of any book I have ever read, but if you have a love of the mysterious, the obscure and the sinister it is well worth persisting with. The way the story unfolds is quite ingenious and you will, if nothing else, learn a huge amount of obscure history along the...
Published on 17 Jun 2006 by Gregory S. Buzwell

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard Work But Ultimately Rewarding
I came to Foucault's Pendulum after greatly enjoying Name of the Rose and this is a very different book altogether.

The premise can be read on the blurb and makes the book come across as an 'intellectual thriller'. The first few chapters and the last few are indeed those of an intellectual thriller and the hard work is in-between. It could be argued that...
Published on 25 July 2011 by B. D. Hopkins


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11 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Excruciating..., 24 Nov 2007
By 
A. Gill (Liverpool England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
I have never not completed a book that i have started. However, I very nearly just threw this out after 200 pages due to the author's endless rambling. This book is like being stuck in a train compartment for with the most boring anorak you've ever met who wants to tell you everything he knows about traction engines/fly fishing/historical religious groups. Furthermore this anorak has poor social skills and just talks at you for 10 hours non stop. Whilst Umberto Eco is undoubtedly an extremely intelligient individual he has no idea how to write an entertaining novel. Pretentious nonsense.
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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly clever, 24 July 2003
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
This could be a failure as a novel, in that two friends and I read this nove, agreed we thought it was brilliant, then disagreed completely on what it was about.
My view: it's about what people want to believe.
A good book, quite heavy going but with well drawn and moving characters.
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7 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Pretentious drivel..., 23 Nov 2010
By 
Tango_Alpha_Bravo (Hampshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
No other book has incensed me so much for being an utter waste of my
time nor driven me to write such a negative review.

Aware of the mixed reviews it has received here, it had been on my
bookshelf for some time before I finally took the plunge but reading its
whole 635 pages was like swimming through quicksand. I persevered and
read the entire book initially hoping for some "payback" and revelations
at the end but then just finished it out of sheer determination with
gritted teeth in order to be able to review it in full. I have read
many, many books from many different genres including The Count of Monte
Cristo which is my favourite book and is referenced on the back of
Foucalt's Pendulum - unfortunately the two are nothing alike at all. Do
not be drawn in by the reference to Indiana Jones on the back cover
either: Foucalt's Pendulum is turgid and dull with none of the action
adventure or humour of the (first three) Indiana Jones films. In
summary, I cannot think of a single redeeming feature of this book.
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18 of 47 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Foucault's pendulum, 27 Jan 2007
By 
G. Williams (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
This book is pretentious twaddle. I was drawn to it, as a theoretical physicist, by Foucault and the first few pages. I am half-way through the book and determined to finish it. One has to admire Eco's literary skills and abilities. To write so much (long-windedly?)and to have submitted "references" as he does is truly amazing - at variance with the mathematical papers I read. I cannot agree with the reviews cited on the cover of the book. Who pays them? Am I missing something here? As another reviewer succinctly writes about "gritting one's teeth..". That's what I shall do. It is not an enjoyable book.
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4 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Why?, 3 April 2007
By 
J. DARBY (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
I ploughed through this book, convinced there would be some point to it. There wasn't. The fact that Eco is such a good writer made this book all the more painful. If you like post-modernist theory you will love it. If not, you'll hate it.
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13 of 39 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Tedious in the extreme, 18 Mar 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
I read as far as page 280 by which time absolutely nothing had happened. The author seems much more interested in playing with words and vocabulary than telling a story. The writing style occasionally features huge lists of items the purpose of which seems to be solely to add words to the book.

It is strange that as the characters in the story are editors yet it didn't occur to the author to employ an author himself. Perhaps then we would have been treated to far less of his verbose ramblings.

Apparently there is a story in their somewhere but the writing style obscures it beyond recognition. Any time spent reading this book will be time you never get back.
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3 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a novel, a reference book of science and the occult, 11 Jun 2008
By 
Paul Carslake (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
This is really not a novel at all, but a kind of narrative reference book that is surely aimed at rather obsessive enthusiasts of science and the occult in the middle ages. You don't learn much about the characters in this book, some of which are almost as cartoony and undeveloped as those you may find in a Dan Brown novel, and the plot moves on painfully slowly, constantly bogged down by pages of scholarship which, by about 400 pages in, I was happy to skip with no loss of continuity. Only in the last 150 pages or so does the plot start to move along at a more respectable pace. But the climax is frankly a bit of a let down.
I suppose the interesting thing this book does is establish that the real cranks and crackpots who are into all this stuff are prepared to believe almost anything. But if you're not obsessed with the subject matter to the same degree as the characters in this book, you can't help but ask: so what?
This is a long book, demanding many hours to plough through, and the result was disappointing.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Paperback falling apart!, 8 July 2013
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This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
The pages are falling out by page 30, cover coming apart.

The worst paperback to date.

For a lightweight travel version, this will not work.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much of a cultural brain dump, 24 Feb 2009
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Hardcover)
I'm really not sure what to make of this - is it a sublimely constructed masterpiece or meaningless drivel? Well, I have given up after ploughing through 40% of it. There are some interesting historical discussions and some amusing bits, but the whole is much less than the sum of these intermittent good parts, and the characters flat and didn't evoke any sympathy with me. Much of it reads like some vast brain dump of every cultural, religious and mystic reference the author could lay his hands on (that is, assuming those parts of it that don't mean anything to me have not just been made up by the author). I had made quite rapid progress with reading it (skimming a few parts) but then decided, in light of the vast number of other books on my TBR list, that I was simply not willing to spend any more of my life on it.
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3 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't get hung up by your pendulum !, 29 Jun 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
I just finished reading the book - about 20 minutes ago. And one thing has struck me.... I need to read the first half again to even hope to work out everything that was going on !
Unfortunately I was recommended this book by a friend at Easter, and immediately read the first half with no effort as Eco regailed me with tales of ancient mystical societies and far off places. But University exam time arrived and interrupted my enjoyment. I just sat down to read the second half and have been left with a feeling of an uncomplete story.
And one question that I feel has to be answered - though it is a rather trivial one. Where was it that Jacopo Belbo grew up during the war ?
I suppose the message from my madness here is...
I thought it was a great book, and it has promted me to check out some of Ecos' facts on the internet (This just add's to the feeling that the Plan is/was real) For this reason alone it should be recommended. The ability to whisk a person along on a merry-go ride of a conspiracy theory is a great skill to have.
One problem, is that my French is not as good as it once was and I really wish I could speak latin and German. To get a greater understanding of those 120 quotes!
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Foucault's Pendulum
Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (Paperback - 1 Jun 2001)
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