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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsurpassed - a true modern classic
My favourite Eco novel and one of my all-time favourite books. I keep returning to this informed and wonderfully crafted story time and time again. It _is_ very dense but Eco's narrative style is so smooth and captivating that it's not at all intimidating.
Just like 'Foucault's Pendulum' with all its Hebrew, mysticism and Kabballah (which I love), if you don't...
Published on 14 Dec 1999 by Nigel Collier

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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Reader - The Detective
In the Name of the Rose, is in many ways a frustrating book to read, because the reader required as much perseverance as the monk-turned-detective protagonist, William. It is a very top heavy book, complete with Latin phraseology, which in spite of Umberto Eco's obvious gift for narrative, is testing to navigate; many will begin and not finish. However, if you are a...
Published on 7 April 2008 by x-bout reviews


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16 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I obviously missed something!, 31 Jan 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Paperback)
I read this book as it was recommended to me by a friend and judging by the other reviews others enjoyed it too! I found that it just involves too much information. I am an avid reader of many types of book and I can read just about anything but I just kept getting bored. The murder mystery part of the story is quite good but not worth the amount of preaching and flowery descriptions you have to go through to get to the ending (and yes I did get there eventually!) I think you would need an avid interest of this subject to find it more interesting.
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11 of 26 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deeply disappointing, 30 Aug 2009
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Officer Dibble (Zummerzet) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
My views are expertly summed up by another reviewer - 'Many will begin and not finish'. I am one of the 'many' and this book is one of the very few to have defeated me.

I look forward to seeing the film as it will provide 'untaxing entertainment' rather than continuing this book which was proving to be highly taxing.

If you like reading Latin and have a burning interest in the internecine squabbles of the Franciscans, Benedictines, Spiritualists in 14th Century Europe then here is your five star entertainment. After all this is not a first novel but 'a literary event' according to the NYT.

Desperately disappointed with this as I had expected so much. When I finally put this to one side after 210 pages I had a skip in my step.
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11 of 28 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Filled with dense imagery, but very very dull, 1 Jun 2007
This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
I had heard people waxing lyrical about this book, and so I thought I'd give it a go and see what all the fuss was about. I know I'm supposed to be awed by it, I know I'm supposed to be humbled by Eco's vast knowledge and intelligence, I know I'm supposed to be gripped by the interwoven themes and symbolism, but I found myself literally counting the pages until the end.

There are some interesting moments filled with amazing prose, but between irritating monks who need a good slap, Adso's frequent acid trips, and long turgid theological discussions, they tend to get rather lost. This is one of those books that would have been better if it had been half as long. If I had lived in this monastery, a series of grisly murders would have been a welcomed change of pace. Unless you're deeply passionate about obscure points of theology no one has cared about for several hundred years, you'll find the revealed motive and justification for the crimes to be very disappointing.

If you want to read a detective story, go buy a Sherlock Holmes book.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A deadly book found within, 5 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
Read Eco's stunning first novel filled with intrigue and murder.

A young apprentice and a Franciscan scholar travel to a mysterious abbey to investigate the death of a monk. As they search for the answers behind the murder they stumble across a killer who is using the word of God against sinners. Will they fall victim to the trap or will they solve the ultimate puzzle.

A brilliant debut novel that became a literary classic.
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12 of 34 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Thwarted, 25 Jan 2008
Having heard so many people rave about this book, I had high hopes and desperately wanted to like it. I have now attempted to read it twice, and each time it has thwarted me. While the actual plot is interesting, it is buried under so much rambling that you lost the interest (and the will) to continue. I personally won't be recommending it to anyone else.
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6 of 19 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars name of the rose., 3 Dec 2009
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This review is from: The Name of the Rose (Hardcover)
I do not really know what to make of this book. It is quite difficult to get into and, eventually you put it aside. The story just doesn't "move". There may be a good thriller there, but the effort of finding it is just too much
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably the best of the 20th century, 5 Oct 2003
This review is from: The Name of the Rose (Paperback)
It is probably the best book I have ever read. Although the size of Eco's books frighten me, I read his books in a few days. I like historical books and mystery books. This is both and the best. I have to talk about the movie as well. The movie is as good as the book and this is mostly because of Sean Connery. Lastly, if you have not read this book yet, you are a century behind.
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2 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A highwayscribery Book Report, 20 Jan 2011
This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
the scribe just finished, after a true reader's via crucis, the long and impressive "The Name of the Rose" by Umbérto Eco.

The book came to him through his old man, whom got it from somebody he works with at the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Fund.

the scribe has always wanted to read the book: first, for its beguiling name, second for all the great covers depicting a deep medieval ambience, and third because Eco is an Italian intellectual, which the scribe believes makes them kindred spirits, if not seriously linked at some unseen level of things.

Nonetheless, the book was more a labor than a love. The beguiling name, it turns out, was chosen for how little it revealed. We know this because Eco has penned a considerable "postscript" in excess of 30 pages.

If the scribe were allowed that kind of indulgence he wouldn't take it, because that would be explaining the book. You can explain a book a little - the scribe's adaption of passages from "Vedette" to the wonderful music of Omar Torrez are a case in point - but not too much, as least not as much as Eco has.

After all, you've written a book and that should be explanation enough.

The author opens the P.S. with some observations on how titles can give a book away, or worse, mislead readers, and has some fun with classic titles that even a guy as famous as he shouldn't, at least out of false humility, compare his own book to.

"Perhaps," he writes, "the best course is to be honestly dishonest, as Dumas was: It is clear that `The Three Musketeers' is, in reality, the tale of the fourth."

He chose "The Name of the Rose" because, "the rose is a symbolic figure so rich in meanings that by now it hardly has any meaning left...The title rightly disoriented the reader, who was unable to choose just one interpretation..."

Which is to say the scribe was tricked, which is no small trick.

Beguiled by a title not the book's own, the scribe hoped the promise of medieval culture, the repairing to a quiet soul-enriching world of chants and hooded monks, grassy quads spreading over a scholastic abbey peopled by pure men, held firm.

And there, Eco, a self-described medievalist, keeps his promise, but to the point of distraction.

Eco leaves no middle-aged stone unturned and ultimately bludgeons the reader with facts, architectural essays to the minutest detail, and historical reviews of sectarian battles in the Catholic Church of that time so that the story itself seems an afterthought.

At least so it seemed to the guy writing this book report who remained focused and oriented through repeated playings of "Chant: The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos."

Among the problems are a cast of monks (Jorge of Burgos, Salamander of Sweden) too long and too difficult to distinguish from one another so that you - or maybe just the scribe - have to just kind of trundle along with the ensemble, taking them in and listening when they reappear without ever being sure when their last showing was, or what its narrative significance is.

Eco's architecture leaves something to be desired as well. The narrative, such as it is, meanders along over a few macabre murders and some confusing visits to the impenetrable library of the abbey in which it is set, as co-protagonist William, and the narrator/voice Adso, traverse great swatches of Catholic/European history in conversations most remarkable for the distance between start and end.

When Adso takes a backseat to Ubertino, or the Abbot, or one of the many other hooded theologians peopling the interminable text, the form is imposed anew as two elderly men talk at each other in pages-long dissertations that make "The Sidewalk Smokers Club" seem like a snappy, noir-yarn shorn of all excess (which it's not).

By this the scribe means to say that if Umberto Eco were not Umberto Eco, and instead were master of the highwayscribery universe, this book might never have seen the light of day, let alone become a bestseller.

"Story of the Rose," does have a number of messages and that's fair reward for someone who grants Eco the respect we are told he's due and stays the course.

What the scribe took from it was a reinforcement of his perception regarding the savagery in European man and the endless and senseless deaths sacrificed to the Christian mono-God.

As a non-believer the scribe finds it absolutely astounding that millions of people lost their lives to men of the kind portrayed here, and the cruelty of those deaths horrifying.

And it really happened.

Eco's a smart man who's trying to tell us something about the inquisitorial urge, its unstoppable momentum and irrefutable logic (they have God on their side), as well as the poor uses to which ostensibly spiritual mechanisms have been put to use since the pagan world collapsed.

May God help us.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A real page turner, 13 Jan 2013
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I found this one of the most boring books I have ever had the misfortune of reading, it had numerous pages devoted to theology which had absolutely nothing to do with the plot
I found myself turning page after page trying to get back to the story ,which eventually I gave up on.I think it was a pretentious little book with no merit
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointed, 4 Mar 2012
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This review is from: The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (Paperback)
I was very disappointed in this book which had been recommended by my book circle. I found I could not read further than the first two hundred pages. Some in the book circle liked it but most of us did not.
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The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics)
The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) by Umberto Eco (Paperback - 5 Feb 2004)
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