26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
Eco rewrites history for kicks...,
By A Customer
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Paperback)
'Foucault's Pendulum' takes a brave step. With 'The Holy Blood and The Holy Grail' in mind Eco writes of three Italian publishers, bored with the daily grind, who decide to play a game with history, seeing through a glass darkly and rewriting the record books in such a way as to incorporate the myriad of occultist belief and arcana their authors' produce.
Beginning around the Crusades and the formation of the Knights Templar the men race through a new explanation of historical events towards the present day, 'outing' a conspiracy theorist's dream target in the process.
The skill of the novel lies in Eco's masterly account of how the protagonists gradually become caught in their lie, beginning to see more and more 'truth' behind their own fiction. What is more (and at this point, perhaps, I should mention that I do not necessarily count myself a stupid man), the author manages to set things so firmly in the reader's mind, and the publishers make so convincing a case, that the reader is left pondering, somewhere in the back of a usually cynical perception, 'Well, what if...'
Eco is a man who proved in 'The Name of the Rose' that he knows everything about everything - or at least as close to it as a man is likely to get - and his writing presents it to us in masterly, tight narration. The novel is filled with swathes of bizarre facts by which he builds out his fiction and yet he never once becomes boring. This is the man who previously talked for pages on the minutae of 13th Century Papal politics, remember, and made it more like a thriller than most pulp fictionists could dream of.
Read him and expand whichever horizons you have.