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Island Of The Day Before Hardcover – 2 Oct 1995

3.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 513 pages
  • Publisher: Secker; 1st edition (2 Oct. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0436202700
  • ISBN-13: 978-0436202704
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 4.7 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 665,247 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

PRAISE FOR "THE ISLAND OF THE DAY BEFORE"
"As wonderfully exotic as only Eco can contrive . . . An astonishing intellectual journey."--"San Francisco Chronicle"
"A masterpiece . . . intellectually stimulating and dramatically intriguing."--"Chicago Tribune"


PRAISE FOR"THE ISLAND OF THE DAY BEFORE"

"As wonderfully exotic as only Eco can contrive . . . An astonishing intellectual journey."--"San Francisco Chronicle"

"A masterpiece . . . intellectually stimulating and dramatically intriguing."--"Chicago Tribune"


PRAISE FOR "THE ISLAND OF THE DAY BEFORE"

"As wonderfully exotic as only Eco can contrive . . . An astonishing intellectual journey."--"San Francisco Chronicle"

"A masterpiece . . . intellectually stimulating and dramatically intriguing."--"Chicago Tribune"


PRAISE FOR THE ISLAND OF THE DAY BEFORE
"As wonderfully exotic as only Eco can contrive . . . An astonishing intellectual journey."--San Francisco Chronicle
"A masterpiece . . . intellectually stimulating and dramatically intriguing."--Chicago Tribune
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

‘Every age gets the classics it deserves. I hope we deserve The Island of the Day Before’ – New York Times Book Review --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Okay, two things: this is one of my favourite books that I have ever read; I am astounded by some of the poor reviews here!

Contrary to other posters' experiences, 'The Island of the Day Before' was the first Eco book that I read, and what instantly grabbed me was his fantastic style. I know that we're reading it in the English translation (see his book of essays 'Mouse or Rat: Translation as Negotiation'), yet the prose unfurls and unfolds mesmerically, drawing the reader into the novel. The narrator's tone is engagingly learned, affectionate towards his characters, and very, very funny.

Then there's the characterisation. Roberto della Griva himself is such a brilliant creation: a sub-standard Petrarch trapped on an abandoned ship writing letters to the love of his life who doesn't even know he exists; an unwitting witness to some of the greatest occurrences of his age; a figure who lays bare the mixture of disillusion and enduring hope of the human existence. And, of course, we must not forget Father Casper...

So now we come to the brilliant plot, or, perhaps, plots is more accurate. I really don't understand why some reviewers here have said that nothing happens; if anything, there is too much happening, with the flashbacks and the background detail, the stories of warring regions and the conspiracies of Cardinal Richlieu. This is as much of the story as the actual 'present' of the novel. And all these interesting and revealing episodes are framed within each other, creating a fantastic richness and depth that really draws one in.

This is really Eco's most honest novel. I can't agree with those who have labelled it especially intellectually ostentatious. In his other novels Eco can cloak his erudition and intelligence, in a way.
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Format: Paperback
Readers expect Umberto Eco to take them on a stimulating journey of discovery as his characters unravel mysteries that take them to the heart of early Western civilisation. In The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum this style worked brilliantly. In the 'The Island of the Day Before' it fails catastrophically.

Eco spends hundreds of pages wallowing in his arcane knowledge, resorting to ever more desperate ploys to show off his learning, because this book has no plot to draw out those intellectual diversions naturally. In his previous novels, the basic murder mysteries provided a focus for the reader's journey: there was a mystery to be solved, and Eco's digressions enlightened the journey. Here the trek can be focused on one thing only: the long hoped-for last page, and the reader is only sustained by the morbid fascination of whether anything interesting is really going to happen. It doesn't.

Very early on, our hero finds himself stuck on an abandoned ship off an uncharted island. His plight becomes a metaphor for that of the reader, trapped in Eco's ego with no hope of escape. I have a degree in Medieval Literature and History, but I can't find much of interest here. What hope is there for the more general reader? Never have I fallen asleep so often over a book, pummelled into intellectual insensibility.
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Format: Paperback
Eco has the fascinating ability to write about medieval Europe like no other. The book brings back to life the siege and fall of Casale, the ecclesiocratic atmosphere of the 16-17th centuries and characters as true to life as they could possibly get.

Our main character, through an unfortunate series of accidents, is stranded on this abandoned ship God knows where on the planet. and that's where the real story begins...to go wrong. Although the main idea for the book is ingenius and quite frankly, fascinating, Eco just cannot keep from rambling on about things that are not important to the story or particularly informative to the reader unless they are the type of person who reads literature strictly 'to learn about how people used to live back then'.

Although the book is very clever, it is too long, much more than Foucault's pendulum. You will not be gripped by the story unless you are a huge historical literature fan, and although I really enjoy the genre, it still failed to engage me. A lot of the extra (and quite honestly, unnecessary) information in this book could have been edited to thicken the plot or just to allow the reader to actually concentrate long enough between two pages!

I was not very satisfied at all with this book and although I was thrilled by the Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum, I have to say this particular book disappointed me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I like it, or to be more accurate I like parts of it. I returned to this after giving up on it 20 years ago. I thought I may have gained a patience I lacked as a younger man. I haven't unfortunately. There is just so much in it, and it's really all for nothing. Religion, philosophy, nautical history, Love,family. All bundled in to a story within a story. I don't regret re-reading it, but I wont be doing it again.
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Format: Paperback
The Island of the Day Before is far easier reading the Umberto Eco's two earlier novels (Faucoult's Pendulum and The Name of the Rose), and unlike those two you can read IotDB without a grasp of Latin and lose little (though as always a passing knowledge of Western European history should be a pre-requisite).
It seemed to me that Eco was trying to be less clever here than in earlier works, and the result is a far more enjoyable, and better crafted, story, one that retains the air of intelligence and authenticity which pervades all his work while still being appealing and accessible.
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