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on 24 May 2017
On the whole a good and interesting read, with intriguing insights into how conspiracy theories are formed and develop. But very long, and in the end it just seemed to run out of steam. Also, the internal logic seemed to break down (e.g. when, in the timescale of the action, did the narrator find time to set down this long and elaborate text, full of arcane references?)
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on 28 November 2016
Well presented on the kindle.

At the moment its heavy going and far too clever for its own good.
I believe it calms down in later chapters. Lets hope so ...

Review work in progress
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on 10 April 2017
In my opinion Eco's masterpiece. I read the book a few times and never ceases to impress me. It's not an easy read by any stretch but worth the effort.
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on 2 April 2017
Excellent and value for money!
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on 2 January 2017
In truth I found it a little juvenile in comparison to his other works, yet it was still entertaining enough to inspire the
likes of Dan Brown obviously.
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This books by Eco is far superior to the DaVinci code. Not only it nails the "conspiracy" type story to perfection, it was also written many years before Da Vinci Code, and in my opinion a much better work of literature.
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on 8 June 2017
Amazing book. There was a friend of mine who really liked that book. For a certain period of time, we didn't speak to each other. During that period, I found out that she liked that book a lot, but unfortunately she had lost it somewhere. I bought this book as a gift to honor this special friendship and gave it to her the next time we met. On that same night, that special friendship turned into a passionate romance. Our souls gave birth to a passion so strong, that neither of us could handle. The passion was getting stronger and stronger, as we were slowly dying. We ended up killing parts of our souls to feed that passion. We gave parts of our selves to feed it's hunger. Now, we are consumed by it so much, that we barely know who we really are. Sometimes we feel in endless love, sometimes we are in terrible pain. If I was to go back in time, knowing what I know now, I would still buy that book as a gift to her and let this move lead us down the same path all over again.
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on 25 July 2011
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 skipping the most part of the book and just reading the parts from the periscope to the periscope would give a great short-story. However you'd miss a lot of seawater and 2+2=5 not to mention an insane amount of historical and occult conspiracy. All that is great stuff but is bogged down by frustrating attempts of characterisation: a 100 pages, or so it seemed, is given over to the main character going to South America and I was bored witless with the wooden conversations and monologue. Later he becomes a father which plays no part in anything much and the relationship with the mother serves one purpose, that of a discovery concerning a 'shopping list', which was indeed very funny but long-winded.

In fact, no reviews I've read have mentioned the humour in this book: I laughed out loud on a number of occasions.

I would've given Foucault's Pendulum 4-stars if Eco had edited to a stricter regime.
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on 1 September 2004
This book made me do something I hardly ever do (and hate doing), which is to give up halfway through. Yes, I knew it would be rich and deep and clever, but I kept waiting for that moment where the book captured me and made me go on.
When I reached halfway through, I realised there would be no such moment. I just couldn't muster any pleasure from the reading: it was turning into a chore.
I loved the Name of the Rose, but found this book impenetrable, with too many diversions and digressions to follow. The only pleasure I can conceive from this book is displaying it prominently and pretending I am bright enough to have understood it (or at least finished it).
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 27 August 2013
This 1988 novel by Italian author and philosopher Umberto Eco really is an amazing work. Having recently read Thomas Pynchon's equally ambitious (and, arguably, even more 'narratively difficult') novel, V, I was cogitating over which of the two provided me with the greatest reading challenge. I concluded it was probably Pynchon's 'tale' - both authors exhibit great 'verbal' dexterity, but, on balance, Eco probably retains a more straightforward ('modern commercial') prose style, albeit with (for me) an excess of (at times) turgid historical detail - a key characteristic of his convoluted tale, I recognise, but just overdoing it for me.

Indeed, Eco's novel is (in my reading experience) a near unique hybrid of historical, fantasy, comic and thriller writing. It is (for me) on the first two of these characteristics where Eco stretches things too far, whilst his dark and hilarious explanations/rationalisations of how his characters' global conspiracy theory (or con trick), covering a period of 720 years and pulling in the 'usual suspects' Cathars, Rosicrucians, Freemasons, Templars, plus Jews, Nazis, Francis Bacon, etc, etc, can be linked (in one way or another) to the internal combustion engine or the Nazi's 'Final Solution' make for highly entertaining (and sometimes controversial) reading. Similarly, his core 'back-story', set during the 1960s and 1970s primarily in Milan, involving his three main protagonists, student and narrator, Casaubon, publishing editor, Jacopo Belbo, and Belbo's colleague Diotallevi, also compellingly evoke the radical political backdrop of the era and, in their involvement with Garamond publishing house, the duplicitous goings-on of a literary publishers.

For me, I found The Name Of The Rose a slightly more satisfying overall reading experience than I did Foucault's Pendulum, however, I would still recommend the latter, particularly for anyone who enjoys long - 650 page - challenging reads. Eco's evocative prose is, at times, absolutely stunning and nowhere more so than in the novel's concluding pages as he (through Casaubon's eyes) takes us back in time to Belbo's birthplace.
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