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Customer Review

on 10 January 2006
I know people think that Umberto Eco's books are impenetrable, esoteric and overly intellectual, but personally I love them. This one, however, is the one I've enjoyed the least. It is certainly the most beautifully presented (one of the most beautifully printed books I've ever read) and that certainly helps, but the story is somewhat uninspiring.
It's clearly a very personal book for Eco, with a great deal of what I assume must be his own life (particularly his childhood and the songs, books, comics and politics that surrounded him) used to provide authenticity to the story. This does certainly work, but didn't alter the fact that there really wasn't a story. It's a book about memory and memories, and it shows Eco's usual flair for language and knowledge of pretty much everything, but compared with Baudolino, Foucault's Pendulum or the Name of the Rose, all of which had engaging stories, this one feels self-indulgent, and ultimately somewhat empty.
Not a bad book, certainly, and one that is beautifully written, but not one I particularly enjoyed reading.
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