Books Feb 19, 2016 at 5:22 pm


Foucault's Pendulum is one of those books that gets lots of praise, and if you consider yourself a literary person, you're supposed to read it. But in reality, I think a lot of people have it on their bookshelf, but never read it. I tried, and couldn't get through it.

I did like The Name of the Rose, however. Both the book and the movie.

I had the same problem with "The Prague Cemetery"; tried really hard, but just could not finish it - maybe it was the translation - and I genuinely like Eco's work.

That said, try "Baudolino" or "The Book of Legendary Lands", both are great reads and in a much lighter vein. Also, his short works & essay collections, "How To Travel With A Salmon" in particular.

Sorry he's gone; he wasn't always brilliant, but when he was at the top of his form there were few who could match him.
I read Foucault's Pendulum a long time back. It was pretty good - I stayed up all night to finish it. But its like Illuminati Trilogy in that it only works during the suspenseful mystery part. Once you've peeled away all the layers of the onion, there's nothing left.

Maybe that was the point? Its over 20 years ago now so I don't remember the details.
I liked Foucault's Pendulum. Thank you Mr. Eco, RIP.
Can somebody kill the freaking autoplay on Sean's comment disabled kesha post?
I'm terribly nerdy and love the genre encompassing Foucault's Pendulum, but I must admit I skimmed over a few parts myself. However, there was NO ONE ELSE LIKE ECO on this spinning teetering ball we call the world.

Agree with 6. And why can't we comment?
@4: Try reading "La muerte y la brújula" ("Death and the Compass") by Borges sometime. It's kinda that in an artful way.
I first read "UR-Fascism" under the better (i.m.a.o.) title "Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt", and frequently refer people to it after they get Fascism wrong (usually conservatives credencing Jonah Goldberg—liberals more often just need to be told that 'corporatism' isn't the same as 'rule by corporations') .

He wrote (and was translated to write) beautifully, and that piece' s beginning section on his pride at winning a Fascist essay contest funny and chilling.
@4 - yeah, I think that was the whole point. Just like the plot of a Dan Brown novel dissolves into nothing the moment you finish, Eco had the key mystery of Foucault's Pendulum dissolve into nothing by the end of the book. It was actually a really good idea... Just a little wordy. Borges would have covered the same material in seven pages. Meanwhile, In the Name of the Rose was interesting but I thought again that the key plot/mystery was a major let down. Maybe that was the point too...
Foucault's Pendulum and Davinci Code were both inspired by the same book (Holy Blood, Holy Grail). Eco satirized it (because it's patent nonsense), Brown claimed it was all true.
Foucault's Pendulum and DaVinci Code were both inspired by the same book (Holy Blood, Holy Grail) - Eco satirized it (because it's patent nonsense), Brown claimed it was all true.
Eco has been one of my favourite authors for 16 years now. "Foucault's Pendulum" is my favourite of his. He was a great man, and will be missed.
I agree with those who say that "Foucault's Pendulum" is hard to get through. I've been an Eco fan for 16 years, and have read all of his novels, some of them more than once. He is a master of the long descriptive passage and the obscure historical joke. If you're not into that kind of thing, some of his writing can feel like a chore to get through. I had to take about three running starts to get into FP, but I found that once I got past the first 25 or so pages, into the meat of the story, it was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. In it, Eco works from the premise that most conspiracy theories are bullshit, but the people who adhere to them can be very dangerous indeed. I have read FP three times now, and consider it one of my favourite books. Other readers may find "Baudolino" or "The Name of the Rose" more accessible. I would hesitate to recommend his other novels to anyone but a die-hard Eco fan, or someone with a specific interest in their subject matter. Eco was a great man and a great author. He will be missed.
Agreed about Travels in Hyperreality. The essay recounting his visit to a waxwork recreation of the Last Supper in California is hilarious.

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