The Name of the Rose

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The Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco
Translated by William Weaver

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group | September 26, 2006 | Hardcover

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(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

A spectacular best seller and now a classic, The Name of the Rose catapulted Umberto Eco, an Italian professor of semiotics turned novelist, to international prominence. An erudite murder mystery set in a fourteenth-century monastery, it is not only a gripping story but also a brilliant exploration of medieval philosophy, history, theology, and logic.

In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate a wealthy Italian abbey whose monks are suspected of heresy. When his mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths patterned on the book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective, following the trail of a conspiracy that brings him face-to-face with the abbey’s labyrinthine secrets, the subversive effects of laughter, and the medieval Inquisition. Caught in a power struggle between the emperor he serves and the pope who rules the Church, Brother William comes to see that what is at stake is larger than any mere political dispute–that his investigation is being blocked by those who fear imagination, curiosity, and the power of ideas.

The Name of the Rose offers the reader not only an ingeniously constructed mystery—complete with secret symbols and coded manuscripts—but also an unparalleled portrait of the medieval world on the brink of profound transformation.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 600 pages, 8.27 × 5.19 × 1.31 in

Published: September 26, 2006

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307264890

ISBN - 13: 9780307264893

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Thought Provoking Thriller A True Classic One of the pleasures of reading is discovering literature that delights, edifies, spellbinds and generally exceeds all expectations. A second, related (and equally hit-and-miss) pleasure is re-reading these books decades later to see how they've stood the test of time: a dated flash in the pan; or a true classic. Umberto Eco's debut novel - lauded at the time with a couple of literary awards - is in the latter camp. An exceptional work in all respects. The book starts with a note by an unnamed publisher about how the manuscript of an elderly monk named Adso - the story we will soon read - came to light more than 600 years after its writing. This is followed by Adso's own prologue, which provides political and religious context of the time - an event in his youth in 1327 - and an introduction to his then master, William, a senior monk to whom he is apprenticed and who is travelling to an unnamed abbey in northwestern Italy for reasons unknown. The story, broken into seven days' events, begins with Adso and William's arrival and the abbot's request of William - apparently known for his pensive power and sleuthing skills - to examine some strange occurrences in the abbey that would be better solved and remedied than made public. So far, a leisurely beginning of esoteric facts, oblique philosophical dialogue, and little action, but one which builds steadily and constantly in pace and complexity to a fast paced conclusion. Early narrative background and philosophical discussions between characters later become central to the plot, to the novel's themes, to the motivation of characters, and ultimately to the broader questions that Eco leaves us pondering: the nature of good and evil; the nature of belief, worship, religion, and god; and the nature of man. Dialogue and narrative that seem to have little bearing on advancement of the plot - seeming just to enhance the sense of place and time or even philosophical digressions - end up later as important threads in the increasingly complex writing. Like a tightly worded short story, Eco leaves no loose ends and employs no filler. At the conclusion all we can do is enjoy the mystery's conclusion, marvel at intricacies that Eco has managed to weave into it, and reflect on the questions raised. Eco also has some fun along the way, taking half a page to describe a pair of eyeglasses, quoting Shakespeare ('It's Greek to me') 400 years before his birth, and using the same language to describe the death of a martyr and the narrator's first sexual experience. Fittingly for a labyrinthine plot mixing fact and fiction, and featuring a library and a labyrinth, Eco pays direct homage to Jorge Luis Borges, the Argentinian master of complex, convoluted fiction, with a namesake character. As Eco writes, "to know what one book says you must read others." Unlike many writers of historical fiction, who research a topic and then weave together a plot using their newfound knowledge, Eco starts with a lifetime of knowledge of his subject - he is a professor of semiotics and a noted historian and philosopher - and conjures up a fantastical, tightly worded mystery that's far richer and erudite than the popular fiction writers could hope for. While the story will entertain those seeking just a rollicking story, their time would be better spent with authors such as Clavell, Michener, Follett, Brown. The Name of the Rose is a richly rewarding modern day classic.
Date published: 2013-07-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AWESOME AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Date published: 2005-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from What an exhilarating novel! Rarely does one find a novel written in such careful detail. Eco lays out the groundwork by building upon a historical foundation, then ensuring that the reader is always kept in the dark as to where to story might possibly lead and finally delivers a fascinating and surprising denouement. 5 out of 5. Bravo!
Date published: 2000-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Real Page Turner If you love murder-mysteries...take a look at this book. Eco does a remarkable job at keeping the reader in suspense throughout the entire novel. The reader has NO clue who is behind the crimes and has NO clue to the real motive. I bet you cannot guess who did it? With excellent theme and characters the reader can easily flow with the events. Great Book!!
Date published: 2000-06-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great mystery with deep thought provocations Indeed, Eco's first novel is a great one. But I find that the descriptions tend to drown out the book sometimes. But the mystery and religious outcommings are extremely intriguing. Great novel, if you have time for 500 pages.
Date published: 2000-03-09

– More About This Product –

The Name of the Rose

by Umberto Eco
Translated by William Weaver

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 600 pages, 8.27 × 5.19 × 1.31 in

Published: September 26, 2006

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307264890

ISBN - 13: 9780307264893

From the Publisher

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

A spectacular best seller and now a classic, The Name of the Rose catapulted Umberto Eco, an Italian professor of semiotics turned novelist, to international prominence. An erudite murder mystery set in a fourteenth-century monastery, it is not only a gripping story but also a brilliant exploration of medieval philosophy, history, theology, and logic.

In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate a wealthy Italian abbey whose monks are suspected of heresy. When his mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths patterned on the book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective, following the trail of a conspiracy that brings him face-to-face with the abbey’s labyrinthine secrets, the subversive effects of laughter, and the medieval Inquisition. Caught in a power struggle between the emperor he serves and the pope who rules the Church, Brother William comes to see that what is at stake is larger than any mere political dispute–that his investigation is being blocked by those who fear imagination, curiosity, and the power of ideas.

The Name of the Rose offers the reader not only an ingeniously constructed mystery—complete with secret symbols and coded manuscripts—but also an unparalleled portrait of the medieval world on the brink of profound transformation.

From the Jacket

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon - all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night".

About the Author

Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the Universityof Bologna. His other books include Foucault''s Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, and three collections of popular essays, Travels in Hyperreality, Misreadings, and How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays. He lives in Milan.

Editorial Reviews

“A brilliantly conceived adventure into another time, an intelligent and complex novel, a lively and well-plotted mystery.”
—SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“The novel explodes with pyrotechnic inventions, literally as well as figuratively . . . The narrative impulse that commands the story is irresistible . . . Mr. Eco’s delight in his narrative does not fail to touch the reader.”
—NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

“Like the labyrinthine library at its heart, this brilliant novel has many cunning passages and secret chambers . . . Fascinating . . . Ingenious . . . Dazzling.”
—NEWSWEEK

“Whether you’re into Sherlock Holmes, Montaillou, Borges, the nouvelle critique, the Rule of St. Benedict, metaphysics, library design, or The Thing from the Crypt, you’ll love it. Who can that miss out?”
—SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON)

“[The Name of the Rose] is an example of that rare publishing phenomenon, the literary mega best seller which transcends linguistic boundaries . . . [It has] a gripping mystery, vivid characterization, an atmospheric setting, fascinating period detail, sly humour, dramatic confrontations, stunning set pieces, and a supple, eloquent prose that can shift its register to encompass the experience of faith, doubt, horror, erotic ecstasy, and despair.”
—from the Introduction by David Lodge
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