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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana Cover

ISBN13: 9780151011407
ISBN10: 0151011400
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is impressive in the sheer breadth of knowledge intertwined to form a national consciousness, and the tale it tells is engaging, but it could have had even more resonance if its protagonist had been less self-absorbed. To a certain degree, his life story shares the same shortcoming that Yambo diagnoses in himself: 'I don't have feelings, I only have memorable sayings.'" Yvonne Zipp, Christian Science Monitor (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Yambo, a sixtyish rare-book dealer who lives in Milan, has suffered a loss of memory — he can remember the plot of every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, but he no longer knows his own name, doesn't recognize his wife or his daughters, and remembers nothing about his parents or his childhood. In an effort to retrieve his past, he withdraws to the family home somewhere in the hills between Milan and Turin. There, in the sprawling attic, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and the life racing before his eyes takes the form of a graphic novel. Yambo struggles through the frames to capture one simple, innocent image: that of his first love.

A fascinating, abundant new novel-wide-ranging, nostalgic, funny, full of heart — from the incomparable Eco.

Review:

"When aging Italian book-dealer Yambo, hero of this engaging if somewhat bloodless novel of ideas, regains consciousness after a mysterious coma, he suffers a peculiar form of amnesia. His 'public' memory of languages, everyday routines, history and literature remains intact, but his autobiographical memory of personal experiences — of his family, lovers, childhood, even his name — is gone. He can spout literary and cultural allusions on any topic, citing everything from Moby-Dick to Star Trek, but complains, 'I don't have feelings, I only have memorable sayings.' To recover his past, he repairs to his boyhood home to peruse a cache of memorabilia amassed in his youth during Mussolini's reign and WWII, consisting of comic books, schoolbooks, Fascist propaganda, popular music, romantic novels and his own poetry about an unattainable high school beauty. The setup allows semiotician and novelist Eco (The Name of the Rose, etc.) to indulge his passion for pulp materials by reproducing such objects as movie posters, song lyrics and a graphic novella rendering the Book of Revelation as a Flash Gordon melodrama, with intriguing asides on cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind thrown in. The result has a somewhat academic feel, but it's an absorbing exploration of how that most fundamental master-narrative, our memory, is pieced together from a bricolage of pop culture." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[C]ompelling storytelling and greatly sympathetic characters..." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Having lost all his memories except for every book and poem he has ever read, rare-books dealer Yambro flees to the old family home to reconstruct his life — which spools by here in graphic-novel format." Library Journal

Review:

"A head-spinning tour through the corridors of history and popular culture, and one of this sly entertainer's liveliest yet." Kirkus Reviews

Synopsis:

To recall his memories, Yambo withdraws to the family home where he searches old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and diaries to relive the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, and Fred Astaire.

About the Author

Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the bestselling author of numerous novels and essays. He lives in Milan.

Table of Contents

PART ONE: THE INCIDENT
1. The Cruelest Month 3
2. The Murmur of Mulberry Leaves 28
3. Someone May Pluck Your Flower 45
4. Alone through City Streets I Go 64

PART TWO: PAPER MEMORY
5. Clarabelle's Treasure 81
6. Il Nuovissimo Melzi 90
7. Eight Days in an Attic 117
8. When the Radio 159
9. But Pippo Doesn't Know 178
10. The Alchemist's Tower 212
11. Up There at Capocabana 227
12. Blue Skies Are on the Way 257
13. The Pallid Little Maiden 272
14. The Hotel of the Three Roses 295

PART THREE: OI NO?TOI
15. You're Back at Last, Friend Mist! 301
16. The Wind Is Whistling 325
17. The Provident Young Man 379
18. Lovely Thou Art as the Sun 406
sources of citations and Illustrations 451

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Matthew Malone, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Matthew Malone)
wonderful
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
rtevans, March 27, 2008 (view all comments by rtevans)
An ingenious historical detective story from a brilliant writer and historian! In this one the mystery is internal; discovering the protagonist's personal history. As a result the reader is treated to a story of fascist Italy in the 20th Century. Interesting, but not as much as medieval monks or Knights Templar. For an introduction to Eco's genius, try The Name of the Rose or Foucault's Pendulum.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780151011407
Translator:
Brock, Geoffrey
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Translator:
Brock, Geoffrey
Author:
Eco, Umberto
Author:
Brock, Geoffrey
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20060605
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
177 four-color and 32 black-and-white il
Pages:
480
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.68 lb

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 480 pages Harcourt - English 9780151011407 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "When aging Italian book-dealer Yambo, hero of this engaging if somewhat bloodless novel of ideas, regains consciousness after a mysterious coma, he suffers a peculiar form of amnesia. His 'public' memory of languages, everyday routines, history and literature remains intact, but his autobiographical memory of personal experiences — of his family, lovers, childhood, even his name — is gone. He can spout literary and cultural allusions on any topic, citing everything from Moby-Dick to Star Trek, but complains, 'I don't have feelings, I only have memorable sayings.' To recover his past, he repairs to his boyhood home to peruse a cache of memorabilia amassed in his youth during Mussolini's reign and WWII, consisting of comic books, schoolbooks, Fascist propaganda, popular music, romantic novels and his own poetry about an unattainable high school beauty. The setup allows semiotician and novelist Eco (The Name of the Rose, etc.) to indulge his passion for pulp materials by reproducing such objects as movie posters, song lyrics and a graphic novella rendering the Book of Revelation as a Flash Gordon melodrama, with intriguing asides on cognitive psychology and philosophy of mind thrown in. The result has a somewhat academic feel, but it's an absorbing exploration of how that most fundamental master-narrative, our memory, is pieced together from a bricolage of pop culture." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is impressive in the sheer breadth of knowledge intertwined to form a national consciousness, and the tale it tells is engaging, but it could have had even more resonance if its protagonist had been less self-absorbed. To a certain degree, his life story shares the same shortcoming that Yambo diagnoses in himself: 'I don't have feelings, I only have memorable sayings.'" (read the entire Christian Science Monitor review)
"Review" by , "[C]ompelling storytelling and greatly sympathetic characters..."
"Review" by , "Having lost all his memories except for every book and poem he has ever read, rare-books dealer Yambro flees to the old family home to reconstruct his life — which spools by here in graphic-novel format."
"Review" by , "A head-spinning tour through the corridors of history and popular culture, and one of this sly entertainer's liveliest yet."
"Synopsis" by , To recall his memories, Yambo withdraws to the family home where he searches old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and diaries to relive the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, and Fred Astaire.
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