Synopses & Reviews
The highly anticipated, controversial novel, sold in more than forty countries Nineteenth-century Europeand#8212;from Turin to Prague to Parisand#8212;abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Conspiracies rule history. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair toThe Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document? Eco takes his readers on an unforgettable journey through the underbelly of world-shattering events. Eco at his most exciting, a book immediately hailed as a masterpiece.
"[The book] is not meant to be easy....[But] great are the rewards for those who actually manage to read it....You may call the book an intellectual triumph, if not a fictional one." Anthony Burgess, The New York Times Book Review
"Brilliant...experimental and funny, literary and philosophical....A quest novel that is deeper and richer than The Name of the Rose" The New York Times
"An intellectual adventure story, as sensational, thrilling and packed with arcana as Raiders of the Lost Ark or The Count of Monte Cristo." The Washington Post Book World
"As brilliant and quirky as The Name of the Rose, as mischievous and wide-ranging. A virtuoso performance." The San Francisco Chronicle
"[This novel] is several books wrapped up in one, some more successful than others....Although scholarship is supposed to be Eco's forte, the erudite sections of [the novel] are perhaps [its] weakest elements....[But] interest invariably picks up when the novel returns to Belbo's personal experiences." The Atlantic Monthly
Three clever book editors, inspired by an extraordinary fable they heard years befoe, decide to have a little fun. Randomly feeding esoteric bits of knowledge into an incredible computer capable of inventing connections between all their entires, they think they are creating a long lazy game until the game starts taking over.
Here is an incredible journey of thought and history, memory and fantasy, a tour de force as enthralling as anything Umberto Eco or indeed anyone has ever devised.