Synopses & Reviews
Nineteenth-century Europeand#8212;from Turin to Prague to Parisand#8212;abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. 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. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The 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 the worldand#8217;s most infamous document? and#160; Umberto Eco takes his readers on a remarkable journey through the underbelly of world-shattering events. Here is Eco at his most exciting, a book immediately hailed as a masterpiece.
"After the somewhat heavy-handed Foucault's Pendulum (1989), Eco has returned to the sort of erudite humor, suspense, stimulating philosophy, and cunning wordplay that made The Name of the Rose (1983) so popular. And, once again, translator William Weaver has done a superb job." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Eco, an Italian philosopher and best-selling novelist, is a great polymathic fabulist in the tradition of Swift, Voltaire, Joyce, and Borges....The Island of the Day Before is an ingenious tale...a world of metaphors and paradoxes created by an entertaining scholar." James Dudley, Library Journal
"Like Joyce, Eco does not hesitate to push the novel to new limits." Patrick H. Samway
After a violent storm in the South Pacific (the year is 1643), Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing. In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of an international race to establish the Punto Fijo of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood.
In 1643 a castaway comes upon an abandoned ship anchored off a desert island. As he explores the vessels mysterious cargo, he revisits the events of his tempestuous youth-and limns his eras obsession with science and navigation. Translated by William Weaver. A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book
The story of a secret agent who weaves plots, conspiracies, intrigues and attacks, and helps determine the historical and political fate of the Continent.
About the Author
UMBERTO ECO was born in Alessandria, Italy in 1932. He is the author of five novels and numerous collections of essays. A semiotician, philosopher, medievalist, and for many years a professor at the University of Bologna, Eco is now president of the Scuola Superiore di Studi Umanistici there. He has received Italyand#39;s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, has been named a Chevalier de la Landeacute;gion dand#39;Honneur by the French government, and is an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Milan.