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Foucault's Pendulum Paperback – March 5, 2007
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
He is the author of several bestselling novels, The Name of The Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of The Day Before, and Baudolino. His collections of essays include Five Moral Pieces, Kant and the Platypus, Serendipities, Travels In Hyperreality, and How To Travel With a Salmon and Other Essays.
He has also written academic texts and children's books.
Photography (c) Università Reggio Calabria
Top Customer Reviews
A book of this nature needs an expert translator. A good translator will translate what is there. An expert would have tried to reword the conversation to find two similarly confusing words in English such as 'knew' and 'blew'. "I knew of a trumpet but I never blew it" for example. The plodding unnaturally pompous prose style is a result of this type of direct translation. Italian prose is full of sub-clauses and spliced lines: English written this way sounds stilted and disjointed. So you end up with sentences such as "I, in the morning, after waking from a dream, went, with great haste, to the bar, which is near my house, for a, as always, coffee." [that's not in the book by the way :)]
To sum up, the book could do with a retranslation.
I guess I understand why so many are so full of vitriolic loathing when they discuss "Foucault's Pendulum". It isn't really a thriller, nor a consipiracy theory text, nor a philosophical treatise, nor an easy read. If you really want some brain candy (and I certainly do a lot of the time--PG Wodehouse forever!) this is not the book to pick up.
It was, however, probably the first work of fiction I had ever read that made me think about the nature of reality... what is real, what is knowledge, how do we know and who decides. I loved the historical mind games, the twisted conspiracy plots, the flights of fanciful speculation. I found the language dense, yes, but dense like the best kind of rich, dark, brownies--intense and flavorful. For me the climax of the novel had nothing to do with the plot, it was the moment when I went "ah-ha!" and actually "Got It!" An intellectual pleasure in the extreme, but a genuine joy nonetheless.
Twelve years later I own three copies of this book (my tattered original paperback, a hardcover I've read once because I felt this was a book I wanted to own in hardcover, and another paperback for lending out). I've read "Foucault" three additional times... it would be more, but, as I said, it's a tough read and you have to be in the right mood.Read more ›
The book is really worth for its money and it will keep you awake for a few days. You will refuse to close the book until you reach the end. In the beginning you will not understand a thing, what is going on, who are these people, what are they trying to do. Never mind, just carry on. Eco meant the book to be this way! Enjoy the book and if you dont understand some historical remarks never mind, just continue, dont stumble upon the little details and the dates, get the big picture. You will have plenty of time to think about it after you have finished but the main thing is to go entirely through the book and finish it. It will leave you with your mouth open. Dont let yourself think :I cant understand this, I am an idiot therefore I will not continue. No, just finish the book , at the end you will be rewarded as is the case with all of Ecos books. After all there is no such thing as "I dont understand the book", there is only "I didnt let myself free enough to understand it".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Whoah. This book tried to re-arrange my brain. It is full of all the paranoid magical conspiracy theories of the last millennium of Western history. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. W. Kennedy
A spaghetti of timelines sprinkled with an almost impenetrable density of references and symbolism, this book is an invigorating mental exercise though with a bit of an off-pace... Read morePublished 2 months ago by S. Boyd
I enjoyed this novel so much from page 1 till the end! A lot of information in the occult worth looking further into. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Kindle Customer
This is a tough one to read for many, including myself. Eco often uses words that the average reader will not know. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ulrich Bischoff
I first read this book years ago in college. I remember mostly just that I thought it was one of the best books I'd ever read. Read morePublished 4 months ago by P. D. HENDERSON
The author appears to be showing off all his knowledge of the Middle Ages; not all of it is so interesting to the average reader as I had to skip many pages to get back to the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by claudette grubelich
Not an easy book but again Umberto Eco shows how brilliant he is! Bravo!!Published 4 months ago by Veronika Woldmar