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Dear Amazon Readers:
The nineteenth century teemed with mysterious and horrible events: the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the notorious forgery that later inspired Hitler; the Dreyfus Case; and numerous intrigues involving the secret services of various nations, Masonic sects, Jesuit conspiracies, as well as other episodes that—were they not documented truths—would be difficult to believe.
The Prague Cemetery is a story in which all the characters except one—the main character—really existed. Even the hero’s grandfather, the author of a mysterious actual letter that triggered modern anti- Semitism, is historical.
And the hero himself, though fictional, is a personage who resembles many people we have all known, past and present. In the book, he serves as the author of diverse fabrications and plots against a backdrop of extraordinary coups de théâtre: sewers filled with corpses, ships that explode in the region of an erupting volcano, abbots stabbed to death, notaries with fake beards, hysterical female Satanists, the celebrants of black Masses, and so on.
I am expecting two kinds of readers. The first has no idea that all these things really happened, knows nothing about nineteenth-century literature, and might even have taken Dan Brown seriously. He or she should gain a certain sadistic satisfaction from what will seem a perverse invention—including the main character, whom I have tried to make the most cynical and disagreeable in all the history of literature.
The second, however, knows or senses that I am recounting things that really happened. The fact that history can be quite so devious may cause this reader’s brow to become lightly beaded with sweat. He will look anxiously behind him, switch on all the lights, and suspect that these things could happen again today. In fact, they may be happening in that very moment. And he will think, as I do: "They are among us…"--Umberto Eco
"[Eco's] latest takes that longtime thriller darling, the conspiracy theory, and turns it into something grander...Sold to 40 countries and said to be controversial; a speed-read with smarts." -- Library Journal, Pre-Pub Alert, "My Picks"
"Intriguing, hilarious...a tale by a master." -- Publishers Weekly boxed review
"He's got a humdinger in this new high-level whodunit...a perplexing, multilayered, attention-holding mystery." -- Kirkus, starred
"I find this book fascinating, perhaps the best Eco has written in years. Eco takes on conspiracy theories in the feverish political activism of nineteenth-century Europe--freemasonry, the Italian Risorgimento, the Paris Commune, and above all the forgery of the slanderous The Protocols of the Elders of Zion. What if there were a single mastermind behind all these conspiracies? It's already a bestseller in Italy, and I can't get enough of it!" ---- Huffington Post
There are very few books that I do not read to the end, this was one of them.
What Eco has produced is a novel that exploits conspiracy theories and acts of outright terrorism that are still prevalent fears today.
The problem is that while the historical facts and personages are bizarre and interesting, the main character, the linchpin, is not.
The end of the 19th century was a sinister time in southern Europe of scheming sects (Jesuits, Freemasons, devil worship, etc. Read morePublished 1 day ago by weston
I gave up at around page 100. I know I'm no genius, but I can usually follow a plot. This book left me cold. Read morePublished 6 days ago by sweety
The best part about this was the ending. I won't say that the characters and their interrelationships and the twisty turns on some of the plot aren't interesting... Read morePublished 28 days ago by Carolynn L. Parker
Unlike other books by Eco, this one seemed to just go on and on. I kept waiting for things to improve, but was disappointed by the easy o ut at the end.Published 1 month ago by cookie2
Humberto Eco, the most imaginative author of o time, has written a suspenseful and fictional story of fictional character named Simonini. His actiivies throughout th. Read morePublished 2 months ago by melvingu
Unusual "novel" in that everyone in it except the main character is a figure from history that existed and wrote many of the words attributed to them. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Scott Lyford
I liked the historic facts and the whole setup, but it becomes boring at places. I enjoyed the history lesson though!Published 2 months ago by Vértes Krisztián
Umberto Eco basically weaves a tale centered around one fictional character amid the real history of the publication and creation of a conspiratorial text that has influenced... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Timothy D. Wilder