Customer Review

465 of 524 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ADVICE FOR THE READERS THAT GET INTIMIDATED BY THE BOOK, July 29, 2000
This review is from: Foucault's Pendulum (Mass Market Paperback)
This book has it all! Mystery, thriller, suspense, world history, masons, world conspiracy, voodoo, magic, computers trying to reproduce the true name of God, jewish mysticism , druids of the forests, underground tunels that connect strategic points of the planet, publishers and writers, knights of the temple, action all around the world through the past 2 milenia. YOU NAME IT. Centuries of conspiracy and battle for the domination of the world , unspeakable secrets passed upon generation to generation from a few chosen ones, build up until the last climactic pages of the book.
ADVICE:
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".
Eco writes his books this way, they are only meant for the strong of spirit, people with perseverance that are willing to strugle in order to reach the ultimate truth that only the very few have mastered. His novels are deliberately cryptic but only to the point that they discourage the faint of hurt. For the few strong men that are willing to engage into the battle, all the mysteries and the hypes reveil themselfs at the end,like the petals of a rose in the spring. This is the REWARD, something central on Eco's novels.
IN ORDER TO PROVE MY POINT ECO HIMSELF ADMITTED that he included the first hundred pages of pure history in the "Name of the Rose" just to discourage the readers that would not have the strenght to continue with the book. That was the PRICE! that the readers have to pay in order to reach the monastery up in the mountains that the story takes place. His editor suggested that he should completely remove this big part of the book but Eco denied!
Going back to the PENDULUM, You should never forget that this book is a really mystery book. Not only for the heros of the book but also for you , the reader. There were times that I felt that I was involved in this world conspiracy and I may be in danger like the hero of the book. That is the trully amazing element of Eco. It gets the reader involved. And at the end you will have a completely different point of view about the world.
Eco has said that the ultimate mystery book is the one that the READER is himself the killer!
I definetely recommend the book, it will not dissapoint you.
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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 4, 2008 12:09:09 PM PDT
//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".//

This is highly similar to the kind of advice I give. Although I'm more involved with strength training and such but still I find this hilarious b/c it's so similar to my own styles.

As far as literature goes I would recommend YOU the works of Charles Williams as well as any random reader who might happen to stumble on this. His works are similar in regards to the writing format.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2008 7:27:27 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2008 7:32:33 AM PDT
Peragulator says:
*SPOILER ALERT*.
After slogging thru this drivel of a tome we find out that the writing these guys are investigating turns out to be a shopping list. The other thing "I didn't get" was the guy who would be poking his head in the office of the detective. The overabundance of absolute nothing statistics and meaningless references to events in the "story" that didn't have anything to do with anything else. No character developement. No plot. No payoff.
You want to tell me I have to work at Cormac McCarthy or Neal Stephenson, I'll give you that, but this book was a mish-mash of multisyllable words.A previous reviewer put it perfectly. "........and much of it reads like a carelessly assembled collection of encyclopedia entries".

Posted on Feb 25, 2009 2:45:20 PM PST
i have to read this bk for a class and i was a bit nervous by the first several pages so i decided to look up reviews and found yours. it really makes me want to continue reading it and makes me feel better about reading it knowing that there will be parts i dont understand and that this is ok. i appriciate your comment and hope that the bk deserves it.

Posted on Mar 15, 2009 10:34:37 AM PDT
M P A says:
Thank you! What a refreshing review. I've wanted to read Eco since I can remember, I'm not afraid to read dense and deep literature, but to be quite honest, Eco intimidates me a little bit. This will be my first Eco's book, I'll be reading it in Spanish. Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 19, 2009 2:40:36 PM PDT
No kidding. This review tries to excuse the first hundred pages, but what about the next hundred? It's incredible how insecure and gullible people are to believe that bad writing such as this can be explained away by operator error. There are other ways for authors to convey cryptic messages, and if in fact Eco has engaged in this intentional deception, what a sniveling and lowly thing to do that is beneath the talents of true writers. This review is pathetic, and it is sad that hundred have found it helpful.

Posted on Nov 1, 2009 2:20:20 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 1, 2009 2:21:11 AM PST
Mark says:
No offense, but based on your other 68 reviews, you should probably stick with reviewing video games and music CDs. I feel nothing but sympathy for those who dive into this book based on this review; completely incoherent for entire sections, encyclopaedic at turns-pedantic, 623 pages of intellectual masturbation. I received no payoff at the end, nothing-not sure what you are talking about. For that matter, the complete summation of the book, the point of it all can be found on page 200, without slogging through the next 400+ pages. I plan on writing a full review in the near future-but buyer beware!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 16, 2009 11:17:37 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2009 3:11:31 AM PST
Mark says:
Wow-didn't expect that; tough words from someone with 3 2-sentence reviews and zero responses.

The Amazon review forum is designed for frank and candid discussions about items for sale; even if it hurts feelings. My remarks may seem harsh, but based on the fact that I slogged through Foucault's 400+ page page book based on Mr. Eddie's review, which is wildly off the mark; kind of like me trying to review a medical journal.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 17, 2010 9:28:20 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Mar 17, 2010 9:30:27 PM PDT]

Posted on Sep 20, 2011 3:22:45 PM PDT
Luke D. says:
Thanks for the comment.
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