- Unknown Binding
- Publisher: Harcourt; Second Printing edition (1988)
- ASIN: B002AUY9F0
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (548 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,700,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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
This erudite but long-winded tome about a"Plan" that was directed toward taking over the world went on forever with little or no action. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Martin J. McShea
Very academic; do not ready it if you don't have a basic knowledge of the Templars' legend.Published 1 month ago by Oscar Manuel Castanedo
this book is not for everybody. it is complicated, surrealistic, and may bore many people. However, if you are a determined, intellectually-inclined and dogged reader, you may find... Read morePublished 1 month ago by David Binger
The book is certainly one of the worst I have read ( I did finish it). It is definitely an example of awful pseudo intellectualism.Published 1 month ago by Al from Boston
Really dense and just not a good translation. Would benefit greatly from an index. Will you send down some great wikipedia thread.Published 1 month ago by Dean The Dream
It is not an easy reading; perhaps one should spend some time to get familiar with many historical figures and secret societies; otherwise it woud be impossible to comprehend the... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This book is a challenge. A challenge is not a bad thing, but in this case when I finished I was more relieved than delighted. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bob Anderson
Well, what can one say? The best parts of this novel for me involve action and movement. Unfortunately, most of the book is spent in long impossible conversations in which every... Read morePublished 2 months ago by JTR