Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Name of the Rose: including the Author's Postscript Paperback – September 28, 1994
|New from||Used from|
"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
From the Back Cover
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon--all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night."
Translated from the Italian by William Weaver
Umberto Eco is Professor of Semiotics at Bologna University. His other works include On Literature, Baudolino, Foucault's Pendulum, The Island of the Day Before, and Travels in Hyperreality.
About the Author
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Eco, a scholar specializing in signs and symbols, depicts this world of bookish monks and warring religious factions with painstaking detail. (Alas, at times the reader might also experience pain; Eco’s lengthy philosophical and historical conversations can grow tiresome.)
The plot is driven a la Agatha Christie – someone is picking off abbey denizens, one by one – and the protagonist is courtesy of Arthur Conan Doyle – a brilliant Franciscan friar named William of Baskerville investigates the murders – but above all it’s the atmospheric sense of time and place that makes this tale so absorbing. -- grouchyeditor.com
Eco is writing on several levels: as a mystery, to be sure. Who is killing the monks at the abby and why? And why is there an apocalyptic theme to the deaths? What are the secrets being hidden by the monks, and how are they related to the crimes committed? But there is another level to the story: Brother William and his novice (Adso, the author of the story) are part of a larger theological mission regarding the nature of the Church - should it emphasize poverty? And if so, how does one reconcile this with the tremendous wealth and power the Church wields in the 14th century? (The backdrop of the story is set during the "Avignon Papacy" which resulted in two Popes claiming leadership of the Church). This conflict, in fact, may play a role in the murders; as a stand-alone issue, Eco not only shows remarkable historical accuracy, but also makes a commentary on the Church specifically and religion more generally. Yet Eco goes further still for those readers who are looking: while many of the characters and issues are drawn from history, Eco also gives a nod and wink to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in several respects - Brother William is "William of Baskerville"; the methods used by Brother William are identical to those used by Doyle's creation (deduction, inference and Occam's Razor - in fact, Occam is cited as an acquaintance of William's) - in fact, as the pair arrive at the abbey, the deductions William makes are too reminiscent to be overlooked. Further, the narrator writes as did Dr. Watson - _The Name of the Rose_ is essentially an account written by the investigator's side-kick.
Eco's brilliance is also demonstrated in the organization of the book: it opens with the same lines as Genesis ("In the beginning was the word ...") and is broken up into seven days, each day divided into the monastic measurement of time (Matins, Lauds, Prime,Terce, Sext, Nomes, Vespers and Compline). This not only reinforces the sense of authenticity of the story, but it also draws readers into the rhythms and pattern of monastic life. The details of the monastery - and especially the library around which the investigation revolves - speaks to the conflict between reason (as exemplified by Brother William) and faith (as exemplified by the monks). This is a conflict that continues to the present and is related to the other issue of wealth and Christianity that is at the heart of the internal conflict within the Church in the 1300s.
Perhaps my analysis is more than the casual reader is interested in, in which case Eco provides a top-notch mystery that is complicated, difficult to solve and rewarding in its conclusion. The only complaint I have plot-wise is the resolution: I was frustrated at the way in which Eco chose to end the mystery, if only because of my tremendous reverence for and love of the written word. That being said, the conclusion certainly does point to the value of monastic work in the Middle Ages, and the miracle that we have so many texts from the ancient world still extant.
_The Name of the Rose_ is dense and sometimes difficult to read (because of Latin, because of the historical details, and yes, because the mystery itself is a real challenge). But it is truly a masterpiece of writing - I highly recommend it.