Thursday, 27 December 2007

Umberto Eco

Baudolino is finished, and it reminded me of how good an author Umberto Eco really is. The story is great, but what really makes the book good are all the religious and philosophical discussions he inserts into the story. When you read a book about Umberto Eco, it's not just the story that is important. You learn something as well.

The book begins in 1204, during the sack of Constantinople. A historian, Niketas, is saved from the invaders byt Baudolino, who preceeds to tell the story of his life. Baudolina was once a simple farmer, but at age 12 or 13 he was adopted by the holy roman emperor frederick. As the emperor's son, he becomes obsessed with finding the kingdom of Prestor John, a mythical Christian kingdom which lies in the far east. I don't wanna reveal too much of the story though, but it is great. During the whole book, Umberto Eco inserts in his usual style long discussions, discussions about the vacuum, the shape of the world and different christian views that prevailed during that age. Of course, the wholy grail, or the grasal, also make an apperance, with many discussions about the true nature of the grail. A highly recommended book. Umberto Eco's style of writing is so moving, the language is beautiful and the dialoges and discussions are insightful. If you are only gonna read 100 books next year, don't start with this, because you will run the risk of the rest of the books being disappointment after disappointment.

After reading Baudolino, and remembering how much I like Umberto Eco, I decided to read all the rest of his books as well, and as fast as possible. I have now started on Foucault's Pendulum, reading over 300 pages today. This book, over 600 pages, contains a story that could probably be told in about 100 pages. The rest of the pages are filled with discussions about hermeticism, alchemy, secret societies, the knights Templar, rosicrucians, magic, philosophy and so much more. If you read the DaVinci Code, and liked it, you should read this book, as it makes the DaVinci Code look like an animated Children's book in comparison. It could also be read as a very educational book, as it writes page after page about different religions, sects and secret societies in the world. As usual, Umberto Eco's writing is awesome, the language is beautiful (the translator has done a great job as well), and the pages keep flowing.

So, over the next week or so, I will immerse myself in Umberto Eco's books. I am really looking forward to it. Until next time


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