Saturday, January 1, 2011

Review: Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Foucault's Pendulum

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is the first book I've finished in '11, having begun Foucault's Pendulum over a month and a dozen books ago. 

Why I picked it up:I've heard Eco's work being praised, and this particularly was referred to as "the Thinking person's Da Vinci Code". Upon reading the first few pages, I was sure they had done a disservice to Eco by referencing Dan Brown's flat plot.

Why I finished it: Partly the gorgeous language, pithy sentences, and the sense that life, the universe and everything(!) would be explained.

I struggled to read this book - I could only finish about 50-60 pages each time; there are tons of references and minutae around early Paris and the Templars, Rosicrucians etc. This makes the reading slow and hard to keep up with. I ended up feeling a bit like an iceberg: I could understand maybe 10% of what was said, the remaining 90% was obscured from my view!!

I'd still read another Eco - perhaps something more accessible.
I'd recommend this to: Folks who've read The Name of the Rose (purportedly easier), Literary Fiction readers, Conspiracy theorists!
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  1. I think I've already told you this, but if you want an accessible Eco look no further than Baudolino.

    - Udupa.

  2. Woa, this sounds well over my head. I think I'll stick to my vampires and angels :)

  3. Yes, Baudolio or the Name of the Rose are pretty accessible. Still plenty to learn!

  4. @udupa- yup, you did! Please lend :)

    @Slowest - haha, I'm on a slew of tough reads this week..

    @anachronist - will be getting one of the books soon, probably in Feb! :) Quite happy to put it off a little while I read some good old thrillers/fantasy.

  5. Dee, I'll get the book to office and ping you. Pick it up.



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