Author: Umberto Eco
Subject: (Menu): Fiction/ Novel
Reviewer’s Name: Angel Garralda
THEi Library Call No.: PQ4865.C6 N6513 1998
amazon link to book review
The story occurs in the 14th century in Italy. A series of mysterious murders are taking place in an abbey just before an important church meeting to settle the question whether it is right for the church people to own property and be wealthy.
Among the people invited to the meeting is former inquisitor William of Baskerville, a very intelligent scholar employed by the Emperor. William and his assistant, Adso (the narrator of the story) are assigned to investigate the murders. All the clues point to a dark secret kept in the abbey’s famous ancient library. What kind of terrible secret can this library hold? As the mystery unfolds, Eco transports us to the world of Medieval Europe and we learn how people lived at the time.
As you would expect from an accomplished scholar in the area of semiotics, Umberto Eco’s novel is a prodigy of communication and erudition. This is a multi-layered novel that can entertain a great variety of readers. The crime story can be considered the main plot and it is intended for a general reader.
Then you have all the subplots and fine details in the story that transport you to Medieval Europe in a way that has not been done before. If you are interested in how Europeans lived during the Middle Ages, how they thought, how they saw life… This book is a very entertaining way of learning about it.
Rating of the book: ***** (5*)