“The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco

I fail to understand as to how this book could be classified as literature. I would classify it as a tad better than any book by Dan Brown, but Dan Brown would be more engaging and less verbose. Umberto Eco rambles on explaining unnecessary details about theology & church. One can read the first 80 pages and last 80 and not miss much, unless theology is of immense interest to you. Also the translation makes the language also incomprehensible. 

As per me, a complete waste of time!!


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6 comments on ““The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco
  1. Wriju says:

    You might hate it, unless you are a history buff. The bible and its interpretations is what most of theology seems to concentrate on and cheap, titillating works of Dan Browne feed on.

    The social and political aspects of Christianity – how much do we know except for say Shakespeare’s plays (Henry II) or the crusades popularized by Richard the Lionheart or a chronological account of european monarchies. A part of history that I confess I wasn’t very aware of. Didn’t know of the evolution of christianity, the power struggles, the intrigues of the dark ages.

    • Richa Kedia says:

      Hey I am a history buff, i do not like theology so much but i do like reading about religions and the course they have followed. Hence I am very well versed with Chistianity- the power struggles and the Crusades. I had actually been very keen on Judaism and had read up a lot of literature on that and since Christianity was an off-shoor, ended up discovering that as well.

      But coming back to this book, have you read it? The book was more about the history and design of the particular abbey in question, rather than Christianity overall and the plot of the mystery was hardly engaging. The book was wanting both from information and plot perspective. Dan Brown at least had an interesting plot and it talked about Christianity enough to intrigue someone to google and find out more about the same. Thus i think Dan Brown was more successful in engaging a larger audience with a better plot. I’m not a fan of Dan Brown’s writings but this book for me did not live upto those standards as well.

  2. Wriju says:

    Yep read the book and I liked two things about it. Firstly, I liked how the plot unfolded like a veritable detective novel. Secondly, I liked the context, the political machinations, the diplomacy, deceit and all that history of evolution of church and state. I think we differ on both accounts!

    I have never been a big fan of Dan Brown, although there is no doubt of his popular appeal. I am not sure if Umberto Eco was seeking mass appeal when he wrote it.

    Remember meeting a british gentleman on a flight when I was reading the book, a polyglot who was now based in Italy. He had read the book in Italian years ago as part of his course work while learning Italian – I can imagine that being quite a challenge, that is one fat book and even the English translation can take a while to finish!

    The book actually reminded me of another I had read a few years back – my name is red. That had a murder mystery and quite a bit of cultural / historic perspective.

    • Richa Kedia says:

      Yes of course Umberto Eco was not aiming at mass appeal but somehow i wouldn’t still classify as good writing or literature. Perhaps it might be a better read in Italian and again the good part has been lost in translation into English! But language certainly isn’t my strong point, so I’m doomed to read books in English only.

      Orhan Pamuk, as per me, is a brilliant Non-Fiction writer but he messes up fiction. I had first read Istanbul and loved it. But then attempted Snow and Black Book but left both the books in between. He also just rambles on about unnecessary details and I believe I have less patience when I am reading after office.

      In fiction, something has to grip your attention- the plot, characters or the writing and preferable all. The plot for these Existential authors is too slow moving and of course no character has any weightage and sadly when you are reading translated works, good writing is mostly lost in translation.

  3. Muskadel says:

    Good to know because after the movie I was kind of interest in reading it but for some reason I never really felt the urge to actually start reading it. Thank you for giving me a reason not to read it 😉

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