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And I don't even generally like murder mysteries...

The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco

Hearing about the death of Umberto Eco this week reminded me that I had once read this, and never reviewed it. Some time has gone by, since I read it, but I'll offer a few things my memory has still retained.


The Name of the Rose  (TNOTR) has a well-deserved reputation for being filled with a lot of Latin phrases, and obscure minutia about the Middle Ages and the Catholic church. It's not as overwritten as Gravity's Rainbow, but that's the book which comes to mind, as far as that goes... there is a companion book available to go with TNOTR, if you don't want to miss out on any of that. I glossed over most of those things, if I couldn't figure out the Latin from my rusty Italian, or if I didn't feel like going to the internet to figure out what detail about Medieval politics Eco was referring to.


So about the book:  I'm not the first person to compare it to Sherlock Holmes, because it's an obvious association. A senior, very smart crimesolver uses his acute powers of observation and logic to solve convoluted crimes, as his awed younger sidekick narrates to the audience. As I recall, I didn't feel like I was really provided sufficient information to solve the crime, but then I'm not really very good at that. Maybe you can. I was just along for the ride, and I enjoyed the ride well enough.


Note: the early 80's movie adaptation, following Sean Connery, does not end the same as the book.