Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

I'm a huge fan of dense books, and Foucault's Pendulum is definitely a dense book.

There are many parts of this book that I enjoyed; The historical facts are communicated to the reader in a fascinating way, the humor is very high-brow, and getting the jokes made me feel smart. I loved the characters, and enjoyed the way that they interact with each other.

That being said, I really wouldn't recommend this book. There are long sections of book that are ultimately pointless, and quite boring. In the end, the book becomes almost tedious. The middle 300 pages of the book are really nothing more than the three main characters talking to each other in their office. Granted they often have interesting, intelligent, and humorous discussions, but at the core, it's just three acedemic types sitting around goofing off and coming up with crazy theories.

This is the first book I've read by Eco, and I've heard it's not his most accessible. People have told me that The Name of the Rose is a masterwork, and I can see the brilliance in Eco's storytelling, but this book just didn't do it for me, and it's not something I would recommend to anyone who wasn't already fascinated by the templars and all the conspiracy theories that surround them.

Perhaps I would feel different if this book hadn't taken me 4 months to read. I just had trouble picking it up, and in my opinion if I'm not excited pick up a book and read it, it's not worth reading again, or recommending.

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