The Name of the Rose

Umberto Eco

i read a rather obscene amount of agatha christie in junior high, and i really haven’t read anything in that vein until this murder mystery, set in an italian abbey in the year 1327. this is a weightier story than most of those books i read back then — the history is amazingly researched. every detail is placed meticulously. the story takes place over just seven days, so it’s the equivalent to “real time” or even some kind of magnified time.

the postscript, written three years after the book was initially published, is probably the best part of this edition. after reading through over 500 pages of story, even though the ending is no letdown, eco’s collection of thoughts on the novel round it out perfectly. it just confirms how well constructed the work is to read his intentions and thoughts after sharing the book with an audience.

the first hundred pages or so are pretty slow, but eco says that while people suggested that the first section be edited down, he refused.

… if somebody wanted to enter the abbey and live there for seven days, he had to accept the abbey’s own pace. If he could not, he would never manage to read the whole book.