Monday, October 27, 2003

lies well told

If there is any book so simply must read (and you must make time for), it's Baudolino by Umberto Eco.

Set around a thousand years ago, it is at once a travelogue, catalogue of heresies, history both true and false, a treatise on love, friendship, loyalty and dreams, while deftly describing the best and worst of human (and monstrous) nature. Somewhere in the book are a locked-room mystery, discussions on the impossiblity of the vacuum, cities birthed (but more often destroyed), the seven (or so) heads of John the Baptist, satyrs-that-are-not-seen, and the mysterious Kingdom of Prester John.

And the grasal, of course.

I don't know if my intelligence has risen a bit (or if Eco has become less erudite), but I found myself entirely immersed and comprehending the novel (a far cry from my trauma with the pendulum novel).

I wish I had bought it the first time I saw in, in hardback. Still, better late than never.


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