The Island of the Day Before by Umberto;Weaver, William (Trans.) Eco

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Synopsis

After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked-on a ship. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing.

As Roberto explores the different cabinets in the hold, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the Thirty Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; and the lessons given him on Reasons of State, fencing, the writing of love letters, and blasphemy.

In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitudes, the four moons of Jupiter, and the Flood.
 

About Umberto;Weaver, William (Trans.) Eco

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Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the best-selling author of numerous novels and essays. He lives in Italy.
 
Published June 5, 2006 by Mariner Books. 532 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Simultaneously, a nameless omniscient narrator summarizes the record Roberto has left behind, ruefully assessing the latter's amazed discovery that the complexity of creation proves all things possibleincluding the contrary lives led by our alternative selves.

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Publishers Weekly

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Perhaps Eco himself was aware of the novel's faults when writing it--for his narrator criticizes Roberto's tale as ``narrating so many stories at once that at a certain point it becomes difficult to pick up the thread.'' Author tour.

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Publishers Weekly

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A 17th-century nobleman is stranded upon a deserted ship in semiotician Eco's latest.

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AV Club

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Just as The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum paid attention to the fragility and constructed nature of the ordering systems within each novel's fictional world, The Island of the Day Before begins by establishing a meticulously detailed setting, substituting the Baroque world for the medi...

Mar 29 2002 | Read Full Review of The Island of the Day Before

London Review of Books

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