The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
including the Author's Postscript

71%

16 Critic Reviews

Eco dances on the banks of allegory without drowning in its inane waters. As his characters wrangle over the question of whether Christ possessed property, the narrative offers chilling insight into mores that suggest those of our own time...
-LA Times

Synopsis

Umberto Eco’s first novel, an international sensation and winner of the Premio Strega and the Prix Médicis Étranger awards

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”

“Like the labyrinthine library at its heart, this brilliant novel has many cunning passages and secret chambers . . . Fascinating . . . ingenious . . . dazzling.” – Newsweek
 

About Umberto Eco

See more books from this Author
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 September 28, 1994 by Mariner Books. 594 pages
Genres: History, Religion & Spirituality, Education & Reference, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Crime. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Name of the Rose
All: 16 | Positive: 11 | Negative: 5

Kirkus

Below average
on Jun 22 1983

...his characters are stiff and two-dimensional; they talk too much, if eloquently; and Eco may ultimately be less a novelist than a preacher. Still: a rich, fascinating failure--with clever, tapestry-like appeal for a limited, historically-minded audience.

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LA Times

Good
Reviewed by Kenneth Atchity on Feb 20 2016

Eco dances on the banks of allegory without drowning in its inane waters. As his characters wrangle over the question of whether Christ possessed property, the narrative offers chilling insight into mores that suggest those of our own time...

Read Full Review of The Name of the Rose: includi... | See more reviews from LA Times

Christian Science Monitor

Above average
Reviewed by Merle Rubin on Aug 30 2009

Innocent people are being burned as witches and heretics. And the corpses of monks keep turning up when least expected. It would certainly be impossible to accuse Eco of having written a dry academic novel.

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Open Letters Monthly

Below average
Reviewed by Steve Donoghue on Aug 30 2009

Trapped inside the bloated flea market of Name of the Rose is a rock-solid murder mystery of around 200 pages.

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Brothers Judd

Good
on Dec 02 2001

...if you want to understand the real key to its success, you need look no further than the structure of the story and the name of the protagonist, William of Baskerville...it seems implausible that he did not realize all along that he was simply transplanting Sherlock Holmes to a medieval monastery.

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http://www.bookdrum.com

Good
on Jan 28 2014

The book starts off as a mystery with intrigue, but it's no accident. The book is meant to deceive the reader all the way until it's end. So if you love a good mystery, this is a book for you!

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Book Review Circle

Good
Reviewed by Ashmita Saha on Jan 28 2014

Overall the thriller is gripping and the book is a non stop read. It is interesting to note how Christianity was engulfed in a mire of contradictory theories each struggling against the other before it became the religion it is today.

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Fyrefly's Book Blog

Below average
on Mar 28 2008

If I want some (read: 400 pages of) ecclesiastical debate mixed in with my historical mystery, I’ll ask for it, thanks. Otherwise, you can keep your erudite babbling to yourself. I’m clearly in the minority here, but I don’t think it’s worth your bother unless you’ve got a masochistic streak to your reading habits.

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Shelf Love

Good
Reviewed by Teresa on Jan 19 2012

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I’m not sure it’s a book for every reader, although I do think it’s the most accessible of the three novels by Eco that I’ve read...

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Chicago Center For Literature And Photography

Excellent
Reviewed by Jason Pettus on Mar 11 2008

So let's make it clear right off the bat -- that from a pure entertainment standpoint, The Name of the Rose is one of the most delightful novels I've read in years, years. It's funny, it's smart, it's insightful, it's thrilling, it's nerdy...

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A Striped Armchair

Above average
on Jul 03 2008

...if you’re unsure about whether this is a book for you, try out the beginning. If it’s not for you, you’ll know pretty quickly, but do try to give it a fair chance. While the tone might turn you off at first, once you settle into it you might find yourself enjoying it!

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http://splendidlabyrinths.blogspot.com

Good
Reviewed by Ad Blankestijn on Jan 28 2013

What is amazing about this novel is its immense popularity – despite the many Latin citations (usually left untranslated) and the arcane discussions and long descriptions, this book sold 50 million copies worldwide – a true sign of the mastery with which Umberto Eco wrote his first novel.

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Such A Book Nerd

Below average
Reviewed by JamieP on Aug 31 2011

Having finished it, I’m a little disappointed. I wanted it to be better. Though there are definitely solid elements – Eco writes in gorgeous detail about every inch of the monastery – the whole thing drags.

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The Little Red Reviewer Blog

Good
Reviewed by Redhead on Oct 06 2010

I could easily go on and on about The Name of the Rose, so I’ll say just one more thing: read it. Make sure you get a copy with Eco’s afterword (because that’s the best part), and read it to.

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Canting Candrakirana

Above average
on Feb 01 2012

This book, beyond satisfying our intellectual need (with William’s insightful analysis), but also serves as a reminder to stay critical – not blindly believe the ‘truth’ that is shoveled down to your throat regardless of the status of the person.

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Gripping Books

Above average
Reviewed by Maria on Feb 09 2014

To sum it up, it's not a book to be undertaken lightly, but with merit in both plot and historical detail if you can bear to read that sort of thing for hundreds of pages.

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Reader Rating for The Name of the Rose
79%

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JENNA AUBREY

JENNA AUBREY 5 Sep 2013

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