Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The Name of the Rose (1980)

by Umberto Eco

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
13,041196175 (4.2)1 / 740
Title:The Name of the Rose
Authors:Umberto Eco
Info:Publisher Unknown
Collections:Your library, Books
Tags:Book, NoISBN2

Work details

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1980)

  1. 183
    Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (ehines, hankreardon, Sensei-CRS)
    ehines: Surprised not to find this way up on Name of the Rose's rec list. FP is a much more recent period piece--the period is marked by 1968 as Name of the Rose's is marked by the emergence of the Franciscans. Well done look at the conspiratorial mindset.
  2. 81
    Dissolution by C. J. Sansom (Caramellunacy)
    Caramellunacy: Both feature ghastly murders in a monastery in a time of religious conflict and turmoil. The Name of the Rose (medieval Italy) is more philosophical, while Dissolution (Tudor England) is more of a straight-forward historical mystery. Both offer interesting insights into the political and religious issues of the times.… (more)
  3. 71
    Baudolino by Umberto Eco (aces)
  4. 72
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (Booksloth)
  5. 83
    The Key to The Name of the Rose: Including Translations of All Non-English Passages by Adele J. Haft (Taphophile13)
  6. 61
    The Quincunx by Charles Palliser (Booksloth)
  7. 62
    The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (mrcmrc)
  8. 64
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (girlunderglass)
    girlunderglass: Two words: mystery + learned men (in The Name of the Rose, scholars of ecclesiastical books, in TSH of ancient Greek books)
  9. 44
    My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk (adithyajones, IamAleem)
    adithyajones: Both of them are historical mystery fiction but both are not plain vanilla whodunits rather serious books which looks at the life at that time in minute detail
  10. 22
    Doctor Mirabilis by James Blish (bertilak)
    bertilak: Both books have subplots about the controversial teachings of Joachim of Fiore.
  11. 11
    The Athenian Murders by José Carlos Somoza (Booksloth)
  12. 11
    Zwischen Utopie und Wirklichkeit: Konstruierte Sprachen für die globalisierte Welt by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (gangleri)
  13. 11
    Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
  14. 11
    A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor (Laura400)
    Laura400: A brief book that relates this 20th Century author's travels to four monasteries, including extended stays in two French Benedictine monasteries. It is not a mystery or a book like "The Name of The Rose." But it is a nice meditation on a way of life that appears nearly unchanged over the centuries.… (more)
  15. 11
    Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (Medellia)
  16. 11
    Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell (KayCliff)
  17. 22
    Ex-Libris by Ross King (roby72)
  18. 12
    The Deptford Trilogy by Robertson Davies (ehines)
    ehines: These are very different books in some ways--Davies is much more of a character man than Eco, for instance. But for both of them, dealing with the issues coming out of 1968 loom large, and both of them have a lot of fun dealing with them.
  19. 01
    The Waning of the Middle Ages by Johan Huizinga (posquacchera)
  20. 01
    Sword & Citadel: The Second Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)

(see all 24 recommendations)

1980s (2)

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (154)  Italian (11)  Spanish (10)  German (5)  Dutch (4)  French (4)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (196)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
impressive book. Eco weaves a tale of murder at a medieval abbey in Italy. but it’s not so simple as that.

Eco convenes not only a murder mystery and theological congress at the abbey but also a kind of epistemological terrarium wherein ideas about knowledge, its power and use, existence, social control, sin, sexality, and the human condition of putting ourselves into contortions based on those ideas.

the characters are rich and even with the POV being Adso’s, they become people to care about in a strangely distant way. perhaps it’s Adso’s descriptions and musings about them that give us reason to do so. the plot is engaging, the glimpse into the life of a medieval abbey is fascinating and believable, the theological debate is also intriguing but often runs amok. Eco, i think, likes to argue with himself about such things on the page, not quite showing off. his knowledge of these matters is truly astounding but he seems like a man muttering to himself in a secluded office filled with papers and books while he bangs away at some important treatise on a new philosophical hypothesis. some of those passages become overly tedious and superfluous but Eco deftly pulls us back to the regular course of things, relieving us of the long-winded pontifications of long-dead monks and friars.

the book is also unrepentant in its use of Latin and other non-English phrases without translation. yes, the publisher could have provided some kind of translation appendix or footnotes right on the page containing English translations, but i actually liked having to stretch my rusty Latin joints and do a bit of research where the other languages were concerned. still, for the more casual reader, it would seem merely courteous to translate these passages.

this is one of those epic tales that occurs within a very short amount of time, like all the universe in a grain of sand. it’s deep and yet quickly over- over too soon. i wanted to know much, much more about William of Baskerville and Adso. Eco could easily have written a whole series of books with him/them. i’m fairly certain that Brother Cadfael, William, and Mr. Holmes are related somehow. the events at the abbey convey so much about the world at large during that time period but also about our own time -the tale is universal and allegorical, applying to the broader, more fundamental shared human nature that isn’t stuck in a particular time but appears wherever and whenever humans live out their lives. ( )
1 vote keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
I read this book ONLY because it was selected by book club, but I was one of the many who voted for this to be selected for this year.... That means one should be careful what they wish for. The ONLY reason I was able to complete this book is because I listened to the audio version rather than read. That means one should know oneself and how oneself should best proceed.

I do not know if I would recommend this book to another. Eco speak very persuasively -- I understood every word spoken/read, but in the end I can not recite or reiterate in my own words what I have just agreed to.
( )
  olongbourn | Mar 1, 2015 |
It is wishful thinking on my part that my review would capture, firstly, and then later, the mood of my bewilderment and disappointment respectively. The Name Of The Rose is an ode to ignorance. As the saying goes, never attribute to malice what can be attributed to ignorance. This medieval tale doesn't feel like a contemporary book, which is the aim of most historical fictions.

For much of the beginning, politics and theology dominate the proceedings. As this story is a mystery at its heart, its disheartening to report that the best deducting by our heroic detective is carried out right when he and his Watson of a chronicler are setting foot in the abbey. This place is where multiple murders are committed. I zeroed in on the most likely culpable person. I thought, wrongly, that the book would contain red herrings. If the latter were there, they never left the abbey's kitchen. Twists, as we understand it in modern vernacular, is sharply lacking here. There is no evidence of brilliance from our detective duo. Indeed, the bumbling clumsiness, physical even, serves the plot to achieve an actual and symbolic destruction of a repository that has served God and no one else.

The point of this book is left open to interpretation. I like to consider the setting of the time and lieu crucial to the underpinnings of what's a simple story at its heart. The key symbol here is the library. It's ironic that the older it gets, the more the rare, handwritten and hand drawn books appreciate in value. At the same time, the content of those books would decrease in accuracy. Relentlessly so. Seen from our eyes, the cherished knowledge of the Dark Ages is nothing but ravings and gibberish. There is also no pity for the girl that Adso sleeps with. Both he and us will never know her name, only her fate. She will be burned at the stake. I know the title of the book doesn't refer to the peasant girl as the Rose. But in that book, she is the only one who comes closest to clearing the meaning of the title. ( )
  Jiraiya | Jan 23, 2015 |
A playfully intellectual philosophy-discourse-masked-as-mystery spanned over seven days in an apt and necessary setting of a remote Benedictine monastery, the novel is a masterclass of literary and rhetoric devices.

If you came upon this book expecting a typical modern-literature-style mystery, be prepared to be severely disappointed but hopefully won over by meandering-but-interesting digressions on poverty, property, knowledge, medieval medicine, architecture, church politics, whether Jesus laughed, etc. The beginning of the book hints at this layered complexity: the novel itself claims to be a translation of a work written by a monk, Adso of Melk, near the end of his life recounting the seven days that happened while he was a novice - basically three layers of author-ity.

Speaking of wordplay, it is a joy to read this book. Antimetaboles abound, "united in their variety and varied in their unity" (pg 42 and many more!), especially in lists which seemed to have made several other readers listless. However, I have to agree with Adso when he stops himself from continuing a list, "The list could surely go on, and there is nothing more wonderful than a list, instrument of wondrous hypotyposis." which has to be the best word/description of the lists' purpose/defense of the lists' presence.

Nevertheless, my favourite presence is William's. Some might say that he is unrealistic, that a man so learned and accepting of technology - that is, 14th century technology and whatever they could have thought of, a flying machine, for instance - betrays his root as a fictional character of modern invention. I choose to think that of course there must have been someone like this back in the day, otherwise how could we have progressed to now?

My favourite characterisation of this picture of calm and wise William is when he is precisely not that, the less-than-one-handful of times when he is described as embarrassed or humiliated (the best one is where he delved into a monologue of self-pity which insulted Adso and himself as "a pair of clowns... [who] would be a great success at fairs, and that was what we should do instead of trying to solve mysteries"). Or perhaps just every instance when a foolish or bumbling Adso seeks his approval or comfort and he either physically reproaches him or delivers a sassy aside or name-calling insult. For example, much later after Adso had sex with the peasant girl, William excuses their on-going investigation's underhanded method of gathering information with a, ""may God forgive us this deception, since He forgives so many other thing," he said, looking at me slyly.". His antagonistic repartee with Bernard Gui was also a thing to behold.

Of course, William's superb ability to be a sitcom character would be nothing in the book if he did not have some actual deductive and knowledgeable capabilities to back it up, which he has in spades. Number theory/cryptography, logic, rhetoric, medicine, languages, etc, are just some of this polymath's repertoire.

Often, I pick on perceived deficiencies in a book just to avoid giving a five-star review. (The unfavourable depiction of women - with generalisations of weak or scheming - that is unnecessary for or jarring in the plot is a favourite pet peeve of mine, especially when the male characters far outnumber the female ones often for no reason. Yet, in a story set in a monastery in the 14th century, the sole physical woman - not a saint who is basically a lust-inducing tool for some monks -, did not set off alarm bells for me. Rather, her role made complete sense thematically.) However, in this book full of puzzle-solving, love of language - there is actually a name for Salvatore's speech pattern: soraismus! -, a labyrinth library described in detail - not to mention a floorplan of said library within the book as well as the floorplan of the detailed monastery at the beginning -, learned debates and philosophising - including an intellectual discussion about unicorns!, great characterisation - the underlying politics, jealousy, back-stabbing, gossiping between the monks reminds me of the Stone Mountain episode of 30 Rock where Jack insists that country people are just better people and Liz disagrees that no, nobody is better, everybody is the worst -, I have happily failed in my nitpicking mission. ( )
  kitzyl | Nov 23, 2014 |
საინტერესო მაგრამ გაწელილი. ეკლესიის შიგნით რაც ხდ​ება იმას ნათლად აჩვენებს​ ( )
  buqu | Nov 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
The Name of the Rose is a monumental exercise in mystification by a fun-loving scholar.
added by Shortride | editTime, Patricia Blake (Jun 13, 1983)
One may find some of the digressions a touch self-indulgent... yet be carried along by Mr. Eco's knowledge and narrative skills. And if at the end the solution strikes the reader as more edifying than plausible, he has already received ample compensation from a richly stocked and eminently civilized intelligence.

» Add other authors (119 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, Umbertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexanderson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Čale, MoranaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buffa, AiraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Frýbort, ZdenìkTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Middelthon, CarstenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schifano, Jean-NoëlTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tuin, JennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Velthoven, Th. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlot, HennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Voogd, Pietha deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Костюкович… Е.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means.
There are magic moments, involving great physical fatigue and intense motor excitement, that produce visions of people known in the past. As I learned later from the delightful little book of the Abbé de Bucquoy, there are also visions of books as yet unwritten.
not infrequently, books speak of books: it is as if they spoke among themselves.
I have seen many other fragments of the cross in other churches. If all were genuine, our Lord’s torment could not have been on a couple of planks nailed together, but on an entire forest.
In my country [Austria], when you joke you say something and then you laugh very noisily so everyone shares in your joke. William [a Briton] laughed only when he said serious things, and remained very serious when he was presumably joking.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
This is a mystery wherein several deaths, presumed to be murders, are investigated by a former inquisitor, Brother William, at the request of the Abbot who wishes, for political reasons, to resolve the deaths and their attendant scandals before the arrival of a Papal delegation.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0156001314, Paperback)

“A brilliantly conceived adventure into another time” (San Francisco Chronicle) by critically acclaimed author Umberto Eco.


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 to the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, and the empirical insights of Roger Bacon to find the killer. 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”) armed with a wry sense of humor and a ferocious curiosity.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:31 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

Book Description: A spectacular best seller and now a classic, The Name of the Rose catapulted Umberto Eco, an Italian professor of semiotics turned novelist, to international prominence. An erudite murder mystery set in a fourteenth-century monastery, it is not only a gripping story but also a brilliant exploration of medieval philosophy, history, theology, and logic. In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate a wealthy Italian abbey whose monks are suspected of heresy. When his mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths patterned on the book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective, following the trail of a conspiracy that brings him face-to-face with the abbey's labyrinthine secrets, the subversive effects of laughter, and the medieval Inquisition. Caught in a power struggle between the emperor he serves and the pope who rules the Church, Brother William comes to see that what is at stake is larger than any mere political dispute-that his investigation is being blocked by those who fear imagination, curiosity, and the power of ideas. The Name of the Rose offers the reader not only an ingeniously constructed mystery-complete with secret symbols and coded manuscripts-but also an unparalleled portrait of the medieval world on the brink of profound transformation.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (4.2)
0.5 5
1 34
1.5 11
2 86
2.5 23
3 334
3.5 119
4 1088
4.5 226
5 1263


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 96,603,787 books! | Top bar: Always visible