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The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) by…

The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics) (original 1980; edition 2004)

by Umberto Eco

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
18,538None90 (4.18)1 / 664
Title:The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Umberto Eco
Info:Vintage Classics (2004), Edition: New edition, Paperback, 512 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (1980)

14th century (142) 20th century (169) Christianity (99) crime (171) detective (114) fiction (2,625) Folio Society (100) historical (327) historical fiction (1,019) historical novel (148) history (218) Italian (401) Italian literature (426) Italy (514) library (118) literature (383) medieval (510) Middle Ages (409) monastery (191) monks (182) murder (168) mystery (1,172) novel (497) philosophy (108) read (216) religion (378) Roman (158) to-read (254) translation (132) unread (142)
  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. 60
    Baudolino by Umberto Eco (aces)
  4. 72
    An Instance of the Fingerpost by Iain Pears (Booksloth)
  5. 61
    The Quincunx by Charles Palliser (Booksloth)
  6. 73
    The Key to The Name of the Rose: Including Translations of All Non-English Passages by Adele J. Haft (Taphophile13)
  7. 62
    The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (mrcmrc)
  8. 31
    Ex-Libris by Ross King (roby72)
  9. 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)
  10. 21
    Doctor Mirabilis by James Blish (bertilak)
    bertilak: Both books have subplots about the controversial teachings of Joachim of Fiore.
  11. 43
    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
  12. 11
    The Athenian Murders by José Carlos Somoza (Booksloth)
  13. 11
    Shadow & Claw: The First Half of The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe (LamontCranston)
  14. 11
    Zwischen Utopie und Wirklichkeit: Konstruierte Sprachen für die globalisierte Welt by Bayerische Staatsbibliothek München (gangleri)
  15. 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)
  16. 11
    Gospel by Wilton Barnhardt (Medellia)
  17. 11
    Interred with Their Bones by Jennifer Lee Carrell (KayCliff)
  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 Autumn 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)


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English (218)  Dutch (11)  Italian (11)  Spanish (10)  German (5)  French (4)  Catalan (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Swedish (2)  Portuguese (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (267)
Showing 1-5 of 218 (next | show all)
I gave this one 3 stars because for me, even though the story line & the characters were interesting, I found the book to be bogged down in the minute details, which I know were supposed to enhance the reading, but it slowed it down for me.

Adso's memoirs of his travels with his master William, when he was a novice monk, right at first have a taste of hero worship :) William is a brother who used to be a dreaded Inquisitor, but, inexplicably QUIT when he realized that the "demons & devils" furor was causing innocent people their lives. He became a case investigator instead, solving mysteries along the way that in the 1300's people found sensational when to William, they are all easily solved using deductive reasoning, & attention to the details of the world around them.

I had wanted to read it for years, & I'm really glad I did, even though it was hard to get through! ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
I read this book after having seen the Sean Connery film of the same name which, I have to say, is right up there in my list of favourites. I can never decide whether it is best to have senn the film first, read the book first or whether it matters.

In this case it didn't really matter to my enjoyment. The film is a pretty good representation of the book and knowing the story didn't spoil it.

It's not the easiest of reads - I wonder if this is related to the translation. I found it took me a while to get used to the prose and pace but once I did the story is engaging and gripping. I generally enjoy novels of a historical nature and though I am not a history buff I do like it when the authors have clearly done their research and there is plenty of historical accuracy - such that there can be. I think Eco does know about this period and the setting and the novel is all the better for that. ( )
  twosheds | Feb 26, 2014 |
I liked The Name of The Rose. I think having a degree in Theology (or related subjects) would make me like it a lot more. Nevertheless, I still liked it.

The Name of the Rose is a 13th century murder mystery told in the voice of a monk writing about 7 days from his youth he would never forget. I don’t know that many 13th century monks, but from what I can tell, the tone and style of the book is incredibly well done. At first it is so well done that it becomes irritating, but after a few chapters it is hard to imagine the story being told in any other way. Even though the book has very few jokes, the tone leads to plenty of really funny moments as undignified moments are being told of in a “dignified” manner, as well as a handful of beautifully absurd “proper” descriptions of things that are anything but. The two main characters of the story, and at times the plot, seems to follow the tried and tested Sherlock Holmes formula, perhaps just a tad too shamelessly at times. Still, the plot is solid, engaging, and exciting.

Seeing as the story takes place in an abbey, and is told by a monk, discussions of a religious nature are to be expected. For the most part I found them rather fascinating. There are plenty of interesting thoughts on religion, morals, literature, knowledge, and different ways of handling, using, and interpreting all of these things. This will always be a balancing act. There should be enough philosophy to add to the story, but not as much as to bore the reader/detract from the flow. A few times The Name of the Rose falls of this tight-rope rather badly. There are places where, in my opinion, pages of discussion takes place that adds nothing to the story at all. I’m sure I’m probably missing something, but some places, especially where historical religious figures are discussed, the inclusion of the discussions seems a little forced. That said, on balance, I found the “philosophical stuff” to add much more than it detracted.

Overall I thought the book was good, but inconsistent. There are plenty of really fantastic moments. There are also plenty of moments that are… well, boring, but these are made up for by the good times. It’s not an easy read, it’s at times a frustrating read, but when all is said and done, I think it is a very worthwhile read. ( )
  clq | Feb 16, 2014 |
Fantastic evocation of the middle ages and the beginnings of nominalist philosophy, really caught my imagination. Murder mystery plot was slightly confusing and felt secondary to the theological/philosophical discussion. I think the point was to demonstrate how rational thinking can guard against superstition and dogma even when pointing to erroneous conclusions. Historical context put me in mind of Norman Cohn's Pursuit of the Millennium.
  stylite | Feb 7, 2014 |
Very enjoyable. William of Baskerville was a great character, a cross between Dumbledore and Sherlock Holmes. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 218 (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 (174 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
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
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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.
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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.
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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)

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