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The mysterious flame of Queen Loana : an…

The mysterious flame of Queen Loana : an illustrated novel (original 2004; edition 2005)

by Umberto Eco, Geoffrey Brock

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4,480791,629 (3.33)113
When book dealer Yambo suffers amnesia, he loses all sense of who he is, but retains memories of all the books, poems, songs and movies he has ever experienced. To reclaim his identity, he retreats to the family home and rummaged through the old letters, photographs and mementos stored in the attic. Yambo's mind swirls with thoughts, and he struggles to retrieve the one memory that may be most sacred--that of Lila Saba, his first love.… (more)
Title:The mysterious flame of Queen Loana : an illustrated novel
Authors:Umberto Eco
Other authors:Geoffrey Brock
Info:Orlando : Harcourt, 2005.
Collections:Your library, printbooks, audiobooks, ebooks
Tags:english language, translated, translated from italian, fiction, printbook, owned, unread, source:thebookshop, currently reading

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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana by Umberto Eco (2004)

  1. 00
    History of Beauty by Umberto Eco (WiJiWiJi)
  2. 01
    The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall (freddlerabbit)
  3. 01
    The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett (Alixtii)
    Alixtii: Both books having writers getting meta about the nature of writing and reading as a protagonist goes through a process of reading very (and I mean very) many books. Both are written with wit and insight, although Eco's book is better.
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» See also 113 mentions

English (66)  French (5)  Italian (4)  Spanish (1)  Swedish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  German (1)  All languages (79)
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
This is, by far, the best Umberto Eco book I have ever had the opportunity to read. Furthermore, I believe that it is a hallmark of what great modern literature can do. The characters are vivid, the descriptions sublime, and the overall impact and literary value are extreme in their intensity. The main character is a conundrum himself, suffering from memory loss that leaves him to re-examine things in an entirely new light. Through that new light, without foreknowledge, he depicts things originally, creatively, and critically. The story is a roller-coaster ride and the ending is one of the best that I have ever read.

EXCELLENT book. For anyone serious about writing, literature, Eco, or storytelling-- this should be near the top of your reading list. ( )
  DanielSTJ | May 5, 2019 |
Stopped reading it just over halfway through. Disregard for his wife, overt sexual fantasies about his young secretary, all a bit of a bore. ( )
  CinnamonAndSpite | Jul 18, 2018 |
This book was absolutely outstanding, until the very end. I do not at all understand what the ending had to do with anything at all in the rest of the novel; it was quite a disappointment.

It's entirely possible, though, that I just didn't get it.

I gave it three stars as a balance between the excellent writing, and the horrible ending.

Most of the novel explores identity, via a main character with amnesia. It's a great exploration.

I listened to this as an unabridged audio book ready be George Guidall. His performance was oustanding, as always. ( )
  hopeevey | May 19, 2018 |
non mi sarebbe mai passata per il cervello l'dea di leggerlo. Poi una bella recensione mi ha stuzzicato e ho detto, mah! può darsi che...
No, non può darsi...meglio lasciare perdere. La stima e il grande affetto per il suo autore non saranno certo scalfite dalla ennesima conferma di quanto sia stato un modesto romanziere.
  icaro. | Aug 31, 2017 |
I bought this book for 25 cents at the Tara Rotary Book Sale, which is a real bargain considering it's hard-cover and filled with beautiful colour reproductions of art, comics, photographs, and other ephemera. Much like [b:The Uncommon Reader|1096390|The Uncommon Reader|Alan Bennett|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1317064291s/1096390.jpg|1792422] which I read a few weeks ago, going through this book I was particularly excited to have Eco's recommendations for what to read next. Bennett's book was far more blithe, of course, whereas Eco has his trademark deep intertextuality at play, but for me the joy of making connections between art and literature and culture is there with both of them.

There are ways in which it drags. There were definitely times where I felt that I'd heard so many stories of growing up in Fascist Italy that it was hard to care for another personalized retelling in fiction. I constantly wondered why it was only his childhood literary history he was interested in recovering, seeing as any work connected deeply with his personal life as he grew to be an adult should surely also matter. I wondered why he didn't strive to recover more of that part of his history, and felt like the only reason it didn't get covered was because it was post-Fascism and that's what Eco wanted to write about. I suppose there's an extent to which childhood is the period of development, of intensity, and the cornerstone of our eventual Self. Perhaps Yambo did level out, cease developing at the pace of youth, but I dislike the presumed stasis of adulthood. We have our habits, perhaps, but I don't think our identities are any more permanent and fixed. ( )
  likecymbeline | Apr 1, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 66 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (9 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, Umbertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brock, GeoffreyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gerritsen, RobTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kangas, HelinäTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlot, HennyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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