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Foucault's Pendulum
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Foucault's Pendulum (1988)

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12,352None199 (3.86)375
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Title:Foucault's Pendulum
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Tags:Templar, grail, publishing, mystery, Masons, gnosticism, conspiracy theory

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Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco (1988)

1001 (60) 1001 books (59) 20th century (151) conspiracy (297) conspiracy theory (91) eco (75) fantasy (51) fiction (1,963) historical fiction (173) history (97) Italian (267) Italian literature (257) Italy (239) Knights Templar (252) literature (277) mystery (338) novel (352) occult (177) own (53) philosophy (74) read (118) religion (101) Roman (111) secret societies (99) semiotics (53) thriller (98) to-read (141) translation (91) Umberto Eco (65) unread (124)
  1. 200
    The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (hankreardon, Sensei-CRS)
  2. 163
    The Dumas Club by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (P_S_Patrick, stephaniefeldman, Sensei-CRS)
    P_S_Patrick: These books have a fair bit in common. They are both intense and thrilling mysteries, involving the occult, conspiracies, books, murders, and are both set mainly in Europe. What The Club Dumas does, Foucalt's Pendulum does better, but that is just my opinion. I have known people give up on reading Foucalt's Pendulum because of its length, its abundance of complicated detail, and its demands on the readers concentration, but any serious reader who enjoyed the Club Dumas should enjoy this more. Anyone who enjoyed Eco's story, likewise, should enjoy the other book, but don't expect it to be quite as good, though I don't think there is a surplus of work in this genre that can compare, with this being more or less the next best thing that I have read.… (more)
  3. 63
    Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson (ateolf)
  4. 74
    The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea (craigim, ateolf)
  5. 53
    Gravity's Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon (billmcn)
    billmcn: The best paranoid alternate history novel ever written. Also the best novel ever written.
  6. 42
    The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (bookmomo)
    bookmomo: Two brilliant conspiracy stories, with heaps of secrets and scret societies, wicked or plain mad characters. Both well written.
  7. 11
    Everything Is Under Control: Conspiracies, Cults, and Cover-ups by Robert Anton Wilson (ehines)
    ehines: A good primer on a lot of the conspiracy theories that drive this book.
  8. 00
    The Damned by Joris-Karl Huysmans (Torikton)
  9. 22
    Anathem by Neal Stephenson (freddlerabbit)
    freddlerabbit: See the Name of the Rose recommendation above - I find Foucault's even more analogous here because Name of the Rose is a bit more plot-driven than the other two, where Foucault's and Anathem both have as much as 40% pure theory-disguised-as-dialogue.… (more)
  10. 22
    The Flanders Panel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte (Patangel)
  11. 11
    Flicker by Theodore Roszak (ari.joki)
    ari.joki: Secret societies, conspiracies, mass media...
  12. 22
    The Book of God and Physics: A Novel of the Voynich Mystery by Enrique Joven (bertilak)
  13. 23
    Lempriere's Dictionary by Lawrence Norfolk (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: These two books have a fair bit in common. Both are dense, demanding, historical, and are thick with intrigue, conspiracy, and foul play. Thrilling stuff.
  14. 14
    The Fire by Katherine Neville (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: Numerology, arcane science, secret societies and foreign languages bind these two works together.
  15. 14
    The Moses Legacy by Adam Palmer (Farringdon, hankreardon)
    Farringdon: Umberto Eco is essentially an up-market Dan Brown
  16. 16
    The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail by Michael Baigent (Moomin_Mama)
    Moomin_Mama: One is a cracking, very readable conspiracy theory. The other is an intelligent thriller which makes fun of such books, their writers and their readers. Both are great fun
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» See also 375 mentions

English (152)  Dutch (5)  Spanish (5)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  French (1)  Czech (1)  Portuguese (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (170)
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Interesting and convoluted at the same time. I'm SURE I missed much of the deeper symbolism in this novel. It seems to be about everything and nothing all at once. It was a difficult read for me - but I feel gratification in having finished it. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
I wasn't really sure what to expect. I was not encouraged by a long opening epigraph in Hebrew, which is simply a blatant announcement by an author that he has a certain kind of contempt for his readers. Uninspired by cabbalistic symbols, I found my heart sinking at the verbose and fact-heavy introduction of the Templars (along with their sidekicks, the Masons and the Rosicrucians), and sank even further when we got dragged out to Brazil for some candomble (which turned out to be a complete irrelevance). And I've read enough alchemical and Gnostic texts to know how thoroughly tedious that kind of thing can get. Fantasy occultism and esotericism can be entertaining, but the real thing is deadly dull, and this book is almost documentary in its representation of the crushingly boring crank. Nothing happens in this book for the first 150 pages, and it's another 100 pages before anything else happens, other than a lot of semi-Joycean drivel in need of a ruthless editor. The book is far too dense and overpowering to be effectively lifted by the occasional witty remark or pleasing intellectual joke. The journey is too much work for the eventual result, and even the journeying itself is not reward enough for the making of it. I think Eco is taking the piss, not only in mocking conspiracy theories, but in simultaneously taking his readers for a ride. It might have made a good novella.

MB 18-ii-2014 ( )
2 vote MyopicBookworm | Feb 18, 2014 |
Really good. I think I enjoyed it even more after reading the mindf&$k that was "The Illuminatus Trilogy" (which I really liked). ( )
  lgwapnitsky | Feb 6, 2014 |
There's not a doubt in my mind that Eco writes beautifully. I guess I wanted more story than history lessons, and I was almost halfway through and I still wasn't really sure if there was a story or not. Maybe I can try reading it later. ( )
  drrtydenimdiva | Jul 18, 2013 |


It's always nice to find little things in used books: Appears to be a quiche recipe and a pressed leaf.

Done. And unsatisfied. Three ambiguous stars that could as easily fall towards one as they could to five. Perhaps it might have been better to have read this when it first came out, the sensational topics of conspiracies and Knights Templar having been all done to death in the past 20 years. Perhaps I should have waited until I was assured of a week of uninterrupted days at a beach house at the Outer Banks of North Carolina so as to be able to lose myself in the endless dialogue. Perhaps another Eco book will cure me of my inability to say I appreciate the author. Perhaps. Or perhaps the author really is pulling one over on everybody like the unreliable narrator of this novel. ( )
  cjyurkanin | May 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 152 (next | show all)
Umberto Eco has launched a novel that is even more intricate and absorbing than his international best seller The Name of the Rose. Unlike its predecessor, Foucault's Pendulum does not restrict its range of interests to monastic, medieval arcana. This time Eco's framework is vast -- capacious enough to embrace reams of ancient, abstruse writings and a host of contemporary references or allusions...
True believers, skeptics, those waffling in between: all are in for a scarifying shock of recognition.
added by Shortride | editTime, Paul Gray (Nov 6, 1989)
 
You may call the book an intellectual triumph, if not a fictional one. No man should know so much. It is the work not of a literary man but of one who accepts the democracy of signs. .... To see what Mr. Eco is really getting at, the reader of his fiction or pseudofiction should consult his scholarly works, where observation and interpretation are not disguised as entertainment. I don't think ''Foucault's Pendulum'' is entertainment any more than was ''The Name of the Rose.'' It will appeal to readers who have a puritanical tinge - those who think they are vaguely sinning if they are having a good time with a book. To be informed, however, is holy.
 
I doubt if we will see a more exhilarating novel published this year, and you don't have to take a reviewer's word for it: can 600,000 Italians be wrong?
added by qball56k | editThe Guardian, Jonathan Coe (Oct 12, 1989)
 
U ovom delu Eko se lucidno podsmehnuo svim teorijama zavere od srednjeg veka do danas. Posle čitanja ovog romana sigurno je da će mnogi čitaoci pohrliti da obogate svoja saznanja o alhemiji, kabali i srednjovekovnim tajnim društvima. U ovom romanu Eko se lucidno podsmehnuo svim teorijama zavere od srednjeg veka do danas.
added by Sensei-CRS | editknjigainfo.com
 

» Add other authors (64 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, Umbertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexanderson, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boeke, YondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kroeber, BurkhartÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krone, PattyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Saarikoski, TuulaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Костюкович… ЕленаTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Only for you, children of doctrine and learning, have we written this work. Examine this book, ponder the meaning we have dispersed in various places and gathered again; what we have concealed in one place we have disclosed in another, that it may be understood by your wisdom.

  --Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, De occulta philosophia, 3, 65
Superstition brings bad luck.

  --Raymond Smullyan, 5000 B.C. 1.3.8
Dedication
First words
That was when I saw the Pendulum.
Quotations
I am not for one moment denying the presence in your house of alien entities; it's the most natural thing in the world, but with a little common sense it could all be explained as a poltergeist.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 015603297X, Paperback)

Bored with their work, three Milanese editors cook up "the Plan," a hoax that connects the medieval Knights Templar with other occult groups from ancient to modern times. This produces a map indicating the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled—a point located in Paris, France, at Foucault’s Pendulum. But in a fateful turn the joke becomes all too real, and when occult groups, including Satanists, get wind of the Plan, they go so far as to kill one of the editors in their quest to gain control of the earth.

Orchestrating these and other diverse characters into his multilayered semiotic adventure, Eco has created a superb cerebral entertainment.

 

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:38:01 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

Three Milan editors, who have spent much time rewriting crackpot manuscripts on the occult, decide to have a little fun. Their plan encompasses the secrets of the solar system, Satanic initiation rites, and Brazilian voodoo. A terrific joke--until people begin to disappear.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

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