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This is Not the End of the Book (2009)

by Umberto Eco, Jean-Claude Carrière, Jean-Philippe de Tonnac

Other authors: Jean-Philippe de Tonnac (Introduction)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5441235,857 (3.71)17
The book is like the spoon- once invented, it cannot be bettered' - Umberto Eco.These days it is impossible to get away from discussions of whether the book will survive the digital revolution. Blogs, tweets and newspaper articles on the subject appear daily, many of them repetitive, most of them admitting ignorance of the future. Amidst the twittering, the thoughts of Jean-Claude Carri re and Umberto Eco come as a breath of fresh air. This thought-provoking book takes the form of a conversation in which Carri re and Eco discuss everything from how to define the first book to what is happening to knowledge now that infinite amounts of information are available at the click of a mouse. En route there are delightful digressions into personal anecdote. We find out about Eco's first computer and the book Carri re is most sad to have sold. And while, as Carri re says, the one certain thing about the future is that it is unpredictable, it is clear from this conversation that, in some form or other, the book will survive.… (more)
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» See also 17 mentions

English (4)  French (4)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (12)
Showing 4 of 4
Umberto Eco and film-maker Jean-Claude Carriere, both inveterate bibliophiles and book-collectors, discuss all things bookish – the history of the book, the book as medium and artifact, contents of books (knowledge and literature) and activities and habits connected with books. Author Jean-Philippe de Tonnac acts as an unobtrusive curator, prodding on the protagonists with a few well-judged questions. At its best this book makes one feel as if one is eavesdropping on the conversation of two impossibly erudite friends. At its worst, it risks becoming an exercise in showing off – Eco in particular has a rather irritating habit of using his own works as examples. What redeems this project is the enthusiasm which the protagonists clearly have for books and reading. Polly MacLean’s translation is fluent and idiomatic. As befits the subject, the book is presented as an attractive hardback which is a pleasure to hold and behold.

( )
  JosephCamilleri | Jan 1, 2022 |
The only reason I am not rating it higher is because the two authors-- Carriere and Eco-- do have moments when they just ramble on and on. After a while, you might want to skim some parts. But that aside, the book is set up as a conversation between the two authors moderated by Jean-Philippe de Tonnac, and it is worth reading. The two have great insights on all sorts of topics related to books, and even on some topics that may barely touch on books. They talk about books, the Internet, libraries (personal and institutional), censors, antiquities, privacy, etc. They cover a lot of ground in this book. I would say it is not a book to rush through. Take your time with it. Brew yourself some coffee or tea, and read a bit here and there. Book lovers definitely owe it to themselves to read this book. Librarians will probably enjoy it as well. If nothing else, the two authors do prove convincingly that the book is not going away any time soon, no matter what any naysayer predicts. ( )
  bloodravenlib | Aug 17, 2020 |
Delightful rumination on the enduring significance of books and libraries. This conversation between a renowned novelist (Umberto Eco) and an accomplished filmmaker (Jean-Claude Carriere) will humble lesser mortals who do not carry in their heads the full and interesting histories of human intellectual achievement generally and the milestones of their art forms specifically. One wonders what it must be like to dwell in their world of deep learning and casual openness. ( )
  dono421846 | Aug 18, 2016 |
When I picked up the book, I was not sure what to expect exactly. There is a lot that can be said about the books and reading and the digital era but at the same time it had been said again and again and rehashing the same information even when done by someone famous is a recipe for a disaster. Nevertheless I picked up the book - mainly from curiosity than anything else - ready to dismiss it as the book that got published only because anything with the name Eco on it will sell. Fortunately this turned out to be away from the truth.

I should also admit that I had never heard the name of Jean-Claude Carriere before; or Jean-Phillipe de Tonnac. So with very low expectations, I opened the book... and closed it a few hours later simply because it finished. The whole book is a prolonged conversation between Eco and Carriere, with de Tonnac trying to play a host and steer them back on topic (and failing for the most part - he always tries, they always try to keep to the topic and then the conversation goes somewhere; these occasional redirections back on topic actually help the book to become almost a cohesive narrative so maybe he does the work so good that it appears that he fails). And this conversation goes through books, book history, collecting, good books, bad books, early Italian and French cinema (it is connected to books actually), incunabulum (had no idea that books printed before 31 Dec 1500 are called like that), stupidity and culture filtering. Add a hefty dose of stories about collecting, printing in the early days (how a book had been translated faster in the past than these days or the guy that wrote and printed the next chapter every night); add a lot of musing on the quality of books and the fact that there is no way to know if what we call masterpieces today had not been the trash of their respective periods, discussions on fires and books burning, self publishing and the truth.

It's a conversation between book collectors (although Carriere makes a point that he is not a proper collector because he buys only books that he likes) who just happen to be related to books in a different way as well (although they do explore this as well). So of course it touches the scarcity of some books, the demand and the prices, the goals and the achievements. And of course the inevitable question comes - is it ok to collect books you had not read. The answer is predictable -- of course it is ok but only if you have plans to eventually read them. Because books are to be read and not to be treated as objects.

Overall one of the great surprises in my reading year so far - I really enjoy a book that I do not expect much of to end up being a nice one. ( )
3 vote AnnieMod | Mar 13, 2012 |
Showing 4 of 4
added by _eskarina | editRespekt, Ondřej Nezbeda (pay site) (Jul 6, 2010)
 
added by _eskarina | editIliteratura.cz, Jan Lukavec (Jun 24, 2010)
 

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, Umbertoprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carrière, Jean-Claudemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tonnac, Jean-Philippe demain authorall editionsconfirmed
Tonnac, Jean-Philippe deIntroductionsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kleiner, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McLean, PollyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, Victor Hugo puts these famous words into the mouth of Archdeacon Claude Frollo: 'the book will kill the building... When you compare [architecture] to the idea, which... needs only a sheet of paper, some ink and a pen, is it surprising that the human intellect should have deserted architecture for the printing press?'
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The book is like the spoon- once invented, it cannot be bettered' - Umberto Eco.These days it is impossible to get away from discussions of whether the book will survive the digital revolution. Blogs, tweets and newspaper articles on the subject appear daily, many of them repetitive, most of them admitting ignorance of the future. Amidst the twittering, the thoughts of Jean-Claude Carri re and Umberto Eco come as a breath of fresh air. This thought-provoking book takes the form of a conversation in which Carri re and Eco discuss everything from how to define the first book to what is happening to knowledge now that infinite amounts of information are available at the click of a mouse. En route there are delightful digressions into personal anecdote. We find out about Eco's first computer and the book Carri re is most sad to have sold. And while, as Carri re says, the one certain thing about the future is that it is unpredictable, it is clear from this conversation that, in some form or other, the book will survive.

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