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Baudolino (2000)

by Umberto Eco

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,7781011,127 (3.55)220
It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story. Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts-a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander-who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa-adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends. Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East-a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens. With dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.… (more)
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» See also 220 mentions

English (77)  Spanish (7)  Italian (6)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  German (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Hungarian (1)  Dutch (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (100)
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
If in your life, you only read one book about the mythical kingdom of Prestor John, make it Catherynne Valente's "The Habitation of the Blessed" if after that you still have a yearning to search for that far-flung Christian kingdom (and also you enjoy long arguments regarding the existence of the vacuum), then read "Baudolino". ( )
  Ivia | Mar 1, 2024 |
I loved this story and the character Baudolino was a joy to know. The tale ranges far and wide in geography and history and ventures into fantasy too. A wonderful read with fascinating people and situations. ( )
  rosiezbanks | Mar 23, 2023 |
By far Eco's weakest novel to date. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
In this light-hearted novel the eponymous Baudolino, a resourceful cross between Voltaire's Candide and Thomas Berger's "Little Big Man," is an energetic enough narrator who regales his tired hearer (one Niketas Choniates) with the story of Baudolino's agreeably misspent youth, his chance meeting with warlord emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and the remarkable events that follow when Frederick effectively adopts the clever stripling ( After forming bonds with several fellow students (including a moony would-be "Poet," a love-starved half-Moor, and a pragmatic rabbinical scholar), Baudolino sets out to write a history of his benefactor's exploits, assists in the defense of a defiant city built to withstand Frederick's impending sacking, and devises a plan to locate the legendary Holy "Grasal" (a.k. grail). The narrative continued in that vein and seldom disappointed this reader. ( )
  jwhenderson | Apr 9, 2022 |
Probably an objectively better book than I've rated it, Baudolino plods on for the first several hundred pages. The tail end redeems the book and ultimately justifies reading the entire book. ( )
  bennylope | Feb 24, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
It's a mystery that begins well, and ends well, too, drenched in the scholastic logic and the intricate, entertaining literary gamesmanship that is Mr. Eco's territory. The problem is that while ''Baudolino'' contains plenty of learning and imagination, it is so strenuously fanciful that it becomes tedious, like a Thanksgiving Day parade that lasts all day.
 

» Add other authors (30 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eco, UmbertoAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boeke, YondTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Guidall, GeorgeNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Krone, PattyTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lozano Miralles, HelenaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parker, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weaver, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Mi fan partir costoro il grande stento
Dedication
Emanuele
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Rattishbon Anno Domini mense decembri mclv Cronicle of Baudolino of the fammily of Aulario.
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"Faith makes things become true."
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story. Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts-a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander-who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa-adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends. Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East-a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens. With dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.

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