Monday, December 6, 2010
What are you reading?
The Name of the Rose. Umberto eco
This little gem has been sitting in the book shelf for about fifteen years. It has followed me in a few house moves. Now that I've finally started it........well its a rippin' good read, don't know why it took me so long.
An historical murder mystery, set in an Italian Benedictine Monastry in the year 1327.
Franciscan Friar, William of Baskerville and his young Benedictine novice Adso of Melk are sent to investigate a mysterious death. After his arrival more strange deaths occur.
There are other mysteries to solve. The monastry's well stocked library, renowned throughout Europe, is closely guarded. To borrow a book, a monk must choose from a list. He then applies to the librarian, along with an explaination of why he wants the book. The librarian makes a decision, often consulting his senior, before the monk can read his book.
The library is an inpenetrable labrynth, and the filing system is legible only to the librarian. (Sounds a bit like my house). The entrance is closely guarded, but there must be a secret door somewhere...............but where?
Although he is a man of religion, Brother William uses logic and deduction. He loves science, and even owns a pair of spectacles, a fairly recent invention. He must be careful who sees him wearing these, as he may be accused of witchcraft. It is a time of Inquisitors, fear of the antichrist and black magic. Brother William is constantly debating such themes as, 'is laughter evil?' with Jorge of Burgos, and elderly, blind monk.
I have a sneaking suspicion that we will meet the Inquisition later in the book, but I'm not up to that bit yet. If you've already read it, don't spoil it for me.
Narrator is Adso of Melk, in retrospect, as an old man. A Medieval whodunnit, full of intrigue, and of the horrors, the hypocracies and the mysteries of the time.