Name of the Rose

Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. Everyman Library, 2006.

Reason read: Religion = Easter. Easter = Religion.

Author fact: Eco looks every part the crime writer. He could even star in his own crime movie thriller.

If you can ignore the reviewers who point out historical inaccuracies, The Name of the Rose is a great postmodern murder mystery set in 1327. How many debut novels can boast of a serial killer thriller set in that medieval era? The book opens with Brother William of Baskerville and his scribe, Adso of Melk, traveling to a wealthy North Italy monastery to attend a heresy hearing. Soon after their arrival strange deaths start piling up, a total of seven in all. William of Baskerville (with an obvious nod to Sherlock Holmes) must catch the killer before the entire monkhood is murdered. This was a reread for me.

As an aside, the image of a man murdered and drowned in a vat of pig’s blood has stayed with me since the first time I read the book.

Book trivia: The Name of the Rose was Eco’s first novel and it was made into a movie in 1986, starring Sean Connery and Christian Slater. If that wasn’t enough, The Name of the Rose was also brought to life on the theater stage, as a radio program, in video games, and even referenced in music. A miniseries also came out in 2019. I’ll have to look that up.

Nancy said: Pearl said The Name of the Rose “simply should not be missed” (More Book Lust p 87).

BookLust Twist: from More Book Lust in the chapter called “Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: the Family of the Clergy” (p 86).



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