Monday, December 13, 2010

The Name of the Rose

The Name of the RoseThe Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco
Evan’s ESS = 8 out of 10
Erin’s ESS = out of 10
Content = PG (Adult Content, Violence, Spooky Medieval Library, Highly Intelligent Friars)

"Books are not meant to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn't ask ourselves what it says but what it means..."

Why: Think Sherlock homes for the early 1980’s, with more of an epic feel… and with monks. 

The Name of the Rose is a historical murder mystery that starts off like a faint whisper and finishes like one of those oversized bullets in Mario Galaxy.  The novel is a highly intelligent read, which admittedly, caused a significant hurdle for us to overcome.  The novel is narrated by Adso of Melk who basically hero worships his teacher and main problem solving enthusiast, William of Baskerville (think MacGyver in a set of oversized robe).  The pair travels to a monastery in Northern Italy, which just so happens to be riddled with a series of murders – almost never a good thing.  William and Adso are going to need all the logic and deductive reasoning they can muster. 

For us the book was just a tad bit slow, but contained enough suspense to keep us turning the pages.  The ending is very satisfying and Eco does an amazing job tying together all the loose ends of his wildly complex plot.  It’s also important to note that The Name of the Rose contains one of the most amazing libraries of all time.  Containing a labyrinth of rooms and secret passages, visitors are almost certain to be lost within the endless shelves.  Personally, we can think of no better location to be misplaced for about a week or so (maybe longer if we could find a stash of un-stale food somewhere). 


  1. Great review!I have always, always heard great things about this book. I'm glad to see that you guys feel that it lives up to its reputation.

    Hopefully, I can get around to reading it sometime. My to-be-read pile grows way faster than I can read!

  2. very good post-I liked this book a lot-it is also a study in semiotics and I learned a lot about live in the middle ages from it-enough to know I have no wish to live in that time!