Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Oct 6, 2003 - Fiction - 528 pages
42 Reviews
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.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookwyrmm - LibraryThing

There were parts of this that were really fun and fantastic (as in full of fantasy), but then there were other parts that were just way too slow and couldn't hold my attention. The narrator, though, had a very smooth and pleasant voice, so that helped during those down moments. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - kakadoo202 - LibraryThing

A symphony of words. So creative. So beautiful. You don't want the book to end. Medium fast read hut u slow down to catch the beauty of the language. Cannot wait to read another book by him. Read full review

Selected pages


Translators Note
Reading Group Guide
Back Flap
Back Cover

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2003)

UMBERTO ECO (1932–2016) was the author of numerous essay collections and seven novels, including The Name of the Rose,The Prague Cemetery, and Inventing the Enemy. He received Italy’s highest literary award, the Premio Strega, was named a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur by the French government, and was an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Bibliographic information