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Secker & Warburg, Oct 15, 2002 - Fiction - 522 pages
31 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 Byzantine 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 foreign languages and a skill in telling lies. One day, when still a boy, he met a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander - who proves to be the 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 who was 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.

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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


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About the author (2002)

First a semiotician at the University of Bologna, and a leading figure in contemporary Italian culture, Eco brought semiotics to fiction in his first novel, The Name of the Rose (1980). This unexpected international best-seller employs the techniques of a detective novel along with sophisticated postmodern narrative and verbal conundrums, to recount a series of murders in a medieval monastery. Eco's fascination with the Middle Ages began when he was a student at the University of Torino, where he wrote his doctoral thesis (1954) on St. Thomas Aquinas. The Name of the Rose (1980) won the Premio Strega and the Premio Anghiar awards in 1981, as well as numerous international awards.

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