Baudolino

Front Cover
Vintage, 2003 - Crusades - 522 pages
Eco returns to the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, provocative, beguiling tale of history, myth, and invention. 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 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. As always with Eco, this abundant novel includes dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, pages of extraordinary feeling and poetry, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. Baudolino is an utterly marvellous tale by the inimitable author of THE NAME OF THE ROSE.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LisCarey - LibraryThing

Baudolino is the twelve-year-old son of a peasant in twelfth-century Italy when he finds Frederick Barbarossa, the Holy and Roman Emperor, lost in the local pea-soup fog. Impressed by the young man's ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LisCarey - LibraryThing

Is this a fantasy? It's hard to say with any certainty. Undoubtedly we see many fantastic and magical things as Baudolino recounts his journeys, but Baudolino's a liar. We meet Baudolino in 1204, as ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Umberto Eco is the author of three bestselling novels, The Name of The Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Island of The Day Before. His collections of essays also include Five Moral Pieces, Kant and the Platypus, Serendipities, Travels In Hyperreality, and How To Travel With a Salmon and Other Essays. A Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna, Umberto Eco lives in Italy.

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