The Name of the Rose - Umberto Eco


It is big and it is clever but it's also pretentious, dull, and - most of all - arrogant. A PhD thesis about the ethical and political conflicts of 14th century monks is not converted into a decent novel by shoving a murder mystery into it. In his efforts to avoid superficiality, the author has tried to overload the story with historical details and the occasional blatant anachronism. A bit more humanity and a bit less posturing would have made a big difference. Too clever for its own good.
[Editorial note: at about this time I realised that I really needed to revise my grading system as I hated this but didn't even give it less than 50%...]

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