The Name of the Rose

  • by Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by Michael Pennington
  • 5 hrs and 41 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A spectacular best seller and now a classic, The Name of the Rose catapulted Umberto Eco, an Italian professor of semiotics turned novelist, to international prominence. An erudite murder mystery set in a fourteenth-century monastery, it is not only a gripping story but also a brilliant exploration of medieval philosophy, history, theology, and logic. In 1327, Brother William of Baskerville is sent to investigate a wealthy Italian abbey whose monks are suspected of heresy. When his mission is overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths patterned on the book of Revelation, Brother William turns detective, following the trail of a conspiracy that brings him face-to-face with the abbey's labyrinthine secrets, the subversive effects of laughter, and the medieval Inquisition. Caught in a power struggle between the emperor he serves and the pope who rules the Church, Brother William comes to see that what is at stake is larger than any mere political dispute¿that his investigation is being blocked by those who fear imagination, curiosity, and the power of ideas.
The Name of the Rose offers the reader not only an ingeniously constructed mystery¿complete with secret symbols and coded manuscripts¿but also an unparalleled portrait of the medieval world on the brink of profound transformation.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Close to perfection.

I have just finished listening to this book for what must be the 10th time. Since buying this abridged audio version several years back. It's one of only 3 purchases I have listened to more than 3 times. What can I say, Umberto Eco's first (and best) novel is given a near perfect vocal telling with great characterisation and pace from the narrator. The balance between detective plot, medievel history telling and religious political scandals manages to inform but above all entertain. Umberto Eco's knowingly intellectual style works perfectly in this monastic setting, where as, in my opinion, it failed slightly in Foucault's Pendulum, sounding arrogant and academic, and there is enough humour to be self effacing where it could have been pompous. The underlying themes, which could have overpowered the Sherlock Holmes style plot (the main character is called William of Baskerville after all) only adds to the pacy plot development, keeping everything balanced and realtistic instead of overly explanatory such as Dan Brown novels tend to be.
Quite simply, everyone should listen to this book at least once before they die.
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Why is it Abridged?

I haven't read the book yet, just watched the film, which was why I was just about to buy the Audible version when I realized it was Abridged. Why?
Couldn't give 1 star or the 5 that the Film version gets, so 3 for pending!
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- Colin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 05-02-2008
  • Publisher: Random House AudioBooks