This hugely engaging story of murder, superstition, religious politics and drama in a medieval monastery was one of the most striking novels to appear in the 1980s. The Name of the Rose is a thrilling story enriched with period detail and laced with tongue-in-cheek allusions to fictional characters, the most striking of which is the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville, who displays many characteristics of Sherlock Holmes. Although he looks at the past through a postmodern lens, Eco catapults his listeners into the dark medieval world as Brother William tries to discover why people are dying inexplicably and nastily in the monastery. There is something not altogether right within the library that is the pride of the establishment.... The old man Adso, who was an impressionable novice at the time, tells the story.
PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio.
©1980 Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri-Bompiani, Sonzongo, Etas S.p.A (P)2013 Naxos AudioBooks
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Booklover on 12-01-15

Sean Barrett does justice to this wonderful text.

This production of this labyrinthine novel is magnificent. Wonderful characters from Mr Barrett which create the world in a terrific manner. The sort of reading that makes you want to write a review.

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16 of 16 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Miss V. Bakova on 14-05-15

Great Performer!

What about Sean Barrett’s performance did you like?

The performer, Mr Sean Barrett, made this story even greater. I highly recommend the book and the performer.

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14 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Earnest on 14-10-13

The medium is the stupendous message.

If you could sum up The Name of the Rose in three words, what would they be?

Sensational.. ( in the truest sense of the word) Humbling. Illuminating.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Name of the Rose?

Near the ending of this dense, labyrinth- like novel, the novice Adso, through whose now aged eyes we share the myriad incidents and and ancient tales, witnesses his Master and champion for what he in part is. William of Baskerville is a man full of his own vanity sparring with another man full of hubris in the literary, intellectual vastness of each other's intelligence. It is remarkably rare to have the privilege to share the sounds of the philosopher's sword clash repeatedly with the maniacal clang of a frenzied believer over a Thought or Notion. The stakes are terribly high, have always been and one hopes always will be. One man utterly believes that if the gravitas of Aristotle is accorded to Comedy and Laughter all fear and therefore power over others will be irretrievably lost. The other believes that all freedoms are ours to take and use, whatever the consequences. The feelings aroused by this purely spoken interchange ( one of many, many throughout the novel) are overpowering and as visceral as the ubiquitous visual equivalents,No car chases, no explosions, no overt body count. Yet what is being discussed is the power of words wherever they are uttered and the often dreadful but also so often empowering gift some other person' s words can bring to us.

Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Again I sought out this actor's name and again, when it intersected with an interest of mine ,I chose to listen to his performance. What a tour de force. His voice is redolent of a medieval, cosmopolitan milieu...ranging from youthful, Latin, mad and arrogantly intelligent monks to an aged but still insightful narrator. What sustained, remarkable skill.To think last week I was transported through the streets of contemporary Oslo in a police car with the voice of this Actor. That in itself is a testament to the marvels of free imagining and the remarkable freedoms available to some.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes. Umberto Eco deserves his scholarly place amongst the firmament of semiotic academics who manages to successfully link such disparate historical facts( or imaginative guesses), religious events, massive knowledge of ancient history and the vicissitudes of all of our human appetites to meld together chapter after chapter where we cannot but be involved. One is coaxed into terrifying mists, funny conversations, smelly kitchens and horrendous grief at monumental loss. It is a provocation on every page for testing one's acumen from remembering " the joke about.." from a " The Simpsons " episode, yes, remembering a long forgotten sexual encounter, yes, and trying to remember what the Latin for disappointment was, yes. To assist laughing and crying lay a Bible, a Latin dictionary, a guide to ancient History, a semiotic/ signs text, a guide to architecture..I won't go get the picture..or a great technological device alongside whatever you are listening with if you want to wring the most out of this novel.Or just enjoy the mystery.

Any additional comments?

Listen to this novel if you want to remember why you read it and wept so many years ago. Listen to it if you really want to learn or remember things you learnt and had forgotten about History and how important elemental things remain in all our lives.It is a challenge but it is worth it.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Naama Rodkin on 30-05-15

Tedious, but conveys zeitgeist well

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

At first, I was quite mesmerized by this book. The book cleverly made to feel like a first-person depiction from the time, and feels very genuine. The characters are not only well built, they also think like medieval monks (with the exception of the main character, William of Baskerville, a rational, ahead of his time free thinker, who thinks and acts much more like a modern man). However, it appears the author, a world renowned intellectual, was quite keen on displaying his vast knowledge of the period, resolving many times with endless surveys of medieval church politics and tedious descriptions of theological views, marginal character history, artifacts etc. In fact, it sometime feels like the plot is only an excuse for the author to show off his intellect, who ironically indulges in the sin of pride like many of the characters in his book…Slowly, I began to wander off and lose track of the plot. Not a good thing, especially in a mystery novel. I would recommend this audio book to enthusiasts of this particular era, but for those, like me, who are fun-loving history buffs – I felt it was spending too much effort on wowing the readers with mind blowing quantities of information, and not enough on giving them a great read.

Any additional comments?

The narration by Sean Barrett was incredible. It is quite overwhelming knowing all characters were played by one very talented person. Every character had its own distinct voice, tone and accent, and the narration was as vivid as a theatrical show.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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