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Baudolino Audio Cassette – May 1 2003


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Product Details

  • Audio Cassette
  • Publisher: Recorded Books; Unabridged edition (May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402531990
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402531996
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 13.2 x 8.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 748 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,124,830 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Dr. Bojan Tunguz TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 5 2012
Format: Paperback
'Baudolino' is a fanciful and mythical novel by Umberto Eco, set in the twelfth century Europe and the Near East. Eco, best known for his masterwork 'The Name of the Rose,' returns with 'Baudolino' to the theme medieval Europe, albeit of somewhat earlier date. The eponymous protagonist of this novel finds himself adopted by an accident by the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I, which sets him on the path of high adventure. During Baudolino's years of study in Paris, he befriends a motely crew of thinkers, poets, and adventurers, and with their help conjures a plan to discover the land of mythical Prester John, who supposedly lives somewhere far in the East. Most of the second half of the novel concerns the journey of Baudolino and his companions. Most of the stories in here are told from the Baudolino's perspective, as he narrates them to Niketas Choniates, a famous twelfth century Byzantine historian, whose life he had saved during the sacking of Constantinople.

Frederick I and Niketas Choniates are just a couple of actual historical characters who appear in 'Baudolino' under very unusual and highly fabricated circumstances. Eco knows his history very well, and is able to push the plausibility into the lacunae of our knowledge and fill them up with fanciful interconnected narrative. In the latter part of the book, though, he almost completely abandons any appeal to realism, and takes the reader on a wild ride through some of the most fantastic and imaginative scenes taken from the medieval myth and lore.

Both readers and the literary critics have not in general been impressed by any of the Eco's fictional works, with the notable exception of the 'Name of the Rose.
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By Jennifer Stueben on Oct. 14 2002
Format: Hardcover
Umberto Eco is, in my openion, almost without compare as teh literati of the historical epic. Baudolino does not compare to his other works; however, little does. Truth or dilusion . . . what is a lie, and what is reality. Bravo for Baudolino.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pete Kitay on Sept. 17 2008
Format: Paperback
Umberto Eco is probably single-handedly responsible for inspiring the academic dimension of my high school and undergraduate imagination. However, I now shun his more recent efforts. (And I even read Travels in Hyperreality and How to Travel with a Salmon!)

With Baudolino, it would seem that Eco aims not merely to illustrate the medieval world but to articulate that world through a medieval mind. The result is, sadly, next to nonsense. I had great expectations for Baudolino - set amidst the Crusades, after all!

Despite my gratitude and respect for the author of the magnificent "Name of the Rose" and "Foucault's Pendulum", what I learned most from "Baudolino" is the courage to stop reading a book that no longer seems interesting or relevant to me.

If you have never read Umberto Eco, I can only recommend "Rose" and "Pendulum". The hapless "Island of the Day Before" spirals on to a dull colophon that is as unsatisfying as "Baudolino". I haven't picked up "Queen Loana" but I figure I've now traded my time for other reads.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Robert C. Hamilton on Jan. 12 2004
Format: Paperback
Baudolino, the latest novel by Umberto Eco, is more than just a playful historical romance or an excuse to indulge in Thomist disputatio. It is a true contemporary classic of literature, full of what makes fiction great: strong characterization, compelling plotline, exquisite narrative style (even in translation), and multiple layers of philosophical resonance.
The basic premise of the book has been reiterated enough times by other reviewers for me to be brief. Baudolino, an Italian peasant from Lombardy, is adopted by the Holy Roman Emperor, Frederick Barbarossa. He rises to become a distinguished courtier in the emperor's service, mostly through his skill in deceit-he invents stories effortlessly, always in support of what he considers to be a good cause. He attends the University of Paris-a major center of Medieval learning and Scholasticism-and finds himself entangled in Barbarossa's difficulties in Italy, a land which he understands better than the emperor himself does.
But the novel's main focus is on the search for the kingdom of Prester John-the legendary king of an eastern Christian kingdom. Along with his student-friends at the University, Baudolino decides that Prester John should be found because, as rex et sacerdos (king and priest), John's approval of Frederick could help Frederick assert his authority over the temporal and spiritual realms, giving him a final edge over the Pope.
This first section of the novel is historical, political, and fairly realistic. Not to say it is inferior to what follows, but I got the distinct impression that Baudolino keeps improving as it goes on.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER on Oct. 23 2002
Format: Hardcover
Renaissance man Umberto Eco continues to enthrall with a return to the era he so masterfully painted in "The Name Of The Rose." An intrepid, nonparallel story teller he again visits the Middle Ages with Baudolino, a marvelous blend of history and imagination.
It is April 1204 and a northern Italian peasant, Baudolino, is in Constantinople, the resplendent capital of the Byzantine Empire. The city staggers under the relentless onslaught of the knights of the Fourth Crusade who pillage and burn. Oblivious to his own safety Baudolino rescues an important personage, a historian from sure death at the hands of the marauding warriors. This is the person to whom Baudolino recounts his life story - a colorful narrative laced with fantasy and adventure.
Although of humble birth, we learn that Baudolino is rich in two areas: the art of inspired prevarication and an aptitude for learning languages. When still a youngster he was adopted by Emperor Frederick Barbarossa who later sent the boy to the university in Paris. Affable and quick, Baudolino soon made friends in France with those who shared his somewhat reckless taste for adventure.
Together a group of them journey to the east and embark upon a search for a mythical priest-king, Prester John. It is believed that Prester John's domain is a fabled land inhabited by eunuchs, unicorns, beautiful maidens, and bizarre beings with misplaced orifices.

As is his wont the unsurpassed Eco weaves his story with ruminations of weighty matters such as theology, politics, government, and history. He does this with fluid prose and provocative thoughts that inevitably draw readers into the author's unique land of enchantment, a magical place that one is reluctant to leave.
- Gail Cooke
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