The Prague Cemetery Hardcover – Oct 19 2011
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[Eco's] latest takes that longtime thriller darling, the conspiracy theory, and turns it into something grander
Sold to 40 countries and said to be controversial; a speed-read with smarts." - Library Journal, Pre-Pub Alert, "My Picks"
"A whirlwind tour of conspiracy and political intrigue this dark tale is delightfully embellished with sophisticated and playful commentary on, among other things, Freud, metafiction, and the challenges of historiography." - Booklist
"Intriguing, hilarious .a tale by a master." - Publishers Weekly boxed review "He's got a humdinger in this new high-level whodunit a perplexing, multilayered, attention-holding mystery." - Kirkus , starred "I find this book fascinating, perhaps the best Eco has written in years. Eco takes on conspiracy theories in the feverish political activism of nineteenth-century Europe - freemasonry, the Italian Risorgimento, the Paris Commune, and above all the forgery of the slanderous The Protocols of the Elders of Zion . What if there were a single mastermind behind all these conspiracies? It's already a bestseller in Italy, and I can't get enough of it!" - Huffington Post "The Prague Cemetery is vintage EcoaÇª.Eco, the star bookworm of our times, has used his genius for excavating libraries to construct a semifictional narrative of how The Protocols might have evolvedaÇª. The Prague Cemetery is at once entertainment, education, and warning. As usual, Eco has enjoyed himself. The narrative is vivid, shocking, sometimes baffling. It's loaded aÇª.with learned Eco disquisitions on bomb-making, the Paris sewers, the history of the Commune, the taxonomical distinctions between ladies on the game ( grisettes, cocottes, biches, lorettes, and courtesans), early theories of brain function, and so forth. But as a genealogy showing how The Protocols evolved from the nightmares bequeathed to Europe by medieval heresy-hunting (the subject of The Name of the Rose ), the book is a triumph." - New York Review of Books"
From the Inside Flap
Nineteenth-century Europe--from Turin to Prague to Paris--abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres. Conspiracies rule history. From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat. But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created the world's most infamous document?
Umberto Eco takes his readers on a remarkable journey through the underbelly of world-shattering events. Here is Eco at his most exciting, a book immediately hailed as a masterpiece.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Pros: fascinating look at a period of history largely ignored by modern readers, thought provoking
Cons: lots of politically incorrect and thereby uncomfortable speeches, vivid depiction of a black mass, unlikable protagonist
Simone Simonini's personal motto is, Odi ergo sum. I hate, therefore I am. An Italian living in Paris, Simonini hates: the Germans, the French, the Italians, women, Jesuits, and most importantly, the Jews. Which is why, after years of forging documents and fermenting chaos for various government agencies, he has created his masterpiece - a document that will turn the nations of the world against the Jews.
The novel begins with Simonini having lost his memory. He starts a diary in order to remember who he is, starting with his youth. Abbe Dalla Piccola, living in an adjoining apartment, has also lost his memory, but seems to know what happened during segments of Simonini's past, adding his own notes to Simonini's writings. Are they the same person? Or did Simonini merely confess these actions to the abbot?
Simonini is not a likable protagonist, and the book is an uncomfortable read, both due to Simonini's extremely vitriolic hate speeches (against many groups but there's more anti-semitic sentiment than others) as well as for a detailed description of a black mass (modified Latin and all). The second chapter of the book serves as a litmus test for the rest, shocking the reader and daring you to read on. If you can get past chapter 2 you'll have read the worst - though not the only - hate speeches in the book.
The book takes place during the late 1800s, when racist sentiments were the norm.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
An amasing author, and all i can say is that i am sorry i didnt read more of his novels. Inteligent, sarcasm, a load of historical and cultural insights. Was a delight reading it!Published on March 7 2013 by gabriela