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Posted October 17, 2006
A book of lists
Eco must have challenged himself to see how many lists he could include in one book and how long he could make that book before the reader gives ups and quits. I didn't give up because I kept hoping there would be some wonderful reason for all the hours spent by the author in writing and by me reading. I admit the author is talented/gifted but still I was disappointed.
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Posted May 3, 2009
... sea of minutiae ...
Imagine waking up and not remembering your life. Admittedly, this is something that I worry about all the time so I was intrigued when I read the back cover of The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana and found it to be the premise of the novel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
The main character, Yambo, finds himself unable to remember anything about his life and attempts to piece together his past - a mystery of sorts. Throughout the novel, the reader is treated to an endless barrage of list upon list of songs, cartoon characters, magazines, books, works of art, etc.. I found this to be quite exasperating; however, I did finish the book. Why? I was hoping the book would become more interesting and I wanted to know what happened to Yambo. Mr. Eco was able to create a likable character floundering in a sea of minutiae. Sadly, this book was not for me; however, I will give Mr. Eco another read. I recommend his book for those that are nostalgic about Italian culture during World War II, the influence of propaganda, and interested in psychology.
Posted October 27, 2008
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana
I had heard so much hype about Umberto Eco, that I feel a bit disappointed with this book. Clearly it was good enough to finish. You will notice that most of the reviews I do are decent to good reviews, the reason being, if a book is bad, likely I won¿t waste my time on it and therefore it tends not to get reviewed. It would be unfair or me to do a review on a book I never finished. I finished this one, and by no means do I wish to say this was a bad book, but it certainly was less than I was expecting.<BR/><BR/>The premise is simple. A man wakes up one day, with absolutely no memory of his past, but strangely enough he seems to be able to recall everything he has ever read in his life. It is using these bits of information that he makes an attempt at piecing his past back together.<BR/><BR/>The approach is formidable, in my mind and the author certainly has the weapons to put it to action, but in the end the book still felt a bit longer than it needed to be. While it starts and finishes strong, the body of it at the center does feel like it drags, pulling out literary reference after literary reference, which can get tedious. On the other side, it does provide a good venue to get a glimpse of Italian (mostly, as the book is set in Italy) literature around the time of World War II and how propaganda seemed to touch all things printed.<BR/><BR/>Mixed, the good with the bad, I still think this book is worth it and the fact that it has pictures helps it move along a bit nicely.
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