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The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    As entertaining as an action movie.

    This is Eco's best work. It was thoroughly engaging and enjoyable. A real page turner.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2005

    the mysterious flame is the book to read if you've never read an Eco book before

    This has got to be the greatest novel from our worlds greatest living writer right now. I loved this novel so much. It was so much funner than his last novel, Baudolino. Where Baudolino bogged you down with questions of faith and playing with legends of the 13th century, where most readers of today would be overwhelmed unless you were a history buff. However MFoQL retells somewhat the same story Eco shares, but this time around chooses the 20th century to retell his tale. This is a great form of meta-fiction. Where you had Borges in the forties making up fictions with fictions that already existed, well Eco is doing the same thing here. Eco has got the fictions of the thirties and forties, comics nonetheless, and recreates them in the last fifty pages or so to recreate a story of his own life. This is great fiction or meta-fiction. I really like Eco's style. This book I read in a matter of days. Once I started I could not stop becuase I wanted to know what the narrator was going to come up with next. The allusions that fill this novel are so ingenius that I found myself laughing out loud several times. And Ecos knack to retell the story of other lesser known books in his one big book is so great. So it was wonderful when he writes about Huysmans novel and retells it, or even when he speaks of Cyrano by Rostand, why, Eco was so good, he made me go out and want to read Cyrano on my own. And the way he brings in Italian history was so wonderful. I did not really know much of Italy in the second world war, but after reading this novel, I knew more than what I was taught in an American high school history course. This is a novel for those that want something different than what is being sold in the bookstores today. It is more accesible than Baudolino, about as fun as name of the rose when it comes to the old manuscripts Eco writes about, (though not as fun as Aristotle's lost book), and even has hints of Foucaults Pendulum when he mentions that he does not know if he just made all this up, that what if life was just a dream and he dreamt up Dante and world war II. A very good summer read from one of the greatest writers in the world, a good book to read first if you have never read any of his books. This is a great introduction to lead any reader to discover his other great labyrinths of the fictitious world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 5, 2005

    From Comics To Eternity

    The reason for which this is my favorite of Umberto Eco's books is that, even being a non-Italian, I grew up in the Naples mansion of my grandfather, before I brushed up my Italian with BBC's accounts of WWII. I had therefore at hand the best tools for handling this delicious, although deeply thought, masterpiece. Everybody knows the subject, so I'll stick up to a few details. The first two sections of the book are hilarious and most entertaining, but in order to 'place himself into orbit', Eco is using one of the best known comics of Lyman Young, who died in 1994 at the age of 101... LA MISTERIOSA FIAMMA DELLA REGINA LOANA is nothing else than an adventure of Tim Tyler and Spud in Africa, where somebody tells them the story of that queen. But for the moviegoers, Loana is nothing else than SHE, a.k.a. known as SHE, AYESHA and HASH-A-MO-TEP... It was invented in 1887 by one of the masters of Victorian fantasies, H. Rider Haggard, and was brought to the screen several times. The second one, in 1935, starring Helen Gahagan and Randolph Scott, mesmerized me during long, long nights ... If you haven't read it (which I doubt, Henry Miller already classified it as one of 'the books in my life'), do so. However, this is not exactly my point, and, please don't read me wrong, I do not blame Eco for any offence to Haggard's copyrights. After all, he's not quoting Haggard, but Lyman Young, while his interest is in the 'flame', which kept Ayesha young and beautiful for 22 centuries. Enough to focus his interest in the life-beyond-it, as already attempted by Bob Fosse, in his 1978 masterpiece, ALL THAT JAZZ. Incidentally, Sandahl Bergman, starring in ALL THAT JAZZ, portrayed Ayesha in the 1985 version of the movies. The last of them, in 2001, is considered the worst movie of all times, including PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE... Umberto Eco's book really gives another chance to the myth of finding 'what's beyond the final point'... Harry Carasso, Paris, France

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2008

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2009

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