Tuesday, 6 June 2017

The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (My Goodreads Review)

The Name of the RoseThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A clever murder mystery and suspense story set in Northern Italy during the year of 1327. I read it back in the eighties when the book first came out. I saw the film also but read the book first. The movie was good but the ending was distorted from the book.

If my memory serves me correctly, the monastery is run by Benedictine monks and two other monks come to the monastery. One is a Franciscan and another a fellow Benedictine monk. These visitors turn up as head of a delegation for a summit. One is English (Franciscan) and called Brother William of Baskerville. Obviously, paying homage to another historical super sleuth. The other is a younger apprentice monk.

He (Benedictine) is a young German apprentice who narrates the story as he recalls the tale many years later. It is written in first person singular, the way we read Sherlock Holmes via Doctor Watson's narrative.

Upon arrival at the grand monastery, high in the remote mountains of Italy, Brother William is approached about a mysterious death of a young monk prior to arrival. Then more strange murders begin to happen and Brother William is drawn into a complex and compelling mystery. There are also Dolciminain heretic monks living under the protection of holy sanctuary too.

The story is splendidly crafted and the monastery contains a great library of vast and classical knowledge - another compelling lure for the inquisitive mind of Brother William and his insatiable quest for knowledge.

The young monk who narrates the story gives the reader a side by side walk through this gripping medieval and extraordinary murder, mystery story. Well worth reading with lots of further developments and complications as the story comes to consequences of the Holy Inquisition and a climatic conclusion. Splendid stuff!


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