I recently finished this tome of a book. Translated from Italian, and found in a local thrift shop, I’m not really sure why I picked it up. Maybe it was because the name, maybe it was the subconcious recognition of the name from somewhere in the past, or it just had an interesting sounding story on the bookjacket. My $1.29 was well spent.
I also read recently The Da Vinci Code and was sutably impressed with it. I can understand why it has been a bestseller for a while. It’s accessable, and very compelling, making you read just one more chapter before you go to bed. The fact that I read it completely within 24 hours of buying it says I couldn’t put it down. I think the movie adaptation will do it well.
Foucault’s Pendulum covers some of the same ground. We have a mysterious man who comes to this publishing agency with his book on the Templars and the secret that they hid from the world. The three editors laugh him out of the office, but the man ends up missing and that kicks off the whole story of secret societies and their ultimate secret that they are hiding. It’s not an easy story to sum up, and it’s filled with so much more history, and secrets, that reading Da Vinci Code after it, made Code seem light and fluffy.
It’s the kind of book that let’s you in on it’s intelligence, but at the same time you feel that if you only knew a little more about different subjects you’d get even more out of it. The three editors who are the focus of the story create a fictional secret “plan” that covers the history of all the secret socities from the Masons to the Templars and more. Umberto Eco draws you through their worlds and the connections they make and compels you to find out more about things. From reading the book I want to know more about the Templars.
Read it. Foucault’s Pendulum is rewarding, dry though it may be at parts. I’m looking forward to other books by Umberto Eco, once I make my pile of unread books drop down to below 10 books that I’m meaning to read.