Vintage reads: The Name of the Rose

18:00, Aug 29 2014

THE NAME OF THE ROSE by Umberto Eco

In 1327 the English friar William of Baskerville, along with his young companion Adso of Melk, is travelling through Italy on a mission for the emperor. But his travels are interrupted at an isolated monastery where a monk has mysteriously died.

William is charged with discovering the reason why.

But not everyone wants this mystery solved, and over the next few days more monks die. There is also another mystery William wants to get to the bottom of - a mysterious library built into a labyrinth. Why is there so much secrecy surrounding it?

The Name of the Rose is a novel rich in detail of the period in which it is set, with a lyrical, atmospheric feel. The reader can almost see the monastery grow around them as William and Adso creep through its corridors.

But this is more than a historical mystery.

Between investigating the deaths and trying to break into the library, William engages in complex discussions of the religious controversies, philosophy, politics and prejudices of the time, making this novel not a light read, but a deeply thought-provoking one.

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