The Island of the Day Before

  • by Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by Tim Curry
  • 6 hrs and 5 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

After a violent storm in the South Pacific in the year 1643, Roberto della Griva finds himself shipwrecked. Swept from the Amaryllis, he has managed to pull himself aboard the Daphne, anchored in the bay of a beautiful island surrounded by treacherous coral reefs. The ship is fully provisioned, he discovers, but the crew is missing. As Roberto explores the vessel and descends into madness, he remembers chapters from his youth: Ferrante, his imaginary evil brother; the siege of Casale, that meaningless chess move in the 30 Years' War in which he lost his father and his illusions; the Aristotelian metaphor machine of Padre Emanuele; the salons of Paris; the theory of the Powder of Sympathy; the approach of his unapproachable Lady, then prison; and finally, the summons of Cardinal Mazarin himself.In this fascinating, lyrical tale, Umberto Eco tells of an international race to master the seas by unraveling the mysteries of longitude; of a young dreamer searching for love and meaning; and of a most amazing old Jesuit who, with his clocks and maps, has plumbed the secrets of longitude, the depths of the ocean, and the Biblical Flood.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Puzzling and entrancing

The first half of the book is a swashbuckling narrative of what passed for "science" in past centuries. It was captivating and very entertaining.

The later portion is a more dream-like situation (beyond any reality) that was also entertaining, but very whimsical and quite odd.

Many readers may find that they object to this very strange juxtaposition. I was entranced throughout.
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- Gary

Great narration, shame about the loss of the story

As I wrote with Foucault's Pendulum, the editing of the story really harms the emotion of the original work. The original book is a wonderful piece of self discovery and existentialism through the loss of one's life while still having to live out the rest of your days in a strange world looking across a gap that signifies so much in the grand scheme of time and existence. Unfortunately, through abridging the book much of it is lost.

While this version tells the basic story, it misses much. Tim Curry's narration is absolutely superb and engaging, however. So I would recommend this as a casual listen if you've already read the book, otherwise I would say give the audio a miss and read the actual novel.

It's a real shame there are no unabridged Eco works available.
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- Cherry

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-03-2000
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio