The Name of the Rose

  • by Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by Theodore Bikel
  • 6 hrs and 23 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. But his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in seven days and nights of apocalyptic terror. Brother William turns detective, and a uniquely deft one at that. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon - all sharpened to a glistening edge by his wry humor and ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols, and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night." As Brother William goes about unraveling the mystery of what happens at they abbey by day and by night, listeners step into a brilliant re-creation of the 14th century, with its dark superstitions and wild prejudices, its hidden passions and sordid intrigues. Virtuoso storyteller Umberto Eco conjures up a gloriously rich portrait of this world with such grace, ease, wit, and love that you will become utterly intoxicated with the place and time. The story is performed by Theodore Bikel who has starred in numerous Broadway hits, including The Sound of Music, Zorba, and Fiddler on the Roof.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

And Excellent Book, A poor Audio

This is an outstanding and complex work. It deserves to be released unabridged. So much is lost in an abridgment that it isn't worth listening to. If you are interested in what was one of the few best sellers deserving that status, read the book. If you want to listen, then wait until it is available unabridged. An abridgement is a waste of money.
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- Geoffrey Kragen

Great for night-time listening!

I purchased this novel based on some vague memories of the old Sean Connery movie. I was not disappointed. A very fast, suspensful listen. Imagine Sherlock Holmes as an Italian Monk and you've got the idea. I found that listening in the car at night enhanced the feel of the creepy monastary libray and definitely made the devastating climax come to life as I listened. A great mystery, vivid characters, dry humor, and some nice historical touches round out the tale.

The only drawback of this title is that some of the Italian character names deserve re-reading (it is a whodunit, after all). I found myself skipping backwards every so often to review what I'd heard. For the most part this is impractical. Other than that, an excellent listen!

I highly recommend this title: it has lead me to check out other titles by the author and I will probably listen to it again every other year or so - which for me is a sure sign of a good book.
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- Sean

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-28-2000
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio