Book cover
The Name of the Rose
Umberto Eco
William Weaver

You know those SNL “Stafon” skits where Bill Hader describes clubs in New York in extravagant ways, saying “It has everything!” Well, this book has everything. It is elegantly written (my version was translated by William Weaver). It is fascinatingly philosophical. It is historical. It is an engrossing mystery story. It is a very funny satire. And it is interesting.

Without spoiling it I’ll say that the resolution of the mystery integrates beautifully with the philosophical themes explored by the characters, and with the setting. The story’s hero, the ultimate villain, the 14th century Church, and the monastery and library each echo one another in fractal ways. It is remarkable how all these parts were assembled to make something cohesive, if labyrinthine.