It is 1204 and Constantinople, capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage, one Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.
Eco returns to the Middle Ages with Baudolino - a wondrous, provocative, beguiling tale of history, myth, and invention. It is April, 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a Byzantine historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors, and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story. Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts - a talent for learning foreign languages and skill in telling lies. One day, when still a boy, he met a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander - who proves to be the emperor Frederick Barbarossa - adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends. Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king who was said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East - a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens. As always with Eco, this abundant novel includes dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, pages of extraordinary feeling and poetry, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. Baudolino is an utterly marvelous tale by the inimitable author of The Name of the Rose.
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"Without a doubt the author's most playful book, suffused with an atmosphere of fanciful freedom" La Reppublica (Italy)
About Umberto Eco
Umberto Eco is the author of three bestselling novels, The Name of The Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Island of The Day Before. His collections of essays also include Five Moral Pieces, Kant and the Platypus, Serendipities, Travels In Hyperreality, and How To Travel With a Salmon and Other Essays. A Professor of Semiotics at the University of Bologna, Umberto Eco lives in Italy.
Baudolino by Umberto Eco
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