Last weekend two of my favorite writers passed away on the same day: Harper Lee and Umberto Eco. I am not a big fan of them, in the sense that I only had read one book of each: To Kill a Mockingbird and The Name of the Rose. But somehow they had inspired me back then. Their works had given me many a good time. Those books command multiple rereads.
When I was in college, I came to know about Umberto Eco’s work from Ibu Gadis Arivia’s thesis. It was about semiotics and signs in The Name of the Rose. And thought, Hey there is ‘sem’ in ‘semiotics’, thus I was drawn to the subject.
His book proved to be engaging, fun to read. A real page-turner. Very imaginative and thrilling. He created a place that felt so true I wanted to go there. I can imagine the grand library, the gardens, the chapel…. He painted the characters well. I could see William wearing glasses, I could see Adso blushed. Eco described the activities of the monks so lively I felt like watching them one by one writing a manuscript, tending a herb garden, and so on.
It’s entertaining and beautifully written (and translated, since it was first written in Italian). It is a detective story, I believe. It reminded me to Hercule Poirot’s adventures. It is a thriller.