Like a child on Christmas Eve…

The Prague Cemetery arrives tomorrow, and I can barely contain my excitement.  In all this time, despite my attempts to read it in Italian and later Spanish, I have avoided any all contact with book reviews, blogs that mention the book, and even its wiki page.  I feel like that guy that records the Superbowl to watch later, but then has to avoid all contact with anybody who might somehow give the final score away.  So I’ve avoided and resisted temptation successfully… until today.  Since Amazon sent me the confirmation text that the book was, in fact, on its way, I haven’t been able to stop sorting through page after page of Prague Cemetery information.  I have read from those that have loved it to those that have not, and from the insightful to the superficial, and all that I’ve read has only made me more excited to crack open the book and dive in.

Here is the description from the publisher’s website:

Nineteenth-century Europe – from Turin to Prague to Paris – abounds with the ghastly and the mysterious.  Conspiracies rule history.  Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian republicans strangle priests with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate Black Masses at night.  Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres.  From the unification of Italy to the Paris Commune to the Dreyfus Affair to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, Europe is in tumult and everyone needs a scapegoat.  But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, both real and imagined, lay one lone man? What if that evil genius created its most infamous document?

Plotting Jesuits, forgeries, Italian unification, Dreyfus affair, Paris Commune?  They had me at plotting Jesuits…. And if I know Eco, this book will be written with a care for the beauty of language and with an emphasis on power of words to create and destroy realities. Like all his books, it will be a wonderful story hiding incredibly powerful ideas.

I cannot wait.

8 thoughts on “Like a child on Christmas Eve…

  1. I actually visited and walked through the Prague Cemetery some years ago. It was an eerie experience, with the tilted headstones all cramped together in that small parcel of land in the old town.

    Eco’s novel was offered a few weeks ago on NetGalley ( but I didn’t get it. Enjoy, Kris.

    • Thanks! I’ll let you know how it goes!

      Prague is one of my favorite cities, although I haven’t had the opportunity to visit the cemetery. I can image what an eerie experience it must have been. Even the photographs evoke that feeling.

      And you’re saying I could have been reading this book a few weeks ago!! Oh well, better late than never 🙂

    • It was written last year in Italian, but the English translation was just released. I’ve read nearly everything else he’s ever written and have yet to be disappointed. I’ll let you know how it goes!!

  2. I think Eco is a great author but either you love his style or you loathe it. I read the book in Spanish a year ago (lucky us!) and I remember I really liked it: it was deep, there was something more than the mere text. Also, I study literature and I kind of freaked out when I saw that Eco is playing with all I knew about literary theory: narrators, time, trust etc.

    Can’t wait to read your review, Kris. And I’m defenitely following your blog 🙂

    • I attempted to read it in Spanish but I am embarrassed to admit that my Spanish was just not good enough. If only I could be fully literate in as many languages as good literature is written in.

      That’s the thing with Eco, true of all of his other novels… he plays with the reader on multiple levels, and a good reading of his books always means going beyond the mere story. I study history, and his novels are so rich with historical detail that I often feel as if I can linger on any given page for hours, just swimming in the detail. And yes, he does play with literary theory. I suppose his novels are labs of a sort for his literary theory (Open Work, Role of the Reader, etc).

      Thanks for the insightful comment, and thanks for following, Elena!

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