Books by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco is a professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and the bestselling author of numerous novels and essays. He lives in Milan.


HISTORY
Released: Feb. 3, 2014

"Lush, comprehensive scholarship aimed at a very limited academic readership."
The acclaimed author of The Name of the Rose (1980) and Foucault's Pendulum (1988) returns with a deeply academic collection of previously published essays, speeches and a book review, all examining issues in semiotics, linguistics and medieval history. Read full book review >
THE PRAGUE CEMETERY by Umberto Eco
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Nov. 8, 2011

"What does it all add up to? An indictment of the old Europe, for one thing, and a perplexing, multilayered, attention-holding mystery. Expect it to find many readers."
Eco (The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana, 2005, etc.) doffs his scholarly gown and dons his trench coat for another bracing—and controversial—mystery. Read full book review >
TURNING BACK THE CLOCK by Umberto Eco
ESSAYS & ANTHOLOGIES
Released: Nov. 1, 2007

"Entertainment and a bit of wisdom for a thinking audience."
The prolific novelist, essayist and philosopher comes this time as a latter-day Walter Lippmann in this gathering of journalism, most of which first appeared in two Italian newspapers. Read full book review >
THE MYSTERIOUS FLAME OF QUEEN LOANA by Umberto Eco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 1, 2005

"A head-spinning tour through the corridors of history and popular culture, and one of this sly entertainer's liveliest yet. "
An experience of "retrograde amnesia" stimulates journeys into both the darkened past and the undisclosed future—in the celebrated Italian polymath's fifth erudite doorstopper (Baudolino, 2002, etc.). Read full book review >
BAUDOLINO by Umberto Eco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Oct. 15, 2002

"A little learning, reputedly a dangerous thing, can be lethal when allowed to overpower a story as relentlessly as it does in Baudolino."
An adventurer who boasts of his proficiency as a liar unburdens his colorful history to a skeptical Greek historian during the siege of Constantinople in a.d. 1204: in this erudite and intermittently sluggish fourth novel from the philosopher-semiotician author (Foucault's Pendulum, 1989, etc.). Read full book review >
FIVE MORAL PIECES by Umberto Eco
SOCIAL SCIENCES
Released: Nov. 1, 2001

"A helpful and intermittently revealing (if scarcely essential) gloss on both Eco's unusual fiction and his knotty philosophical and semantic studies."
"Occasional pieces," all dating from the 1990s, that include essays, speeches, and revised correspondence from the erudite novelist-philosopher-semiotician Eco (Kant and the Platypus, 1999, etc.). Read full book review >
KANT AND THE PLATYPUS by Umberto Eco
HISTORY
Released: Nov. 1, 1999

" A substantial volume that makes a case for Eco's novels as window-dressing, and his scholarship as the real thing."
All (and probably more than) you ever wanted to know about how cognitive linguistics and semiotics have risen to the challenge of Kant's Copernican Revolution in philosophy. Read full book review >
SERENDIPITIES by Umberto Eco
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Oct. 8, 1998

"The genial Eco may have had the lay reader in mind when he wrote these essays (which were originally lectures), but his book of linguistic arcana is also of avowedly esoteric interest."
Italy's most celebrated public intellectual gathers five essays that focus (more or less) on how lunatic misunderstandings concerning the perfect language have led to new discoveries (sort of). Read full book review >
THE ISLAND OF THE DAY BEFORE by Umberto Eco
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 1, 1995

"Though weighted here and there by the longueurs of whimsy, this is on balance an intriguing and entertaining theoretical rompa kind of Borgesian Robinson Crusoe. (First printing of 300,000; author tour)"
 An imaginative romance of shipwreck, survival, and philosophical adventuring by the formidably learned author of The Name of the Rose (1983), Foucault's Pendulum (1989), and, most recently, How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays (1994). Read full book review >
THE SEARCH FOR THE PERFECT LANGUAGE by Umberto Eco
PSYCHOLOGY
Released: Sept. 1, 1995

"But some of the material is so leaden, even Eco's magical wit can't turn it all to gold."
 This dense archival study finds philosopher/novelist/essayist Eco (Semiotics/Univ. of Bologna, Italy; Foucault's Pendulum, 1989, etc.) excavating the labyrinthine history of early modern European linguistics. Read full book review >
HOW TO TRAVEL WITH A SALMON AND OTHER ESSAYS by Umberto Eco
Released: Oct. 1, 1994

"While he wastes some time exposing cliches—Indians in westerns, unworthy sequels—that are cliches to expose, Eco entertains with his clever reflections and with his unique persona, the featured player in his stories."
Popular novelist (The Name of the Rose, 1983; Foucault's Pendulum, 1989) and notorious semiologist (at the Univ. of Bologna) Eco shows himself to be a journalist as well with this generally diverting volume of short pieces. Read full book review >
APOCALYPSE POSTPONED by Umberto Eco
ENTERTAINMENT & SPORTS
Released: May 1, 1994

"Eco is a true original—substantial, lucid, humane, and a great deal of fun."
Teacher (Semiotics/Univ. of Bologna), editor, cultural commentator, and novelist (Foucault's Pendulum, 1989), Eco offers refreshing commentary on cultural life, primarily in Italy, from the mid-1960s to the late '80s, when intellectuals were especially alarmed by the emergence of a mass or pop culture. Read full book review >
THE BOMB AND THE GENERAL; THE THREE ASTRONAUTS by Umberto Eco
Released: April 3, 1989

From the distinguished Italian scholar and novelist (The Name of the Rose), two fables concerning war, peace, and coexistence. Read full book review >