Maybe I was just too stupid for this book? – Numero Zero by Umberto Eco

Book Reviews, Book Thoughts, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Thoughts

Colonna, a writer, is offered a job at a paper, chronicling it’s creation and activity. But the paper itself; designed to tell tomorrow’s news, a year later (I think?) is a scam, a plot to scare people to pay for it not to be printed. Conspiracies and stories abound, with history being thrown about. Colonna makes a connection to a female member of the staff – but suddenly the theories invade into everyday life, and their future and the newspaper is in peril…

Again, I read this a fair while ago so don’t remember it too clearly. It is, obviously, Umberto Eco’s latest and last book. The only other I’ve read was the famous The Name Of the Rose, which I enjoyed despite finding it pretty dense. This, too, was not the easiest read. At it’s heart the story was pretty simple, but so obscured by so many ideas and theories that I didn’t quite get the references for that I’m not quite sure that I understood it.

This story is conspiracy upon conspiracy upon conspiracy. I was left at the end, and certainly now looking back at it, uncertain of what was true, what was important, and which if either really mattered. And I’m sure it must have been making some sort of important point, which perhaps I grasped at the time, but I now find that it eludes me.

Our main character is fairly pitiful, his involvement seemingly fairly innocent, but the drama around him (real? imagined? who knows!) throws him into a world he has hitherto not encountered. Suddenly there is danger, subterfuge, shadowy characters we don’t know much about.

And love. And perhaps at it’s heart, that is the point of the story. A man’s life is turned upside down, and he manages to ride the wave and come out with something better than he had before.

But perhaps it is something more mysterious and complex that I didn’t understand, or simply don’t remember. If you’ve read it, please do let me know.

4 thoughts on “Maybe I was just too stupid for this book? – Numero Zero by Umberto Eco

  1. I don’t think I have read this but knowing Eco’s style, it must have been difficult to read this. You’re never too stupid for a book, it’s the book that’s stupid :D

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