Nineteenth-century Europe abounds with conspiracy both ghastly and mysterious. Jesuits plot against Freemasons. Italian priests are strangled with their own intestines. French criminals plan bombings by day and celebrate black masses by night. Every nation has its own secret service, perpetrating forgeries, plots, and massacres.
But what if, behind all of these conspiracies, lies just one man?
[This] magnificent new novel... marks a return to the heady mixture of absorbing ideas and down-and-dirty historical detail that made The Name of the Rose such an international bestseller in the 1980's
This is a great mystery novel about paranoia, prejudice and forgery... We gain access to a world of city streets, strange anecdotes, gourmet menus, and conspiratorial minds... Eco’s best novel since The Name of the Rose
A smartly entertaining fin-de-siècle romp
An extremely readable narrative of betrayal, terrorism, murder and gourmadising... The great trick Eco pulls off here is to combine the most chilling of ideas - the origin of a hoax that led to genocide - with, elsewhere in the novel, an often funny lightness of touch... In other hands, this novel could have been grim. But you end up feeling, despite all the darkness, that Eco is one of literature's great optimists
Imagine Dan Brown adorned with a PhD: that's Umberto Eco