Baudolino by Umberto Eco
Baudolino, a self-confessed liar, is a peasant boy with a talent for learning and for making up stories. Even better, they seem to somehow come true. As he relates his story to a companion during the sack of Constantinople, he tells how he made himself into the virtual son of an Emperor and nearly succeeded in finding the lost kingdom of Prester John and the Holy Grail.
Ultimately it’s a story about truth and perception and how difficult it can be to tell the difference. Rich in historical detail, full of occult mythology, and with a sidebar of subtle taunting of Church history. It certainly wasn’t as good or accessible as “The Name of the Rose.” Nor was it quite as intellectually intriguing as “Foucalt’s Pendulum,” perhaps my favorite of his works that I have read to date. I wouldn’t call it an easy read, but I would say it was worthwhile.
As usual, I’m trailing on book reviews. I read this sometime last year, along with about 30 other novels. I’m slowly working my way through adding them to the blog.