NY Times It was one of the three 'Literary Tour of Italy's Libraries ...
The movie that was made with Sean Connery is much better than the book.
Life is too short to be wasted on crappy books! This is one of those. Besides the first 30 (actually numbered) pages of the book being an introduction that could have been added at the end of the book, this is the second book that was recommended to me (because I'm a Ravenclaw) that has not been worth the lost time that I will never get back and not worth the paper that was used to publish it!
If you like books that bore you to death and ramble on about things that have nothing to do with the actual story, then by all means, go ahead and read this. For example, there are 6 & 1/2 pages that describe what the chapel in the abbey looks like. This tops the Anne Rice penchant for excessively describing things that could have been done in a paragraph or two!
I would not recommend this book to anyone...unless you have insomnia and need to be put to sleep. Oh, I did not finish it.
This story was a bit long. Long in the sense that the author went a lot into detail, which set up the scenes and the events, but a bit tedious, or at least it was for me. Secondly, it was slow and methodical. I have to admit, when reading a crime or suspense novel, I am wanting something that draws you in and moves along quickly. This book drew me in, but was slow moving. My personal preferences may have prejudiced my review or normal reading expectation. Again, I found this story interesting but slow moving
The characters were very well developed as well as the story. The plots rich in detail. At the same time, it is a complex book with all the intrigue and plotting interweaved in the story. The story revolves around the struggle for power within a monastery. Having this power would enable that individual to set the course of doctrine for the future. In many ways, a struggle of whether the church should guide and release only what it believes is good for the church or should information, no matter how much it is perceived to be heretical, should be available to all scholars to argue. This struggle and argument is so compelling, people are murdered to protect the books that are in question.
I found the premise of the story quite captivating, interesting, and intriguing. It was just told from a very methodical and analytical manner, it caused the story to drag.
This would be an interesting read when one is between books.
When mentioning the genre of historical mysteries this book always tops the list of books you are supposed to read. So I finally got around to doing just that.
While this in no doubt a dense book filled with debates on 14th century theology including the stimulating question, “Did Christ laugh?” I found myself fascinated. I love religious history and books, both of which are key subjects in this mystery. Issues of heresy, black magic and a secret book make for a pretty good mystery but for me the most enjoyable part was the history.
Very good novel. Takes you back in time into the minds and dilemmas of different and clashing philosophies that dominated the lives of the clergy and its subjects alongside a great and mysterious story.
Change your life good.
Good book? Yes. Readable? Not really. One of those books that you'll have to stick with to glean the final prize, which in truth may not be everyone's cup of tea. Gives you a vivid picture of the times it was set in but get ready to be bombarded with pretty long monologues and descriptions. Action happens, but not at our current thrill-a-second media driven speed. Features one of the best murder tools ever (unless you cheated by watching the movie first, like I did) and the motive... well, let's just say, may make less sense (or more) once you learn of it. Not so much mystery as historical drama (yes, the book jacket lies... surprise!).
I mentioned this title on an ongoing review series "Literary Counterparts."
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