The Prague Cemetery Review

The Prague Cemetery
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The Prague Cemetery ReviewUmberto Eco is anything but a pedant in his writing. The world was in turmoil between 1885 and 1905. Eco has thrown the whole mess of Europe in the late 19th century into one story, threaded it all through the hateful and vengeful eye of a delerius psychotic, and made it all make sense. The book is chock full of everything from Sigmund Freud (spelled Froid [umlaut]) to Napoleon, and for my money, I believe much of the backstory is true to history as I have learned it.
The style is gripping, entertaining, and rife with hidden meaning between the lines so that the reader seems to know what the narrator/main character does not. Simonini reveals from about the second page that he is the multiple-personality, the psychotic, the borderline person whom he seeks. We know it. We even begin to realize that others who know Simonini also know him as either a fraud or a lunatic. One of the masterful ways in which this is done is the character describing everyone he hates. Germans. Jews. French. Russians. The one thing that makes this so different from all his other novels is the level of sexual perversion graphically described, the twisting of motives of everyone from Jewish Rabbis to Templar Masons, of course through the eyes of a madman, and the level of depravity it makes the reader FEEL. Now, any author desires to elicit emotion from a reader, even if it is anger. Eco managed to step on all my buttons. This book is thick with hate speech, promiscuity, and murder. The writing is flawlessly brilliant, but the subject matter is not gentled by even the smallest point. One does wonder, since the book is translated from Italian, whether the translator is the brilliant here, but likely, they are equals. I read this for the Vine program, and if not for needing to supply a review, probably would not have finished it. It is so completely grim, so dark, foreboding, and evil, that I felt exhausted by it.The Prague Cemetery Overview

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