Townhouse Books

Monday, August 22, 2005

The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana:Umberto Eco

Well I did it. I finally read the thing.

An older man becomes an amnesiac when he has a stroke caused by high blood pressure. He remembers most everything he has ever read, unless some emotional significance has been attached to it.

The first 100 pages were most intriguing for me. He has to come to grips with where the real world meets the printed word. Drinking coffee results in burning his mouth etc... He is able to recite ad nauseum from passages relating to subjects inspired by words he hears. However, he can't remember how to have sex with his wife.

He appears to be on a relentless quest to reclaim his memories, but I don't actually feel the passion he has to get his life back. Iinstead I get the idea that he wants to passionately read the books he read as a child. Which is strange because I would think that he would remember most of these from memory. I don't know quite where Umberto draws the line on that one.

The ending comes in throes, so watch out for the waves.

I enjoyed it, but I'm not sure who should devote what little time they have to it.



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