Genre: Classic, Historical
Release Date: 2004
Publisher: Vintage Classics
Add it: Goodreads
The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon—all sharpened to a glistening edge by wry humor and a ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where “the most interesting things happen at night.”
The Name of The Rose is basically a Sherlock and Watson adventure except it’s so boring it made me want to die. Which is not a good way to introduce anyone to a book really but I fail to understand why this dull excuse of a novel has so many fans out there because really? Really? This book? Are you sure?
So yeah, we have our two main characters who act as a Sherlock and Watson duo, going around fourteenth century Europe and presumably fitting in praying for their mortal souls around their solving mysteries gig. Because they’re monks, you see. The story is told by a young monk, Adso, who acts as the Watson to Brother William of Baskerville (I told you it was Sherlock Holmes), the Holmes of the tale. William and Adso are your basic Sherlock & Watson duo, with William using cold reason and logic to solve mysteries while Adso spends a large amount of time being awed by William’s intellect. William is called to a monastery up in the mountains to solve the grisly murders of monks that are being killed in creative ways at this extremely isolated place.
Things that happen during the course of this novel: discourse about whether Jesus laughed that lasts for a fucking CHAPTER, extremely uncomfortable sexual subtext because monks are seriously inhibited, the constant simmering hatred of women, and literally hundreds of pages full of useless information about monastic orders/architecture/philosophy/take your pick this author just can’t seem to resist showing off his vast well of knowledge. Things that should be the main plot but keep getting pushed aside for the above: the grisly murders of monks.
Even the mystery plot, once the book finally decides to pay attention to it, feels predictable; the ~villain is unsurprisingly not what one would call ‘sane’. Like, honestly, this reads more like a essay on how much the author knows about things that are in no way important to the plot he decided on and it is dull, so dull. Do not recommend unless you hate yourself.