Monday, January 2, 2012

2011 - Book 32 - The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana

This is another one that I didn't finish this year, and probably won't. The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana is one of Umberto Eco's fictional works and while I love some of his stuff (e.g., The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum) but the last couple of his fiction works that I've read, including this one has felt like I'm reading something for school. Perhaps my mind has spent too much time reading the empty calories of works like the Charlaine Harris Sookie Stackhouse series and gone all soft...but at the moment, I'm okay with that. However, here is the book description:
What if you woke up tomorrow and remembered nothing of your life? The faces of your spouse and children are strange, and the outlines of your childhood are only a blur. This is the crisis that Yambo, an Italian book seller, faces when he regains consciousness after suffering a stroke. He is shocked to find, however, that he can remember every book he has ever read, every line of poetry, and a wealth of literary quotations.
Desperate to retrieve his past, he searches through boxes of old newspapers, comics, records, photo albums, and adolescent diaries. And so Yambo relives the story of his generation: Mussolini, Catholic education and guilt, Josephine Baker, Flash Gordon, Fred Astaire. His memories run wild, and life races before him in a series of images, as Yambo struggles to capture the most elusive one - that of his first love.
Don't get me wrong, this is actually a really good book and as so much of Eco's works is well written. The premise behind it is really intriguing and does make you stop and think and wonder "what if..." but, at this time in my life, I'm just sorta happy reading the mind candy that I've spent much of the year reading.

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