Baudolino by Umberto Eco

By Umberto Eco

It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the luxurious capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by way of the knights of the Fourth campaign. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and excessive courtroom legit from definite dying by the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to inform his personal fantastical tale.

Born an easy peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has significant gifts--a expertise for studying languages and a ability in telling lies. whilst nonetheless a boy he meets a overseas commander within the woods, captivating him together with his speedy wit and full of life brain. The commander--who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa--adopts Baudolino and sends him to the college in Paris, the place he makes a couple of fearless, adventurous friends.

Spurred on via myths and their very own reveries, this merry band units out looking for Prester John, a mythical priest-king stated to rule over an enormous nation within the East--a phantasmagorical land of odd creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and gorgeous maidens.

As continuously with Eco, this considerable novel comprises outstanding digressions, outrageous tips, amazing feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. this is often Eco the storyteller at his magnificent best.

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Baudolino saves Alessandria with his father's cow 15. Baudolino at the battle of Legnano 16. Baudolino is deceived by Zosimos 17. Baudolino discovers that Prester John wrote to too many people 18. Baudolino and Colandrina 19. Baudolino changes the name of his city 20. Baudolino finds Zosimos again 21. Baudolino and the sweets of Byzantium 22. Baudolino loses his father and finds the Grasal 23. Baudolino on the Third Crusade 24. Baudolino in the castle of Ardzrouni 25. Baudolino sees Frederick die twice 26.

The soldiers, first with the flat of their swords, then with the tips, incited the poor animals, who in their fear loosed volleys of dung; some mules fell to the ground, breaking their legs, so that the whole area around the pulpit was a gruel of blood and feces. Groups of that vanguard of the Antichrist were stubbornly attacking the altars. Niketas saw some of them rip open a tabernacle, seize the chalices, fling to the ground the sacred Hosts, using their daggers to pry loose the gems that adorned the cup, hiding them in their clothes, then throwing the chalice into a general pile, to be melted down.

At that moment Niketas felt he was doomed because, as he had already seen in his breathless race through the streets of the invaded city, it was not enough to show that you were carrying only a few coins, or to deny having a treasure hidden somewhere: dishonored nobles, weeping old gentlemen, dispossessed possessors were tortured to make them reveal where they had hidden their wealth, and killed if, now having none, they were unable to reveal it, and left on the ground when they did reveal it, after having undergone so many and such terrible tortures that, in any event, they died while their tormentors lifted a stone, broke through a fake wall, knocked down a false ceiling, and rummaged with rapacious hands amid precious vessels, soft silks and velvets, stroking furs, sifting gems and jewels through their fingers, sniffing pots and sacks of rare spices.

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