Eco! Eco!

Baudolino, Umberto Eco

Marvelously funny, and, for Eco, very accessible. Of course, any novel that begins with a phrase in misspelled (and crossed out) Latin is going to whet my appetite for more. I'm funny that way. But Eco is even funnier in this book. Especially since I was reading it during the run-up to the recent mid-term elections, the search for the kingdom of Prester John and the description of fantastic characters distinguished only by different heretical beliefs rang eerily true. Ursula K. Leguin once defined fiction as a "pack of lies." "I write down this pack of lies," she said, "and say, 'There. That's the truth." Eco echoes her statement at the end of his book: "You surely don't believe you're the only writer of stories in this world. [speaking to the character of the historian] Sooner or later, someone - a greater liar than Baudolino - will tell it."