Foucault's Pendulum

Umberto Eco
Foucault's Pendulum Cover

Foucault's Pendulum


The main characters are collectors of knowledge about Templars and other related groups, so this novel also collects an unwieldy amount of knowledge around the plot, primarily in dialog. This diffuses (or defuses ) what tension there is, slowing the pace to a crawl.

The first 580 pages are told in flashback, our author hiding in a darkened museum and waiting for midnight. Chapters are short, with both dialog and investigation. Around page 400, they hatch the Plan - collect all of the knowledge they have into one grand scheme. Templars and Satanists, Rosicrucians and Jesuits, Masons and the Illuminati, Hollow Earth and Ultima Thule, and even Cthulhu makes an appearance. This scheme goes awry when an unlikely group demands more knowledge.

Too much dialog and too many ideas. Someone who read this copy before me tried highlighting and annotating, but gave up 60 pages in. When asked about Dan Brown, Eco stated that he was a character in this book, also lost in the conspiracies. That said, at least Brown's books maintain an exciting pace. It's been said that this is a parody of the pursuit of the occult - I just wish it weren't so ponderous.