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By Umberto Eco

It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the luxurious capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by means of the knights of the Fourth campaign. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and excessive courtroom reputable from convinced 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 international commander within the woods, fascinating him together with his fast wit and energetic brain. The commander--who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa--adopts Baudolino and sends him to the collage in Paris, the place he makes a couple of fearless, adventurous friends.

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

As constantly with Eco, this ample novel contains awesome digressions, outrageous methods, striking feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. this is often Eco the storyteller at his superb best.

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There are those who press the grapes, those who carry off the must in the tuns, those who cook for the others, others who go to fetch the good wine from last year.... A sack is a serious job—at least if you want to make sure that in the city not a stone remains on a stone, as in my Mediolanum days. But for that you'd really want the Pavians; they knew how to make a city disappear. These men here have everything to learn. They pulled down the statue, then sat on it to have a drink, then another man arrived dragging a girl along by the hair and shouting that she was a virgin, and they all had to stick in a finger to see if it was worth it....

Baudolino in the castle of Ardzrouni 25. Baudolino sees Frederick die twice 26. Baudolino and the journey of the Magi 27. Baudolino in the darkness of Abcasia 28. Baudolino crosses the Sambatyon 29. Baudolino arrives at Pndapetzim 30. Baudolino meets the Deacon Johannes 31. Baudolino waits to leave for the kingdom of Prester John 32. Baudolino sees a lady with a unicorn 33. Baudolino meets Hypatia 34. Baudolino discovers true love 35. Baudolino against the White Huns 36. Baudolino and the rocs 37.

He's a saint from our parts; he was bishop of Villa del Foro. Whether or not I saw him is another question. " "Yes, but with me, whenever I said I saw this, or I found this letter that says thus and so (and maybe I'd written it myself), other people seemed to have been waiting for that very thing. You know, Master Niketas, when you say something you've imagined, and others then say that's exactly how it is, you end up believing it yourself. So I wandered around Frascheta and I saw saints and unicorns in the forest, and when I came upon the emperor, without knowing who he was, I spoke to him in his language.

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