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Extended Audio Sample Baudolino, by Umberto Eco Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,754 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Umberto Eco Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, a young man named Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.

Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts—a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander—who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa—adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends.

Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East—a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens.

With dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age, this is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the 2002 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Erin | 2/8/2014

    " This caught me totally by surprise with how delightful it was - it wasn't until I'd yawned my way most of the way through it that all of a sudden it became the most gripping read ever, and had me mystified up until literally, the last page - that is my favorite type of entertainment, book or movie - the type that when the end comes, it smacks you upside the head and makes you regret not paying more attention the whole way thru. Kinda like life. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Florin Pitea | 2/8/2014

    " The weirdest thing happened with this book. I enjoyed the first half quite a lot, then disliked the second half so much I abandoned reading the novel when I had less than 100 pages left of it. Years later, I went back and read whatever was left. Probably the last book by Eco I'll ever go through, though I'm tempted to re-read "Foucault's Pendulum". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Dan | 1/23/2014

    " A fantastic book. Umberto Eco never ceases to amaze me with his unbelievable breadth & depth of history as he fabricates a fictional character, Baudolino, who (by the Baudolino's own account) plays a critical role in setting in motion a multitude of nation-changing events that occur around the time of Frederick I in the twelfth century and the fourth crusade. What starts out as an adventure firmly entrenched in verifiable historical events ends up in fantastical territory, as the main character sets off with a small cadre of companions in search of the mythical kingdom of Prester John. It is at this point that Eco loses me a bit, as the existence of the main character goes from a fun, if barely mathematical improbability to the absurd. Still, an incredible read. I will note that - since reading this book, I have read a history of Ghenghis Khan, which puts the legend of Prester John in a little more historical context and adds to the esteem in which I hold this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by محمد الهاشمي | 1/21/2014

    " The first chapter gives you enough boost to go on reading. This is a novel that takes lying to another level. An epic adventure of the lame, cruel but so real. "

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