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Extended Audio Sample Baudolino Audiobook, 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 (23 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: October 2002 ISBN: 9781470346065
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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.

Download and start listening now!

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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 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Linda | 1/19/2014

    " It has its moments, but is also tedious and wanders without apparent direction, with loads of ungrounded details at times. Quit this one half way, as it wallowed. Eco has a wonderfully cynical take on human nature, but I couldn't stick with the vague direction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nullaesomines | 1/14/2014

    " I loved this book! As I read I kept wondering who could come up with this! And as as I read the last line I burst out laughing. Genius. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine D. | 1/10/2014

    " Really interesting so far! I cannot put it down! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mercurybard | 1/1/2014

    " I think this has taken close to a year for me to read. On the surface, it sounded like a fun adventure I'd devour in just a couple of days, but in reality, it was so pretenious that it took months to make myself slog through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 DL | 12/31/2013

    " A phrase used to describe 'Foucault's Pendulum' also aptly describes 'Baudolino:' "endlessly diverting." It is at once fascinating history, bawdy farce, riveting mystery, and profound allegory. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trevor | 11/21/2013

    " First Umberto Eco book I've read... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie | 11/20/2013

    " maybe i was too stupid for this book, but i couldn't finish it. wasn't interested in trying to follow all the historical tangents. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lizette Salazar | 11/2/2013

    " Al final se puso mas interesante! el libro fue pesimo para mi gusto hasta la pagina 300.. de la 300 en adelante se puso interesante. El nombre de la Rosa fue muy superior para mi gusto y venia con expectativas muy altas que no fueron satisfechas. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Matt | 10/27/2013

    " This is the worst book I have ever read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Renee | 10/27/2013

    " Umberto Eco is also one of my favorite authors. If I have to read fiction give me one of his books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gretchen | 9/6/2013

    " I think it was me, not the book. Sometimes you're just not in the right frame of mind for a book- I may try this again at a later date. I've read two other books by Eco and think the translations are almost poetic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Hansen | 7/14/2013

    " A mind trip and an amazing story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Altmmdi | 6/24/2013

    " About a time when common people were creating history. A lie is a good one if you believe in it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Christopher | 5/4/2013

    " I abandoned this book halfway through. I just couldn't get into it. I came up with excuse after excuse, reason after reason, to avoid reading it. It's not that it was bad, necessarily, it just wasn't a very compelling read. Life is short and there are too many other interesting books to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kris | 4/11/2013

    " Reached a point where I could not tolerate his nonsense and the genral stupidity of the characters any more. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Brett | 4/3/2013

    " Unless you really like medieval debates on theology, ethics, science, etc. don't bother reading this. It's quite boring and most of the side characters were poorly created. Instead just ponder if lies can become truths, and how much you should believe a confessed expert liar. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Glenda | 2/12/2013

    " Was too much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justine | 1/8/2013

    " As translated, Eco writes a dense but casual prose. The plot here is vastly amusing -- I loved learning about this aspect of the Crusades. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabella Campanile | 1/4/2013

    " Viaggio meraviglioso nel mondo del Medio Evo "

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About the Author
Author Umberto EcoUmberto Eco is an Italian semiotician philosopher, literary critic, and novelist. He is the author of The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, and The Prague Cemetery, all bestsellers in many languages, as well as a number of influential scholarly works.
About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty AudioFile Erphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.