Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Set in Milan
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UMBERTO ECO was born in 1932 in Alesandria, Italy. He is professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna, a philosopher, historian, literary critic, and aesthetician. The subjects of his scholarly investigation range from St. Thomas Aquinas to James Joyce to Superman. He lives in Milan. The NAME OF THE ROSE was his first novel.

Umberto Eco

Foucault's Pendulum

(Translated from the Italian by William Weaver)

JACKET NOTES:  An enthralling mystery, a breathtaking rollercoaster ride through a world of ideas and aberrations, an adventure into the modern mind.
One Colonel Ardenti, who has unnaturally black, brilliantined hair, an Adolphe Menjou mustache, wears maroon socks, and once served in the Foreign Legion, starts it all. He tells three Milan editors that he has discovered a coded message about a Templar Plan, centuries old and involving Stonehenge, to tap a mystic source of power greater than atomic energy.
The editors (who have spent altogether too much time rewriting crackpot manuscripts on the occult by self-subsidizing poetasters and dilettantes decide to have a little fun. They'll make a Plan of their own. But how?
Randomly they throw in manuscript pages on hermetic thought. The Masters of the World, who live beneath the earth. The Comte de Saint-Germain, who lives forever. The secrets of the solar system contained in the measurements of the Great Pyramid. The Satanic initiation rites of the Knights of the Temple. Assassins, Rosicrucians, Brazilian voodoo. They feed all this into their computer, which is named Abulafia (Abu for short), after the medieval Jewish cabalist.
A terrific joke, they think--until people begin to disappear mysteriously, one by one, starting with Colonel Ardenti.
A superb entertainment by the celebrated author of ‘The Name of the Rose’.
(© Harcourt Brace)