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A lively collection of essays about the modern world from one of Europe’s greatest, and bestselling, cultural giants.

Umberto Eco was an international cultural superstar. A celebrated essayist as well as novelist, in this, his last collection, he explores many aspects of the modern world with irrepressible curiosity and wisdom.

A crisis in ideological values, a crisis in politics, unbridled individualism – the familiar backdrop to our lives: a ‘liquid society’ where it’s not easy to find a polestar, though stars and starlets are not lacking.

In these pieces, written by Eco as articles for his regular column in l’Espresso magazine, he brings his dazzling erudition and keen sense of the everyday to bear on topics such as popular culture and politics, being seen, conspiracies, the old and the young, mobile phones, mass media, racism, good manners and the crisis in ideological values. It is a final gift to his readers – astute, witty and illuminating.

Reviews

He brilliantly exposes all that is absurd and paradoxical in contemporary behaviour. Eco’s irony is disarming, his cleverness dazzling

Tim Parks, Guardian

He brilliantly exposes all that is absurd and paradoxical in contemporary behaviour. Eco’s irony is disarming, his cleverness dazzling

Tim Parks, Guardian

He brilliantly exposes all that is absurd and paradoxical in contemporary behaviour. Eco’s irony is disarming, his cleverness dazzling

Tim Parks, Guardian

A swan song from one of Europe's great intellectuals...Eco entertains with his intellect, humor, and insatiable curiosity...there's much here to enjoy and ponder

Kirkus Reviews

A swan song from one of Europe's great intellectuals...Eco entertains with his intellect, humor, and insatiable curiosity...there's much here to enjoy and ponder

Kirkus Reviews

This volume’s primary reward lies in the pleasure of watching a finely calibrated, expansive, and logical mind build an argument or deconstruct cant. Eco has left us an intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores.

Publisher's Weekly

This volume’s primary reward lies in the pleasure of watching a finely calibrated, expansive, and logical mind build an argument or deconstruct cant. Eco has left us an intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores.

Publisher's Weekly

There are people you’ve never met and yet you miss them when they are gone… Eco’s famously ironic voice, well preserved in Richard Dixon’s translation, is especially penetrating in his reflections on online culture… His encyclopedic knowledge doesn’t intimidate, and whatever the topic, he reports his observations in a reserved, often droll key, illustrating his arguments with examples all the more persuasive for their wittiness… The issues Eco addresses are so enormous in their scale they seem insurmountable, yet his measured, erudite commentary assures you that they can be understood and therefore resolved

Anna Aslanyan, Financial Times

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback

    9781911215318

    November 13, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    RRP $45.00

    Online retailers

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  • EBook

    9781473547193

    November 14, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

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    • iBooks
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Also by Umberto Eco

The Name Of The Rose (Vintage Past)
Numero Zero
Inventing the Enemy
The Prague Cemetery
This is Not the End of the Book
Turning Back The Clock
The Mysterious Flame Of Queen Loana
On Literature
Baudolino
Five Moral Pieces
How To Travel With A Salmon
Kant And The Platypus
Foucault's Pendulum
Island Of The Day Before
Faith In Fakes
The Name Of The Rose

Recommendations

Talking to My Daughter About the Economy
Homo Deus
Endurance
Depends What You Mean by Extremist
The Rub of Time
The Shepherd's Life
Bit Rot
Free
There It Is Again
Dan and Phil Go Outside
Home and Away
The 37th Parallel
The Gene
1971 - Never a Dull Moment
Quicksand
The Rise and Fall of Australia
The End
Pulphead
Three Famines
Voodoo Histories