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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.


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

Tim Parks, Guardian

There are people you’ve never met and yet you miss them when they are gone… Eco’s famously ironic voice is penetrating … 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

Financial Times

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

Eco has left us an intelligent, intriguing, and often hilariously incisive set of observations on contemporary follies and changing mores.

Publisher's Weekly

Illuminating, entertaining and humane.

Emily Beament, UK Press Syndication

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Formats & editions

  • Hardback


    November 13, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    RRP $45.00

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    November 14, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

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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
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


Talking to My Daughter
Homo Deus
The Dangerous Art of Blending In
Feel Free: Essays
The Republic
Bit Rot
There It Is Again
Dan and Phil Go Outside
Home and Away
The 37th Parallel
The Gene
1971 - Never a Dull Moment
The Rise and Fall of Australia
The End
Three Famines