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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

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

    9781911215318

    November 13, 2017

    Harvill Secker

    RRP $45.00

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    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • Paperback

    9781784705206

    November 19, 2018

    Vintage

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781473547193

    November 14, 2017

    Vintage Digital

    304 pages

    Online retailers

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