Numero Zero

Numero Zero

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
From the best-selling author of The Name of the Rose and The Prague Cemetery, a novel about the murky world of media politics, conspiracy, and murder

A newspaper committed to blackmail and mud slinging, rather than reporting the news.

A paranoid editor, walking through the streets of Milan, reconstructing fifty years of history against the backdrop of a plot involving the cadaver of Mussolini's double.

The murder of Pope John Paul I, the CIA, red terrorists handled by secret services, twenty years of bloodshed, and events that seem outlandish until the BBC proves them true.

A fragile love story between two born losers, a failed ghost writer, and a vulnerable girl, who specializes in celebrity gossip yet cries over the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh. And then a dead body that suddenly appears in a back alley in Milan.

Set in 1992 and foreshadowing the mysteries and follies of the following twenty years, Numero Zero is a scintillating take on our times from the best-selling author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum.
Publisher: Boston, MA : Houghton Mifflin, [2015]
ISBN: 9780544635081
Branch Call Number: ECO
Characteristics: 191 pages ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Dixon, Richard
Alternative Title: Numero zero. English


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jun 08, 2017

Eco famously offered the world a synthetic philosophy of "semantic drift," and the shifting of meaning as stories and words and events pass from account to human account; this relatively brief novel explores the drift of meaning and the lack of certain truth in media - almost prescient...

May 08, 2016

Eco's novels can typically be read at two levels - a literal story-line and an embedded satirical/cynical commentary. They satisfy in at least one of those levels despite his penchant for voluminous and often monotonous dump of everything he might have learned or imagined about an idea. Unfortunately, this novel disappoints at both levels.

As a story, it is based on a tepid premise designed to allow commentary on the making of tabloid journalism (seemingly aimed more at the Murdoch empire than Berlusconi's as Italy doesn't have tabloid newspapers like in UK or the US) with a collection of one-dimensional characters and a plot that doesn't even come close to the book publisher's hype.

As a commentary, Eco cynically targets both the tabloids and their audience and the co-dependency relationship between them. The plot evolves through the cliched ideas of "manufacturing news" to "just because you are paranoid, doesn't ..." to "it must be true because the report said so".

Nothing more profound or provoking than listening to a ranting monologue from that Dad or Uncle at the dinner table we may all have faced at least once in our lives.

Fortunately, this one is less than 200 pages long.

Dec 06, 2015

I've decided The Name of the Rose is/was the only book by this author I'll like as I certainly didn't "like" this one.
And you won't either unless you're interested in a diatribe about Mussolini's last days, theory thereof. Characters, story, nothing rang true enough to continue reading so I stopped half way in.
P.S. The "romantically" involved part of Publishers Weekly review involves sex initially of course between two lost souls if you ask me. (Some romance!)

Nov 23, 2015

As is often the case with Eco, this is a concept novel or, more simply, a novel of ideas. Yes, there is a satire on contemporary journalism embedded in this rambling (often too much so) story of paranoia, conspiracy, and the philosophy of loser-ness. If you want a narrative, take a pass. If you are intrigued by Italian history, especially relating to the conspiracies surrounding the death of Mussolini, you might want to spend a few hours exploring this novel.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability

There are no age suitabilities for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Subject Headings


Find it at JMS

To Top