3.71 (16,374 ratings by Goodreads)

List price: US$36.00

Currently unavailable

Add to wishlist

AbeBooks may have this title (opens in new window).

Try AbeBooks


It is April 1204, and Constantinople, the splendid capital of the Byzantine Empire, is being sacked and burned by the knights of the Fourth Crusade. Amid the carnage and confusion, one Baudolino saves a historian and high court official from certain death at the hands of the crusading warriors and proceeds to tell his own fantastical story.
Born a simple peasant in northern Italy, Baudolino has two major gifts--a talent for learning languages and a skill in telling lies. When still a boy he meets a foreign commander in the woods, charming him with his quick wit and lively mind. The commander--who proves to be Emperor Frederick Barbarossa--adopts Baudolino and sends him to the university in Paris, where he makes a number of fearless, adventurous friends.
Spurred on by myths and their own reveries, this merry band sets out in search of Prester John, a legendary priest-king said to rule over a vast kingdom in the East--a phantasmagorical land of strange creatures with eyes on their shoulders and mouths on their stomachs, of eunuchs, unicorns, and lovely maidens.
As always with Eco, this abundant novel includes dazzling digressions, outrageous tricks, extraordinary feeling, and vicarious reflections on our postmodern age. This is Eco the storyteller at his brilliant best.
International Bestseller
show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 528 pages
  • 160 x 232 x 34mm | 898.11g
  • United States
  • English
  • 0151006903
  • 9780151006908

Review quote


"Fuses historical events of the twelfth century with myths and fables, juicy romance, real political issues, and deep questions of faith--and the result is dazzling fireworks."--"Welt Am Sonntag"(Germany)

"Without a doubt the author's most playful book, suffused with an atmosphere of fanciful freedom." --"La Repubblica"(Italy)


"A superbly entertaining and extraordinary work of novelistic art."--"Harper's"

"Fascinating, ingenious, dazzling."--"Newsweek"

"The kind of novel that changes our mind."--"Los Angeles Times"
show more

Rating details

16,374 ratings
3.71 out of 5 stars
5 24% (3,991)
4 36% (5,924)
3 28% (4,617)
2 9% (1,432)
1 3% (410)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X