“Impishly witty and ingeniously irreverent” essays on topics from cell phones to librarians, by the author of The Name of the Rose and Foucault’s Pendulum (The Atlantic Monthly).
A cosmopolitan curmudgeon the Los Angeles Times called “the Andy Rooney of academia”—known for both nonfiction and novels that have become blockbuster New York Times bestsellers—Umberto Eco takes readers on “a delightful romp through the absurdities of modern life” (Publishers Weekly) as he journeys around the world and into his own wildly adventurous mind.
From the mundane details of getting around on Amtrak or in the back of a cab, to reflections on computer jargon and soccer fans, to more important issues like the effects of mass media and consumer civilization—not to mention the challenges of trying to refrigerate an expensive piece of fish at an English hotel—this renowned writer, semiotician, and philosopher provides “an uncanny combination of the profound and the profane” (San Francisco Chronicle).
“Eco entertains with his clever reflections and with his unique persona.” —Kirkus Reviews
Translated from the Italian by William Weaver