• The Name of the Rose

  • By: Umberto Eco
  • Narrated by: Theodore Bikel
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (328 ratings)

1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
The Name of the Rose  By  cover art

The Name of the Rose

By: Umberto Eco
Narrated by: Theodore Bikel
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $18.89

Buy for $18.89

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. But his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths that take place in seven days and nights of apocalyptic terror. Brother William turns detective, and a uniquely deft one at that. His tools are the logic of Aristotle, the theology of Aquinas, the empirical insights of Roger Bacon - all sharpened to a glistening edge by his wry humor and ferocious curiosity. He collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols, and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey, where "the most interesting things happen at night."

As Brother William goes about unraveling the mystery of what happens at they abbey by day and by night, listeners step into a brilliant re-creation of the 14th century, with its dark superstitions and wild prejudices, its hidden passions and sordid intrigues. Virtuoso storyteller Umberto Eco conjures up a gloriously rich portrait of this world with such grace, ease, wit, and love that you will become utterly intoxicated with the place and time. The story is performed by Theodore Bikel who has starred in numerous Broadway hits, including The Sound of Music, Zorba, and Fiddler on the Roof.

©1983 by Harcourt Brace & Company and Martin Secker & Warburg Limited; 1980 by Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri-Bompiani, Snzogno, Etas S.p.A. (P)1985 by Audio Renaissance Tapes, a Division of Cassette Productions Unlimited, Inc.

What listeners say about The Name of the Rose

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    136
  • 4 Stars
    96
  • 3 Stars
    57
  • 2 Stars
    23
  • 1 Stars
    16
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    86
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    22
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    85
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    7
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

And Excellent Book, A poor Audio

This is an outstanding and complex work. It deserves to be released unabridged. So much is lost in an abridgment that it isn't worth listening to. If you are interested in what was one of the few best sellers deserving that status, read the book. If you want to listen, then wait until it is available unabridged. An abridgement is a waste of money.

76 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great for night-time listening!

I purchased this novel based on some vague memories of the old Sean Connery movie. I was not disappointed. A very fast, suspensful listen. Imagine Sherlock Holmes as an Italian Monk and you've got the idea. I found that listening in the car at night enhanced the feel of the creepy monastary libray and definitely made the devastating climax come to life as I listened. A great mystery, vivid characters, dry humor, and some nice historical touches round out the tale.

The only drawback of this title is that some of the Italian character names deserve re-reading (it is a whodunit, after all). I found myself skipping backwards every so often to review what I'd heard. For the most part this is impractical. Other than that, an excellent listen!

I highly recommend this title: it has lead me to check out other titles by the author and I will probably listen to it again every other year or so - which for me is a sure sign of a good book.

30 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Abridged is not as sweet

When I read the print version about 20 years ago, I thought it one of the best novels I had come across. I think the audio version's "brilliant re-creation of the 14th century" and plot suffer in abridgement, or perhaps there are just other good historical novels out there these days to compare.

The narration is good and the story is easy to follow, however - and an abridged rose is still sweeter than none.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Good enough to make me wish it were unabridged

This book -- what I heard of it -- was both an excellent mystery novel and, at a deeper level, a fascinating exploration of the way that piety can beget sin and a love of the truth can beget anti-intellectualism. The narrator did an excellent job, particularly with the German and Italian accents (though the British one could have used some help, I thought). I can't address how much is lost in the abridgement, but I do wish an unabridged version had been available -- especially now that I've heard this version. I have the book on my shelf and based on its length it seems that a great deal must be missing. On the other hand, that book has been on my shelf, unread, for some time, and I suppose the abridged version must be pretty good on its own merits if it left me wanting more.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliantly written and Superbly performed!!!

I absolutely love Umberto Eco's writing, but Bikel adds so much to the book. The choir that is used at the begining and during transitions also takes you right there. I have listened to this book so many times. It is very relaxing, yet captivating, as well as completely entertaining. If you like Sherlock Holmes and enjoy books written with beautiful description/dialouge, then this is the mystery for you. Man, I love the begining and the many minutes of action in that maze of a library... just cozy, captivating goodness.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

incredible

I really enjoy learning something about history. Most will probably enjoy this book for the murder mystery, but the historical context is fascinating. If you are at all interestged in medieval christianity, this will be for you. The narrator is pretty close to perfect. While the movie is spectacular, this is even better.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Abridged? Really???

Would you try another book from Umberto Eco and/or Theodore Bikel?

Yes and Yes! This is one of my favorite books, and Theodore Bikel does a marvelous job bringing Adso to life. His accent and delivery are enthralling!

The only problem is that this version is abridged.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

I love this book! The story is gripping

Have you listened to any of Theodore Bikel’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

This was my first, but I loved his performance and will look for more!

Did The Name of the Rose inspire you to do anything?

Since this book is Eco's fictional take on his philosophies on semiotics, I was inspired to read more about semiotics.

Any additional comments?

Only problem with this book is that it's abridged! Which is terrible. Several of my favorite passages were missing!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite audiobook

The audio version, abridged, is nice because it makes it more accessible. Reading the book can be daunting for someone who is not well acquainted with history and classical languages. The audio version eliminates a lot of the philosophy arguments between the characters. The narrator is fantastic. His voice is rich and mellow. I have found this to be my favorite companion on nights when sleep eludes me.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Murder over metaphor

Eco masterfully paints the culture and the ethos of the 14th century monastery, but I believe that the motivation behind this murder mystery is weak at best. That so many deaths might result from a desire to keep the world from laughing is laughable. When confronted with his evil in the final 'pages' of the book, the antagonist expands the evil by burning down his beloved library.

I've loved everything I've read of Eco's including this, but I don't buy the motivation.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

abridging is like amputation.

This is one of my favorite books of all time. This isn't a terrible abridgement, but so much is lost for so little reason. Why the producers chose to do this I will never know.
As to the book, it's the most unexpected ending I've ever seen in a mystery, one of the best looks at monastic life I've ever read and one of the most sensible things I've ever read about the differences in monastic orders. Why you would mess with that I cannot imagine. But, they did.

3 people found this helpful