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Umberto Eco
Book review: 'Confessions of a Young Novelist' by Umberto Eco
Book review: 'Confessions of a Young Novelist' by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco wrote his first novel, "The Name of the Rose," in 1980. It was the first of only five novels, and it was a runaway bestseller. "The Name of the Rose" was so popular that critics accused Eco, a semiotics professor, of programming a computer with a secret formula for a successful novel. Eco was, of course, offended and fired back a series of sarcastic modest proposals that pretty much flattened his critics. There may not be a formula, or a recipe, but there are ingredients for a successful novel, and now, decades later, Eco has decided to tell us what he believes they are. "The Name of the Rose" began with a list of the names of monks. Eco is very...

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