This is a public health warning. If you are receptive to depression, or simply enjoy a good book, do not read Umberto Eco‘s The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. It comes with some nice and barely covered photos of Josephine Baker on the cover, but this is where the fun starts, and where it ends.
It starts with self-indulgent childhood memories, mostly in the form of unconnected fragments from his childhood readings. So, we can sense Eco has indeed read a lot of books. Eventually the story springs to life. This is when the protagonist, who suffers from a partial memory loss, wonders and starts to rediscover his extramarital love-life. Sadly, this little spark goes out very quickly, and we return to endless und barely associated snippet quotations from childhood reading.
I had to abort my mission a third into the book. If you need to punish yourself, the piece is now for sale at greatly reduced price. Offers to me, please.