Numero Zero

Numero Zero by Umberto Eco

Numero Zero By Umberto Eco, Richard Dixon (Translated by) Cover Image
By Umberto Eco, Richard Dixon (Translated by)
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ISBN: 9780544635081
Published: HarperVia - November 3rd, 2015

Eco’s short but excellent book is more cautionary tale than suspense novel and satire is at its center. Set in Milan in 1992, it supposes that a failed academic is hired to ghostwrite a memoir based on a nascent newspaper that is to be a heroic example of journalism at its bests. The staff of the paper, when not failing to report stories that might negatively impact their patron, brainstorms stories out of vapor by grouping together unrelated facts until they are made to seem significant, simply because they’re being reported. Until suddenly, a reporter stumbles across what could actually be a story: a theory that Mussolini was never executed after the war, but was spirited away, until an attempt could be made to bring him back. Which had happened twenty years before, in a coup attempt that failed because El Duce died before the takeover could occur. A whacked-out conspiracy theory or truth? A question that becomes more pressing when the reporter is murdered. Numero Zero looks at the forces that have battered Italy since the war, whether political, journalistic, or religious, with the eye of a cynic, a caustic tongue, and a scathing sense of humor. – Betsy Burton