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How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays – Umberto Eco

How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays by Umberto Eco


After I adored Sedaris and sort of got tired of him, I went over to Eco. He is also a humorous writer, but I think there is a vast distance between his talent and that of the other’s. It is hard to see his humor coming, so one may end up farting while laughing.

Speaking of farting, this biological process is what drove me to try Eco. I was reading one of, ahem, Zafra’s collection of essays which was about Umberto Eco’s purple fart. I think it’s something like that. A letter sender of Zafra’s column, who seemed to be out of his wits, was claiming something about the importance of this fart. I don’t recall most of it because it was some super nerd gibberish and I didn’t even find it a tad funny although obviously, the purpose of that letter was to make the reader laugh.

Still, the purple fart stuck to me. So when I chanced upon an Eco book, I bought it immediately. Unfortunately, there was no purple fart. There were other things though in the essays.

The Rhapsody

There are only two essays that I remember from this collection. Of course, the first one is the first essay, which is about traveling with a salmon. Hence, the title. I think Eco was supposed to go to this hotel for an event, then went out to buy something, then bought a salmon instead, then, then.

I cannot recall.

I am actually stunned that I gave this four stars. Oh well, I can’t help it. I don’t recall the details, but I always remember the reading experience. And oh, I remember the other essay. I mean, I remember the feeling of reading that essay. It’s the longest one and has the most serious mood among them all. It also has a different title format.

Right! Regarding the titles of the essays, most of them begin with How to. Like How to Get Free Tickets for an Award-Winning Movie, How to Order Pizza Online, How to Write About a Book that You Can’t Recall. Of course, these aren’t the subjects, but you get the drift.

I do not wish to prolong my agony of recalling, and your agony of reading and trying to make some sense. I can say is read this with a lunchbox of words that are not used everyday. The essays will test your linguistic skills, particularly the abundance or lack of your vocabulary. Like Sedaris, Eco is not for everyone.

4 star - really liked itFinal Notes

I have seen some forums all over the net rooting for Eco for the prestigious Nobel Prize. Well, I think he is qualified. He is super smart, he has a number of works published, both fiction and nonfiction. I am not sure though if he has the heart for literature, which I think is a huge factor, aside from the reach of the writer’s influence as far as his writings are concerned.

After reading this collection, I checked out the book stores to see if he has any novels available. I caught sight of this one: The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana. Hardbound. I never liked hardbounds, but I was drawn to this one. I instantly loved the cover. I loved the blurb. There are even illustrations inside. I checked the price.

A whopping Php 2,400.00+. I returned it to the shelf.

After a month, I came back. I coughed the said amount on the counter. I got myself an expensive Eco novel. My first hardbound.

After a week, there was a sale. I checked the remaining stocks. The book that I bought for a ridiculous amount was slashed off by 70%.

I have never read it yet.


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