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

by Gerard


854.912: Eco, Umberto. How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays. Translated by William Weaver. San Diego, CA: Harcourt, Inc., 1994. 252 pp. ISBN 978-0-15-600125-0.

Dewey Breakdown:

  • 800: Literature and Rhetoric
  • 850: Literatures of Italian, Sardinian, Dalmatian, Romanian, and Rheato-Romanic languages
  • 854: Italian essays
  • 9: 1900—
  • 91: 1900—1999
  • 912: 1900—1945

Umberto Eco’s How to Travel with a Salmon and Other Essays is quite an apropos book to have with you while on vacation. He singles out particular occurrences in both American and Italian culture for close, humorous inspection. Eco dissects traveling by train in the US, getting a new driver’s license in Italy, writing an introduction to art books, and much more. There are times when the Eco’s annoyance is just pedantic, but others are universal situations.

The humor here is a bit stilted, but that may be the translation. It is definitely better than your standard American hyperbole and so becomes more like good satire than simple pastiche, almost as if it was the source material for the TV show Frasier. In any case, many of the essays are chuckle-worthy and it makes for a good bathroom or bedtime reader. A light and entertaining book.