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Baudolino by Umberto Eco
If you've read any of Umberto Eco's other novels, The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum, or The Island of the Day Before, you know that his books are long, detailed stories filled with historical, literary, and philosophical references. Baudolino is no different. It's the story of an Italian peasant boy, Baudolino, with a talent for languages and a talent for telling lies. These skills pave the way for his schooling in Paris, at the court of Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, and his presence in Constantinople while it is being sacked and burned during the Fourth Crusades. It is ultimately a story about truth and history, and the role people play in either hiding or exposing both of those.