I have surely told enough about background already, let`s switch to the book itself. Roberto la Grieva is an Italian man in his twenties living in the 17th century who has suffered a shipwreck somewhere in the Atlantic ocean and by accident has managed to get on to an abandoned ship that`s positioned just a few miles from a paradise island yet he can`t reach the island for he cannot swim. On the ship he writes notes about his life before the shipwreck which are made in form of letters to his beloved lady. Still the novel is written as a historians interpretation of what Roberto has written. At one point Roberto comes to the conclusion that he isn`t alone on his ship and meets a monk who was the leader of the expedition that the ship was taking and learns to know that they were stranded near an island where yesterday was still today. Still the book is less about what Roberto was going to do to free himself but more about debates over the creation of the world, over the existence of different worlds and different apples which Adam has eaten etc.
After the first circa 50 pages I was absolutely sure this was the least interesting of Eco`s works. Later on it got much more intense and now I say - this novel is better than "The name of the rose". Still, considering that the latter is the least interesting of Eco`s novels IMHO that means that some of his works are better than this one. Not a dissapointment by any means but it certainly could have been better (altough it may be the only case when I complain about something rated as high as 8.5).
Update: after a reconsideration I`ve upgraded the rating to a nine, I must have been in a very bad mood when I complained about anything Eco has written.