As I've mentioned before, I have tried several times before to read this book because the movie is just brilliant. I knew somewhere, buried, was a great story. Maybe my last attempt was just unfortunate; the reading coincided with me taking Latin in college and desperately trying to translate every last bit of it in the book. I'm just that way, but it turned out to be too much of a challenge and the joy was gone.
Anyway, so I've finally done it, and it turns out that it was the great book I knew it must be. Yes, Umberto Eco does go on ad nauseum at times. His lists and run-on (and on) sentences beat his ideas into your head with a sledge hammer until you could scream, but he is a delicious wordsmith with a penchant for imagery.
The story lines are several, with the mystery in the monastery being the main one, but there is also some history and religious warfare/debate that is interesting as well. I'm really glad I finally got through it, and would recommend the book to those with a bit of patience. It's worth it.