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23fridgepopper Primeira Mensagem
Frankenstein is a great example; I need to read it again.
There is a companion text, cunningly named, The Key to "The Name of the Rose" by Adele J. Haft, Jane G. White, and Robert J. White.
It is currently in print from The University of Michigan Press.
Adele Haft and Robert White are professors at Hunter College, and Jane White is a Foreign Language teacher at a private school in New Jersey.
They do have the credentials to explain it all, and they provide an excellent companion to the book. (If really, really want to know the Latin quotations and the history in the context of the book, that is.)
Moreover, if they are any Audio Books' fan, both the Name of the Rose and Foucault's Pendulum are available (on cassette only, I think. But with iTunes you never know) from Audio Renaissance Tapes.
The eminent stage actor, Theodore Bikel is the narrator of "The Name of the Rose" and everybody's favorite transexual vampire (by way of the Rocky Horror Picture Show), Tim Curry, narrates "Foucualt's Pendulum".
While both productions are abridgements, they are works of performance art.
If you found the books inaccessible, listen to the audio books, and they'll really grab you.