Umberto Eco is a show-off. He goes all in on being a show-off, and he doesn’t mind being pretentious and shoving obscure references down your throat either. As all nerds, once he gets going, he’s unlikely to stop any time soon, so his books are long-winded and stuffed with references upon references. This can be obnoxious.
Unless you’re into people nerding out. Then it’s a book of pure joy – and that’s how I read it. I know that I got at most a third of the references, and that some stuff flew over my head, but seeing a work of art that was created out of utter fascination and joy was still mind-blowing for me. I was just about to finish school, and reading this book was a big “wow, this is allowed?” experience.