Ian Caldwell biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

Ian Caldwell
Photo: simonandschuster.com

Ian Caldwell

Ian Caldwell Biography

Ian Caldwell attended Princeton University, where he studied history. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998. He began writing The Rule of Four with his best friend, Dustin Thomason, after graduation. His second book, The Fifth Gospel, was published in 2015.

He lives in Newport News, Virginia.

Ian Caldwell's website

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Interview

Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason discuss The Rule of Four, their co-written debut intellectual suspense novel that's been described as 'Dan Brown by way of Donna Tartt and Umberto Eco'.

The novel centers on a real Renaissance text, The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili; a book that is fairly obscure. Explain how you discovered this book and why you choose to develop your story around it.

We owe it to a Princeton seminar entitled "Renaissance Art, Science, and Magic." Ian’s final paper for the seminar dealt with a 1499 text entitled Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, one of the most beautiful and valuable books of early Western printing, and one that has divided scholars for years over its meaning and the identity of its author. By the time the research paper was finished, we were already planning to spend the summer writing an intellectual suspense novel together. The mystery of the Hypnerotomachia supplied a perfect starting point, and before long we had hatched a "solution" to the book’s mystery that became the centerpiece of the plot.


You seamlessly blend fact and fiction throughout the novel. For example, Savonarola is a real historical figure, about whom much is known, but what of Francesco Colonna, the author of the Hypnerotomachia? How much is really known about him and how fact-based is your portrait of him?

Oddly enough, scholars don’t even...

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Books by this Author

Books by Ian Caldwell at BookBrowse
The Fifth Gospel jacket The Rule of Four jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for Ian Caldwell but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Dan Brown

    Dan Brown

    Dan Brown is the author of many bestselling novels, including the #1 New York Times bestseller, The Da Vinci Code. He is a graduate of Amherst College and Phillips Exeter Academy, where he spent time as an English teacher ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Rule of Four

    Try:
    The Da Vinci Code
    by Dan Brown

  • David Czuchlewski

    David Czuchlewski

    David Czuchlewski studied English at Princeton University under Joyce Carol Oates, and later studied medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. He has published two books - The Muse Asylum and Empire of Light. (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Rule of Four

    Try:
    The Muse Asylum
    by David Czuchlewski

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Book Discussion
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