An ivy league murder, a mysterious coded manuscript and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide memorably in this debut novel, that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery.
An ivy league murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide memorably in The Rule of Four -- a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery.
It's Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And two students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, are a hair's breadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili--a renowned text attributed to an Italian nobleman, a work that has baffled scholars since its publication in 1499. For Tom, their research has been a link to his family's past -- and an obstacle to the woman he loves. For Paul, it has become an obsession, the very reason for living. But as their deadline looms, research has stalled -- until a long-lost diary surfaces with a vital clue. And when a fellow researcher is murdered just hours later, Tom and Paul realize that they are not the first to glimpse the Hypnerotomachia 's secrets.
Suddenly the stakes are raised, and as the two friends sift through the codes and riddles at the heart of the text, they are beginnning to see the manuscript in a new light--not simply as a story of faith, eroticism and pedantry, but as a bizarre, coded mathematical maze. And as they come closer and closer to deciphering the final puzzle of a book that has shattered careers, friendships and families, they know that their own lives are in mortal danger. Because at least one person has been killed for knowing too much. And they know even more.
From the streets of fifteenth-century Rome to the rarified realm of the Ivy League, from a shocking 500 year-old murder scene to the drama of a young man's coming of age, The Rule of Four takes us on an entertaining, illuminating tour of history--as it builds to a pinnacle of nearly unbearable suspense.
Strange thing, time. It weighs most on those who have it least. Nothing is lighter than being young with the world on your shoulders; it gives you a feeling of possibility so seductive, you know there must be something more important you could be doing than studying for exams.
I can see myself now, the night it all began. I'm lying back on the old red sofa in our dorm room, wrestling with Pavlov and his dogs in my introductory psychology book, wondering why I never fulfilled my science requirement as a freshman like everyone else. A pair of letters sits on the coffee table in front of me, each containing a vision of what I could be doing next year. The night of Good Friday has fallen, cold April in Princeton, New Jersey, and with only a month of college left I'm no different from anyone else in the class of 1999: I'm having trouble getting my mind off the future.
Charlie is sitting on the floor by the cube refrigerator, playing with the ...
Caldwell and Thomason have placed their first book in territory known well to them - Princeton University (Caldwell graduated from there in 1998 and Thomason from Harvard, in the same year). One critic describes The Rule of Four as 'Dan Brown by way of Donna Tartt and Umberto Eco'. The comparison to Dan Brown is, presumably, to do with the subject matter - a mysterious coded manuscript; however, the writing style and pacing is much slower here. The Rule of Four received substantial publicity when released in hardcover and some good media reviews, but the reader reviews have been less than stellar.
(Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).
Full Review (235 words).
The Rule of Four received very good reviews when it was published in hardcover last year, and both the hardcover and the newly released paperback appear to be selling well. However, it is interesting to note that of all the books shortlisted for the 2004 BookBrowse Awards (which about 1,000 BookBrowse subscribers voted on earlier this year), The Rule of Four was one of the most widely read but lowest rated of the books. I suspect that this was because many people bought it believing it ...
If you liked The Rule of Four, try these:
An exquisite, psychologically complex thriller about the opposing forces within the mind of one ambitious writer and the line between genius and madness.
The Night Climbers, set among members of a close-knit eccentric club at Cambridge, portrays people at their most impressionable, when the intensity of early relationships stand to define their lives forever.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
Solve this clue:
and be entered to win..
Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.
Your guide toexceptional books
BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.