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The Rule of Fourby Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason
Synopses & Reviews
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 3 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.
"[L]iberally seasoned with academic intrigue and garnished with fascinating Renaissance esoterica." Contra Costa Times
"It is hard to believe that this is the first book by these two young authors. Seasoned veterans would envy the marvelously crafted sentences, vivid images and powerful metaphors that fill the pages of Thomason and Caldwell's novice novel." Bookreporter.com
"The Rule of Four is more intellectually satisfying than emotionally titillating. It's perfect beach reading for Princetonians, would-be Renaissance scholars and all who are looking to absorb some of the authors' awesome erudition." USA Today
"The Rule of Four is basically a fun thriller....a lively read, with all the mechanics whirring nicely in place." Boston Globe
"It's subtle — Fitzgeraldean, actually — and one of the reasons this odd book is interesting beyond its plot and puzzles. Another reason is patches of excellent writing." Washington Post
"The Rule of Four is an unusually intelligent thriller, one that mixes action with unlocking the riddles of an enigmatic text..." Denver Post
"An extremely erudite thriller set on the Princeton campus and constructed around a famously arcane text from the 15th century. This novel's two authors are exquisitely educated and very smart. Nobody knows it better than they do." New York Times
"The Rule of Four packs in all the occult information of The Da Vinci Code. Happily, though, it delivers this juicy detail in sentences ten times lovelier....The result is a charming and compulsively readable novel..."Orlando Sentinel
"Profoundly erudite....[T]he ultimate puzzle book." The New York Times Book Review
"This debut packs all the esoteric information of The DaVinci Code but with lovely writing reminiscent of Donna Tartt's The Secret History... a compulsively readable novel." People, Critic's Choice/4 Stars
"As much a blazing good yarn as it is an exceptional piece of scholarship....A smart, swift, mutlitextured tale that both entertains and informs." San Francisco Chronicle
"Intellectually stimulating and suspenseful... impressive." Chicago Tribune
"A truly satisfying literary thriller" The New York Post
"An astonishingly good debut....Academic evil stalks the campus and no one is safe....Intricate, erudite, and intensely pleasurable." Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"The authors, best friends since childhood, have made an impressive debut, a coming-of-age novel in the guise of a thriller, packed with history (real and invented) and intellectual excitement." Booklist
Now in paperback — the astonishing New York Times bestselling novel about two friends who find the key to a labyrinth that holds the secrets of an ancient text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. When a fellow researcher is murdered, they suddenly realize they are caught in a web of great danger.
About the Author
Ian Caldwell attended Princeton University, where he studied history. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1998.
Dustin Thomason attended Harvard University, where he studied anthropology and medicine. He won the Hoopes Prize for undergraduate writing, and graduated in 1998. Thomason also received his M.D. and MBA from Columbia University in 2003.
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