Synopses & Reviews
A National Bestseller
"A genuine treat with its sneaky plot and richly textured storytelling." -San Francisco Chronicle
Edward Wozny, a hotshot young banker, is about to leave for vacation when he is sent to help an important yet mysterious client. His task: search the family library for a precious, centuries-old codex that may not even exist. Enlisting the expertise of medievalist Margaret Napier, Edward is determined to solve the mystery of the codex and to decipher the parallels between the codex legend and a computer game that absorbs him in the dark hours of the night.
Weaving the medieval and the modern aspects of its plot in a chilling twist, Codex is a thriller of the highest order.
"Takes its place on the shelf of self-referential, bibliophilic page turners like The Name of the Rose, Possession and A Case of Curiosities, and it's as entertaining as any of them."--The New York Times Book Review
"This puzzle of 'nested secrets within secrets' is tailor-made for fans of The Name of the Rose and The Club Dumas." --Detroit Free-Press
LEV GROSSMAN is Time magazine's book critic. He has written for the New York Times, Salon, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Out New York. He lives in Brooklyn.
"[A] captivating thriller....A trip to England and a well-orchestrated final twist bring this intelligent, enjoyable novel to a fittingly understated conclusion." Publishers Weekly
"Grossman...adds a new twist to the emerging bibliothriller subgenre by combining rare books with computer gaming." Booklist
"As in cyberfantasy, there are side trips andnarrow escapes and dwarfish types with helpful tips, and if Time book critic Grossman weren't so smooth and dry, one might think about hitting esc. Sophisticated, scholarly fun and games." Kirkus Reviews
"[A]n artful, populist, conceptually ambitious exercise....An addictive meditation on narrative addictions." Dennis Lim, The Village Voice
"Often sophisticated...Codex is rife with far-fetched coincidences and anticlimactic plot twists. Still, Grossman...creates an alluring and meticulous fantasy world... (Grade: B)" Entertainment Weekly
"[T]akes its place on the shelf of self-referential, bibliophilic page turners like The Name of the Rose
...and it's as entertaining as any of them....What sets Grossman's novel apart is not its abstractions but the satisfying concreteness of his metaphors." New York Times Book Review
"Before the indifferent plotting and the lazy writing do Codex in, it's a moderately engrossing time-killer....The real problem with Codex is that it's a popular entertainment stuck in the uneasy middleground between high and low." Newsday
"[C]erebral, stylish...one of those rare novels that transcend categorization: it is part mystery, part thriller, part romance and part literary history." BookPage
"A fiercely addictive page-turner, Codex is also a fascinating and informative exploration into some of the most exclusive and unusual (and highly inaccessible) realms of society..." San Diego Union-Tribune
"Grossman...writes with an accessible, inviting style, and his characters are appealingly human....[His] knowledge of rare books, moreover, is solid and impressively articulated, although the driving premise is invented." Los Angeles Times
About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hotshot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. His task is to search their library stacks for a precious medieval codex, a treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons. Enlisting the help of passionate medievalist Margaret Napier, Edward is determined to solve the mystery of the codex to understand its significance to his wealthy clients, and to decipher the seeming parallels between the legend of the codex and an obsessive role-playing computer game that has absorbed him in the dark hours of the night.
The chilling resolution brings together the medieval and the modern aspects of the plot in a twist worthy of earning comparisons to novels by William Gibson and Dan Brown, not to mention those by A. S. Byatt and Umberto Eco. Lev Grossman's Codex is a thriller of the highest order.
When hotshot young investment banker Edward Wozny is called to the home of an important and mysterious client, the last thing he expects is to be ordered to uncrate and organize a library of rare books. Edward's indignation turns to curiosity when he learns that among the volumes there may be hidden a unique medieval codex, a priceless treasure kept sealed away for many years and for many reasons.
Enlisting the help of Margaret Napier, a passionate and brilliant medieval scholar, Edward learns the strange history of the codex's author, Gervase of Langford, as well as the dark, intricate tale that lies within the missing medieval text. As Edward's obsession with the codex deepens, friends introduce him to MOMUS, an addictive computer game set in a fantasy world that, perplexingly, begins to parallel the legend of the codex. Yet MOMUS confounds more than it clarifies, and it becomes evident that someone is trying to prevent Edward and Margaret from ever finding the elusive codex. As they race against an unknown enemy, the two begin to uncover secrets that the codex's powerful owner will do anything to keep hidden.
An accomplished, powerful literary thriller, Codex explores dark mysteries of both the medieval era and the present, keeping readers guessing right up until its astonishing conclusion.
A hotshot young investment banker is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. When asked to uncrate and organize a personal library of rare books, the young man's indignation turns to intrigue as he realizes that there may be a unique medieval codex hidden among the volumes.
About the Author
Lev Grossman was born in Massachusetts in 1969 and studied literature at Harvard and Yale. He is currently a writer and book critic for Time Magazine. He has written feature articles for Salon, Lingua Franca, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York and The Village Voice, and was previously the producer of timedigital.com, Time magazine's personal technology website. This is his second novel. He lives in Brooklyn.