A mysterious coded manuscript, a violent Ivy League murder, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide in a labyrinth of betrayal, madness, and genius.
Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two students are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the five-hundred-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets -- to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it. As the deadline looms, research has stalled -- until an ancient diary surfaces. What Tom and Paul discover inside shocks even them: proof that the location of a hidden crypt has been ciphered within the pages of the obscure Renaissance text.
Armed with this final clue, the two friends delve into the bizarre world of the Hypnerotomachia -- a world of forgotten erudition, strange sexual appetites, and terrible violence. But just as they begin to realize the magnitude of their discovery, Princeton's snowy campus is rocked: a longtime student of the book is murdered, shot dead in the hushed halls of the history department.
A tale of timeless intrigue, dazzling scholarship, and great imaginative power, The Rule of Four is the story of a young man divided between the future's promise and the past's allure, guided only by friendship and love....Continua
You can find a hundred reviews of this book on the internet. You can read there about the puzzling "Hypnerotomachia" that lies -supposedly- in the heart of its plot. You will be intrigued by the comparisons with Dan Brown, Donna Tart, Scott Fitzgerald, Umberto Eco. It seems then that there aren't a lot of things I can say about it myself, apart from how I felt reading it. All I can say is that it felt good, just like how we need to feel when reading a book...
If you like books, go get it!
Not quite like The Da Vinci Code. In Dan Brown's thriller, the puzzles were clearer and it was obvious why people were willing to kill to keep the secret concealed. I went through almost half the book of The Rule of Four before i finally understood what the Hypernerotomachia Poliphili was all about and why the characters in it were so keen to solve the mystery. I feel there was not much depth to the characters in the story - the romance seemed to be a throw-in - but it didn't really affect the novel overall i reckon. If you lack time and are deciding between Dan Brown's Da Vinci or Angels or Demons or The Lost Symbol and The Rule of Four, i would recommend Dan Brown's novels instead....Continua
Really enjoyed this fast-paced historical novel on the obsession with discovering the secret of the Hypnerotomachia, an ancient book which has claimed many lives. Four students are embroiled in decades' long academic research and politics. Lots of back stories, some romance thrown in, and a lot of history! Interesting details -- which in fact may turn some off because of the depth of the details....Continua
"Nothing is lighter than being young with the world on your shoulders; it gives you a feeling of possibility so seductive..." I can see where, given the right audience, this could be a great read for someone...just not me. I've never been a young male on the verge of college graduation struggling with my father's lost dreams. Decoding the Hypnerotomachia wore me out!!...Continua