Friday, June 27, 2008

The Rule of Four


This was a fun read. I heard about it when I was in Princeton. One of the authors was a Princeton undergrad, and the bulk of the novel takes place on Princeton's campus. Lots of familiar places were included: the hospital where MJ was born, many campus buildings and locations, Prospect Street where my first office was located (in a former eating club), Hoagie Haven, and even the street where my advisor lives. Part of the plot includes a thesis advisor gone wacko. (shudder)

Anyway, at the center of the story are four roommates and a mysterious Renaissance text with secret messages encoded within its pages. Throw some Florentine history in there. (I was happy that I figured out the Savonarola tie in before it happened.) It was pretty good. Better writing than Da Vinci Code. I thought the story of the Hypnerotomachia overshadowed the deeper story of friends and relationships. The characters didn't seem well enough developed for me to invest much in this other piece. It was interesting, though, to consider how much the two main protaganists gave up--especially in their relationships--to devote to the Hypnerotomachia.

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