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The Rule of Four (2004)

by Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,598160903 (3.06)113
Two Princeton University seniors are struggling to solve the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a cryptic text that has baffled scholars for 500 years. When a long-lost clue surfaces, they have a chance to decipher the final secret. But when a fellow scholar of the text is murdered for knowing too much, they realize that they know even more.… (more)
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    paradoxosalpha: The Hellfire Club is what The Rule of Four might be if it had graduated college and grown up some. The thrills are more thrilling, the enigmatic text is more imaginary, and the characters are deeper and more perplexing. Yale is a bit of background in Straub's book, contrasted with the foregrounded Princeton in The Rule of Four.… (more)
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» See also 113 mentions

English (146)  Danish (2)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  German (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Portuguese (1)  All languages (160)
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
Perhaps more accurately described as an adventure in researching a historical text, and less about adventure and puzzles as with the Da Vinci code. ( )
  pikaia280 | Mar 22, 2020 |
The quote on the front cover from the People Magazine review.......'if you loved the Da Vinci Code...dive into this' is a little misleading in my mind. Although there are comparisons that can be drawn, this never really attains the pace of narrative or thrill of the chase that Dan Brown achieves. ( )
  Alan301261 | Nov 10, 2019 |
I was a little disappointed with this book. I guess I was expecting it to be more like the DaVinci Code books. But is was a little dull for my tastes, and the "revelations" in the book were not that interesting to me. I was also irritated by the way the authors and the characters seemed to feel so self important because they were at Princeton. While there may be a small group of people who are impressed with Princeton, I have the feeling that the majority of people couldn't care less about it or it's antiquated rituals.
The book itself was ok. Not an exciting read, but not a terrible read either. I did like the main character Tom, and wished he could have had a better outcome in the book. It was sad to see friendships fall apart. ( )
  readingover50 | Jun 11, 2019 |
I enjoyed this book quite a lot when I read it several years ago. The friend who introduced me to it said that she thought it much superior to The DaVinci Code, and upon reading it, I certainly agreed with that assessment. I thought the plot was intriguing, and I found the academic connections interesting. I won't reiterate the plot; readers can find a summary at Wikipepdia at the following link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rule_of_Four#Plot_summary

The book has gotten very mixed ratings at Amazon, and in reading the negative reviews (which make up over half of the reviews), I have to register a different reaction. Read the Washington Post review to get a sense of the book's strengths http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A61907-2004May27.html
and the one at the Independent

I'm half inclined to read it again, but with so many good books to read, most likely I won't get back to it.... ( )
1 vote danielx | Mar 23, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 146 (next | show all)
As a thriller, The Rule of Four is not especially fast-paced, but the personalities and relationships are well-handled, as is the narrator's conflict between his desire for a normal relationship with his girlfriend and the sense that he is being dragged into dangerous obsession. This is good entertainment, a Da Vinci Code for people with brains.
added by danielx | editThe Independent, Jane Jakeman (May 31, 2004)
This promises well for the future of the authors, either together or separately. Next time, their ambition may vault lower and their presentation smoother, but meanwhile The Rule of Four is a great read on its own youthfully brash terms. The title, by the way, refers not (or not only) to the roommates or to their college years but again to the encryption in the Hypnerotomachia. It is never fully explained.

» Add other authors (97 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian Caldwellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Thomason, Dustinmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Hamilton, JoshNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KariTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Risvik, KjellTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wahlund, TorstenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Woodman, JeffNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Two Princeton University seniors are struggling to solve the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a cryptic text that has baffled scholars for 500 years. When a long-lost clue surfaces, they have a chance to decipher the final secret. But when a fellow scholar of the text is murdered for knowing too much, they realize that they know even more.

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Average: (3.06)
0.5 23
1 119
1.5 22
2 276
2.5 72
3 579
3.5 117
4 399
4.5 29
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