This book makes you itch to READ it--only so you can skim! I was very disappointed. If you are looking for something like DaVinci or such, skip this book! The best way to descibe it is to take Dan Brown, beat him over the head until he's got the IQ of 80 and then let him write a book and you'll have The Rule of Four.
Don't waste your time. This was a complete waste of time. I kept with it, hoping that at least one cd would wow me, but no: I was bored and annoyed spitless. This book has a script feel to it, as if the writers intended it to be a movie. It is completely filled with useless descriptions of snowflakes, library smells, and one entire cd is devoted to describing a party that really does not have much if any baring on the Hypnerotomachia - which once you get to this point you will have forgotten was the reason you rented the title.
If I could I would give this minus points. This book has so many layers.
Engrossing, challenging, fun, and just plain entertaining. Great characters, interesting background, good setup, and wonderful resolution. A thinking person's book, but don't be cowarded, most will like this book. Don't bother. Okay, the book is long. I mean that in the explaining every little lamp shade color and size of tables in the room kind of long. I did enjoy this book and was amazed that the book referred to in it is real. I liked most of the characters and the reader was truly wonderful. Unfortunately, I found my mind wandering as I listened to explanation after explanation of the smallest detail.
You could kind of guess where it was headed before it got there but it was overall good and if you'd like to learn more about Princeton and its history you will enjoy it. A wonderful summer "read"! The characters are well developed I just wish I'd been listening to this while on a long road trip I wouldn't feel bad about passing time sitting in my car!
By clicking "Notify Me" you consent to receiving electronic marketing communications from Audiobooks. You will be able to unsubscribe at any time. Sign up Login. Remember Me. View 1 comment. Sep 12, Jenny rated it it was amazing Shelves: top-ten-fiction-favorites. Second time through; still one of my all-time favorites.
The prose is elegant and witty, despite being billed in the "literary thriller" genre think The Da Vinci Code. The characters are rich, deep, and believable, especially Tom Sullivan, the narrator, on whom I think I have a wee crush. His observations on the dangers of loving things that cannot love you back—in his case, books—have stayed with me since I first read this last summer. The Rule of Four reads like a memoir, a careful blend of Second time through; still one of my all-time favorites. The Rule of Four reads like a memoir, a careful blend of wit and nostalgia and keen observations, with just the right amount of panache and hope thrown in for good measure.
I can never put this book down; I am smitten, yes, again, beyond the telling of it. Oct 20, Bonnie Shores rated it liked it Shelves: other. While I can't deny that The Rule of Four was well written, I also can't deny that it was a thirteen-hour esoteric, pretentious dissertation on two Princeton seniors obsessed with an ancient text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. This book was a Da Vinci Code wannabe—only the "clues" seemed to appear out of thin air and you'd quite literally have to know everything to figure out the meaning of the obscure references.
Instead of searching for and finding clues, Paul apparently had the brain cap While I can't deny that The Rule of Four was well written, I also can't deny that it was a thirteen-hour esoteric, pretentious dissertation on two Princeton seniors obsessed with an ancient text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.
Listen to Rule of Four by Dustin Thomason, Ian Caldwell at pefawuqa.cf
The majority of the book was spent listening to Tom philosophize on his and his roommates privileged lives at Princeton and whine over his relationship with his deceased father. The murder that the summary refers to doesn't take place until the final quarter of the book and there is very little suspense. In my opinion, the summary was extremely misleading The "tour of history", which I would normally find interesting, was so convoluted that it was nearly impossible to follow.
And lengthy "fact" recitation does not an "entertaining tour" make. The Rule of Four would have been much more entertaining if it simply focused on the four roommates—all completely different, but coexisting in functional relationships. You can compare it to the Da Vinci Code , in that it has the same sort of genre. The difference is that The Rule of Four has more character development, and less thriller action. To me, the book seemed similar in pretense, but was smarter in the content. It had a scholarly feel, and not just a governmental action feel. These were a pleasure to read and effectively added to the emotion You can compare it to the Da Vinci Code , in that it has the same sort of genre.
This is not to say however that the book moved painfully slowly. Buildings did explode, and lives were lost, but most importantly, the excitement that the characters experienced when solving the next great riddle was translated and delivered right to the reader with utmost skill. Jul 04, Spencer rated it did not like it.
I don't even think this should have been published. This was the biggest waste of time. The book focuses on a manuscript you never really learn how to pronounce it, even with the pronunciation guide that has secret clues hidden in it that are uraveled by some friends. It's stupid. The plot is terrible and just as you think the climax of the book is coming up, it ends.
This is one of the few books I tell everyone to steer clear of. Totally worthless. Dec 02, Cyn rated it did not like it Shelves: craptastic.
IF YOU LOVED THE DA VINCI CODE - DIVE INTO THIS' PEOPLE MAGAZINE
Oh, "The Rule of Four. It came out in Yes, it's that awesome. This treasure was published on the heels of The DaVinci Code - it was rushed out, and the editing and extremely poor writing style reflect this. Take one member of academia Tom, a college student!
It sounds a bit familiar, doesn't it? The books would have been interesting if it hadn't been for the name-dropping it's set in Princeton, and they don't let you forget it , the fact that they explain each and every historical and literary reference to the reader, and having to wade through the story with four characters who you never really like.
Seriously, I'm guessing these characters are the two writers and their friends, which is a shame because all four are ridiculously pretentious. Reading this book was a chore. There was potential, but not enough to excuse the terrible writing and blatant condescension towards the reader. Really badly written and poor - how on earth did this get published? Just before reading this book, I read The Lost Symbol. Before I reached the end, I'd researched the ending. While I sometimes do that with a movie that I don't really care about, this was the first time I'd done it with a book.
While I knew that the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was central to the story, the jumping back and forth in time was odd at times and I couldn't grasp w Just before reading this book, I read The Lost Symbol. While I knew that the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili was central to the story, the jumping back and forth in time was odd at times and I couldn't grasp what I needed to care about this old book.
Than I reached the end, I smiled not only at the actual ending, but in understanding. The confusion I felt was due to everything being shown from Tom's point of view, who spends almost all of the story being confused by his past and future colliding. As an adult who's lost a parent before 30 [older than Tom was, but in many ways still in a developmental stage], I understood the sense of being torn between who they wanted you to be and who you are I was saddened when I finished and came over to write the review and saw so many negative reviews.
This isn't in the same caliber as a classic, but in my eyes Dan Brown could learn a thing or two on research from this book. The comparisons to The DaVinci Code are inevitable, and the substandard copyediting seems to indicate that The Rule of Four was rushed out in order to capitalize on the Dan Brown furor. That the mistakes weren't fixed for the paperback edition is rather puzzling.
The reviews do seem overenthusiastic, though it figures that the New York Times would seize on this more erudite text given the opportunity to steer readers from Dan Brown. Overall, this book was less thriller, more bildungsroman, and I The comparisons to The DaVinci Code are inevitable, and the substandard copyediting seems to indicate that The Rule of Four was rushed out in order to capitalize on the Dan Brown furor.
Overall, this book was less thriller, more bildungsroman, and I appreciated the character development that the authors included. I'm not much for a page-turning thriller, and as I get a bit older I leave less and less of my time for books like this one. That said, I did enjoy it, both the academic puzzle which challenged me more than Dan Brown's silly apple riddle , and the image of college life. I got the impression that the authors were trying to marry the puzzle of the Hypnerotomachia with the uncertainty that comes with leaving academia behind or choosing to pursue it as a career and beginning "real life.
But overall, it was fairly enjoyable. If you're a confirmed Dan Brown fan for the thrills, this one might leave you cold, because the mystery occupies a relatively small amount of the text. But as a profile of the way that the relationships between fathers and sons and friends and lovers intersect and develop and falter, and the interests that take our hearts and time away from our the people that matter to us, it's a worthwhile read.
It's true, though, that for a novel that appears to celebrate academia, there is a real indictment of the system here. Sep 12, Rachel rated it liked it Recommends it for: thrill seekers left wanting by The daVinci Code. After listening to me complain about the terrible writing in The Da Vinci Code , my roommate recommended this book as a more satisfying read that blends art history with a murder mystery. I liked it and greatly preferred the authors' style over that hack Dan Brown's , but I didn't love it. Nearly as interesting as the book itself is the story of the two young authors, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason , childhood friends and recent college graduates, who collaborated for years to write The Rul After listening to me complain about the terrible writing in The Da Vinci Code , my roommate recommended this book as a more satisfying read that blends art history with a murder mystery.
Nearly as interesting as the book itself is the story of the two young authors, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason , childhood friends and recent college graduates, who collaborated for years to write The Rule of Four and endured several rejections before finding a publisher who took a shine to their manuscript. In a Washington Post interview from May , Thomason said "I don't know what it would be like to write alone.
The Rule Of Four
I stand in awe of teams who can share the spotlight graciously and trust in each other's talents. Feb 24, Sheralyn rated it did not like it. I am becoming more and more baffled as to what it takes to become a New York Times Bestseller. But basically: If you think books have too much show and not enough tell, if you're looking for a book with pages and pages of inconsequential back story, and most certainly, if you want to see how info dumping can be transformed into a art form, then by all means read this book!
I mean, I'm glad two childhood best friends went to college and used their collective degrees to write a book together, but so I am becoming more and more baffled as to what it takes to become a New York Times Bestseller. I mean, I'm glad two childhood best friends went to college and used their collective degrees to write a book together, but so much of this book was unnecessary to read there's a reason it's called back story. Some things the author just needs to know to keep cohesiveness, but omits for pacing and the obligatory romance one-dimensional and disjointed.
The thing I remember most from the book is the of course random quote that there is no worse thief than a bad book. In short: the title was more intriguing than the actual book. I just got The Eight and now I'm afraid to read it because it has a number in its title. Feb 17, Kristel rated it really liked it Shelves: crime-fiction , intellectual-thriller , read Originally posted on my blog.
Let's get something out of the way: The Rule of Four by Justin Thomason and Ian Caldwell is pretty much a paint-by-numbers affair as far as intellectual thrillers are concerned. There is, of course, an extremely obscure historical text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili that apparently has an arcane code within it, revealing an earth-shaking truth that may rewrite history. There is an obsessive soul, a senior in Princeton named Paul, who becomes so consumed by Originally posted on my blog. There is an obsessive soul, a senior in Princeton named Paul, who becomes so consumed by the mystery that he pushes away the people who love him in his pursuit of it.
There is a narrator named Tom who has already watched is his father be consumed by the Hypnerotomachia until his death and is now watching helplessly as the same thing happens to his best friend. There are also deaths, because people who write their thesis on 15th Century Italian manuscripts live life on the edge. But for some reason, reading this book pushed so many pleasure centers in my brain in ways that made me forgive the banal writing and even the weird tonal shifts that it takes.
When the story is not straining to be suspenseful or shocking, I actually found it kind of comforting. The hermetic setting of the Princeton campus may also have contributed to that, because it evoked associations of Dead Poets' Society , The Gilmore Girls , and other pop culture things about idyllic schools and youth. Also woven into the narrative is the theme of father-son relationships.
Within the rarefied confines of academia, both Tom and Paul are ultimately seeking validation from father figures that seem to only convey their affection as it is related to history. I'm all about tender masculine relationships so those parts were really up my alley. The authorial decision to structure the novel as a thriller, I think, ultimately hurt the story. Had Caldwell and Thomason emphasized the coming-of-age and nerdy mystery aspects while softening the mortal peril, it could have been a more satisfying read. It's in books like these that you can really detect the bald commerce of the book publishing industry.
The Rule of Four clearly earned a lot of money my attaching its name onto Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code published one year before but it also suffered when it comes to cultural esteem because of it. If it had been edited and marketed as, say, Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind , it could have attracted the kind of readers who are interested in atmosphere and academic scholarship, rather than readers looking for zippy thrillers with Vatican conspiracies. I guess I like the idea of it more than its reality, which happens often enough.
The Rule of Four has acute things to say about the futility and nobility of scholarship which really hit home for me and my own college experience. During those short years, you are put into this very unnatural environment where a missed term paper feels like the end of your life. It's a time when all the learning opportunities are there for the taking and you have all the time in the world to pursue all that you want to know. But of course, youth is wasted on the young.
I didn't think this book lived up to it's billing. In fact, I'd have to go ahead and disagree with the statement from the publisher: "a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery. It incorporated scholarship, yes. It had moments of suspense. It wasn't really that suspenseful, though. I thought the story actually moved rather slowly. I was interested, but not enthralled. There was also the aspect of believab I didn't think this book lived up to it's billing.
There was also the aspect of believability. I thought the students were acting like grad students when it came to academics and adolescents when it came to their personal lives. Also, I thought the ending was a bit trite. In summary, it's not a bad read, but make sure you go into it with low expectations. Dec 15, Lori rated it it was ok. Touted as a "coming-of-age" DaVinci code, this story of 4 Princeton roommates and their obsession with and struggles to decode a medieval text with major historic ramifications got a bit tedious for me. The complex codes and various ways medieval writers used them was interesting if indeed they did, haven't researched that part but I found myself saying more than once, "Who cares?!
Just stop stringing me along! Egads, this was BAD. If you want a love-note to Princeton, then read this. If you want something to actually enjoy, do not read this. I will admit that it captures undergraduate life, and especially senior year, pretty well.
And they know even more. From the streets of fifteenth-century Rome to the rarified realm of the Ivy League, from a shocking 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. Toggle navigation. Register Log in Wishlist 0 Shopping cart 0 You have no items in your shopping cart. Availability: In stock. Be the first to review this product. Add to cart. Add to wishlist.