Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Reading Journal entry: The Rule of Four

One reviewer called this a stunning first novel; a perfect blend of suspense and a sensitive coming-of-age story. If Scott Fitzgerald, Umberto Eco, and Dan Brown teamed up to write a novel, this would be the result.
Two Princeton students are obsessed with unlocking the coded secrets of the "Hypnerotomachia Poliphili", a Renaissance text that has baffled scholars for 500 years. Just as they are on the brink of success, a murder rocks their lives, as well as that of their suite mates.
I found this book totally amazing! It was both erudite and suspenseful, and often the writing was sheer poetry. Here's a sample quote:
"The two hardest things to contemplate in life are failure and age; and those are one and the same. Perfection is the natural consequence of eternity: wait long enough, and anything will realize its potential. Coal becomes diamonds, sand becomes pearls, apes become men. It's simply not given to us, in one lifetime, to see those consummations, and so every failure becomes a reminder of death."
It's hard to believe that the authors are 20-somethings.
I found it interesting how I just happened to read the following group of books in the last few months that are all related to each other, and even watched a PBS special on the Medici during this time period:
  • Angels and Demons
  • The DaVinci Code
  • The Birth of Venus
  • The Rule of Four
I'd never been really aware of Savanarola until I read "The Birth of Venus," but after confronting him there, I was sure he must be the antagonist in "The Rule of Four" even before the book confirmed it. And just as coincidentally, there happened to be an article about him in one of the Horizons that I picked up this fall at an antiques store in Angleton.

1 comment:

Elsi said...

When I find one of those, I make sure the posting date is that of when I originally wrote it and not when I got around to posting it.