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