Footmarks of a traveller

Thursday, September 29, 2005

The Rule of Four

Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (the struggle for love in a dream)

The book ‘Rule of four’ is based on this 15th century Renaissance text which couldn’t be understood by anyone for 500 years after it was written.. On the surface, Hypnerotomachia is about the longest dream of Poliphili in search of his love. It was written in Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic and various other languages.

Written by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, ‘Rule of Four’ has been narrated in first person by Tom Sullivan whose father was also a researcher of this book

Two Princeton students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, embark on the journey to understand Hypnerotomachia completely and come across lots of difficult puzzles, crypts and not to mention the bloodshed, distrust and jealousy. Their problems are compounded by the presence of other researchers on the campus who want to claim solving the Hyperotomachia.

The novel disputes the authorship of the book.

Coming from the first-time authors, it’s a good book. But the plot is not captivating enough to hook on the reader all through. The puzzles pop out of the blue. Sometimes when Tom describes the past or goes on to explain the growing distance between him and his girlfriend-Katie because of his dedication to Hyperotomachia, the plot is lost. Also, the authors spend more time talking about their College. Hope they get over their student life fast.

If you can get past the first half, the book becomes interesting with a murder and other intricate events that happen on the campus though what is Rule of Four has not been completely described.

At many a places in the book and also on web, this book has been compared to Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code. I feel that Da Vinci code was a better read than The Rule of Four and appealed to the readers worldwide. I never felt bored reading Da Vinci.

Nevertheless, there are some quotes/lines I liked in the book:

The strong take from the weak but the smart take from the strong.

It’s better to love something that can love you back.

May God and genius, friend, shepherd you aright.

It is the greatest houses and the tallest trees that the gods bring low with bolts and thunder. For the gods love to thwart whosoever is greater than the rest. They do not suffer pride in anyone but themselves.


Post a Comment

<< Home