The Rule of Four

  • by Ian Caldwell, Dustin Thomason
  • Narrated by Josh Hamilton
  • 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Princeton. Good Friday, 1999. On the eve of graduation, two students are a hairsbreadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili. Famous for its hypnotic power over those who study it, the 500-year-old Hypnerotomachia may finally reveal its secrets to Tom Sullivan, whose father was obsessed with the book, and Paul Harris, whose future depends on it. As the deadline looms, research has stalled, until an ancient diary surfaces. What Tom and Paul discover inside shocks even them: proof that the location of a hidden crypt has been ciphered within the pages of the obscure Renaissance text. Armed with this final clue, the two friends delve into the bizarre world of the Hypnerotomachia, a world of forgotten erudition, strange sexual appetites, and terrible violence. But just as they begin to realize the magnitude of their discovery, Princeton's snowy campus is rocked: a longtime student of the book is murdered, shot dead in the hushed halls of the history department.
A tale of timeless intrigue, dazzling scholarship, and great imaginative power, The Rule of Four is the story of a young man divided between the future's promise and the past's allure, guided only by friendship and love.


What the Critics Say

"The authors, best friends since childhood, have made an impressive debut, a coming-of-age novel in the guise of a thriller, packed with history (real and invented) and intellectual excitement." (Booklist)
"A smart, swift, multitextured tale that both entertains and informs." (San Francisco Chronicle)
"[An] intriguing intellectual suspense novel." (Publishers Weekly)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Has Potential

This book just fell short of being a great book. You got the feeling they simply ran out of steam as they approached the end of their story. Yet, it still made for a good read. I hope they do a sequal, I would bet the next one will be better.
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- Donald

Good plot theme poorly delivered

The concept of a medieval noble saving invaluable art and literature treasures in the face of Machiavelli's crusade to rid culture of unholy influences is great. But, this poorly written, disjointed book spends 1% of time on the plot and 99% on a grinding merry-go-round of thinly-drawn characters. I couldn't wait for it to be over.
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-09-2004
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio