Monday, January 22, 2018


The Rule of Four is the result of the combined effort of two honorary historians, Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason. When two best friends get together, magic happens. The book talks about the 15th century book (supposedly) the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, authored by a shady figure lost in the histories, leaving his identity to be anybody’s guess. The book itself is possibly the most misunderstood literary material in all of history. It’s written in several languages including Latin, Greek, Hieroglyphs, and if that wasn’t enough, in languages invented by the authors themselves. As our protagonists, two history majors studying in Princeton, one of them, Tom our narrator, being the son of one of the pioneers of the book, while the other, Paul, the biggest fan of his work. The two are assisted by their two best friends, the four being roommates. The book is said to consume anybody who dares challenge it. Every few chapters the cryptic scheme of the text changes. The key to each is hidden in one of the leading works of the time, towards which the shady author believed to be a Francesca Colonna, points towards in his riddles. Somewhere along the line, comparisons are inevitable, in the words of Nelson DeMille, if Scott Fitzgerald, Umberto Eco and Dan Brown teamed up to write a novel, the result would be the Rule of Four. The brilliance of the Rule of Four lies in the very fact that the first translation of the Hypnerotomachia was only published a year after the Rule of Four came out. Go grab this page-turner. Till then, don’t let the dead make you doubt the living.

Ritwik P. Srivastava
Student Reporter