Bonnie Shores's Reviews > The Rule of Four

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell
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While I can't deny that The Rule of Four was well written, I also can't deny that it was a thirteen-hour esoteric, pretentious dissertation on two Princeton seniors obsessed with an ancient text called the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili.


This book was a Da Vinci Code wannabe—only the "clues" seemed to appear out of thin air and you'd quite literally have to know everything to figure out the meaning of the obscure references. Instead of searching for and finding clues, Paul apparently had the brain capability of a theoretical physicist who merely had to think long and hard on something and voilà he figured it out!


The majority of the book was spent listening to Tom philosophize on his and his roommates privileged lives at Princeton and whine over his relationship with his deceased father. The murder that the summary refers to doesn't take place until the final quarter of the book and there is very little suspense. In my opinion, the summary was extremely misleading...

"The Rule of Four takes us on an entertaining, illuminating tour of history—as it builds to a pinnacle of nearly unbearable suspense." No. Seriously. No. The "tour of history", which I would normally find interesting, was so convoluted that it was nearly impossible to follow. And lengthy "fact" recitation does not an "entertaining tour" make.


The Rule of Four would have been much more entertaining if it simply focused on the four roommates—all completely different, but coexisting in functional relationships.
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Reading Progress

October 17, 2017 – Started Reading
October 17, 2017 – Shelved
October 20, 2017 – Shelved as: other
October 20, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-2 of 2 (2 new)

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message 1: by Jaline (new)

Jaline Terrific review, Bonnie! I will have to avoid this one. :)

Bonnie Shores Jaline wrote: "Terrific review, Bonnie! I will have to avoid this one. :)"

Thanks, Jaline. :D But, yikes! In re-reading my review, it was pretty harsh. It was well-written, just not for me.

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