« Reading Log: Marley and Me | Main | Reading Log: Dead Until Dark »

Reading Log: The Rule of Four


I was actually able to read Ian Caldwell's and Dustin Thomason's The Rule of Four for a graduate level class. My mother left it for me after Christmas, and I thought I was reading it on the sly, until I saw it as a possibility on the syllabus of my College Students Today class.

The storyline is very similar to that of The Da Vinci Code; a literary artifact contains a mystery that has been puzzling scholars for centuries until someone takes a different look at the problem and solves it. Of course, reaching the solution requires having someone else try to take credit for your discovery, being chased through tunnels, and ultimately presumed dead, but where would the narrative tension be without those details?

I'll be the first to admit that I'm not very good at pulling narrative inconsistencies out of fun novels. I thoroughly enjoyed The Da Vinci Code, and found The Rule of Four almost as compelling. But one thing nagged at me through the entire novel, and unfortunately, it is one of the major components of the plot. Paul Harris, an orphan, enters Princeton (that bothered me too, though not nearly as much as what comes next....) knowing what he would be researching for the next four years as his senior thesis: a very obscure Renaissance text, Hypnerotomachia Poliphili: The Strife of Love in a Dream by Francesco Colonna. Granted, I don't work with Princeton-bound students. But obscure literary texts and college freshmen never seem to go hand in hand.

If you can either believe or suspend disbelief about ths premise, and if you enjoyed Brown's novel, The Rule of Four can be a very entertaining literary mystery. It will also make for a fairly interesting discussion about college student development for my assignment.


Dear Danielle,

I read your comments about The Rule of Four on your website, and have to agree with you that it requires a certain accepting frame of mind to swallow its pseudo-academic plot. Still, it seems that you did enjoy the book, as I did, and I thought you would probably also enjoy the novel I have just published. I hope you don't mind my recommending it to you:

My novel is called Global Dawn and you can find it on Amazon or Barnes & Noble under ISBN 0-9724586-7-0.

Global Dawn is the extraordinary tale of Reuven Sofer, a land surveyor, fated to be the agent of global change. The story is wrapped in alchemy and mysticism according to ancient Biblical and Mayan prophecies. It immerses us in its hero’s passions for women, music, philosophy and technology on the colorful artistic fringe of modern-day Israeli society. The Global Dawn project reaches a breathtaking climax on the mystical soil of Jerusalem, despite its creator’s painful struggle against the stern realities of daily life.

Reuven’s desire to raise planetary awareness worldwide by exposing people to a universally aligned data resource carries echoes of NASA’s Digital Earth project featured in a dedicated Foreword by Dr. Timothy Foresman, former leader of the Digital Earth at NASA.

Like The Rule of Four and the Da Vinci Code, Global Dawn features powerful discoveries uncovered by deciphering mystic formulae embedded in classic, artistic finds. I can't tell you more without spoiling the plot for you.

I do hope you'll follow up my suggested lead, however, and will enjoy reading Global dawn. I look forward to your reactions, in due course.

Best regards,

Debbie Gelbard

Mobile: +972-54-6682392


"...if you don't have a dream,

how you gonna have a dream come true?"