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Download The Rule of Four Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Rule of Four, by Ian Caldwell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (18,657 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dustin Thomason, Ian Caldwell Narrator: Jeff Woodman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A mysterious coded manuscript, a violent Ivy League murder, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide in a labyrinth of betrayal, madness, and genius…The Rule of Four.

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 five-hundred-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.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Profoundly erudite…The ultimate puzzle-book.” 

    New York Times Book Review 

  • “Ingenious…The real treat here is the process of discovery.” 

    New York Times 

  • “A smart, swift, multitextured tale that both entertains and informs.” 

    San Francisco Chronicle 

  • “Compulsively readable.” 


  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amanda | 2/17/2014

    " I wasn't sure I was going to like this (it's part of that tricky "Ye Olde Times Conspiracy" genre) but I found it fun, trashy, good-for-the-commute read. Except for the fact that it takes place at Princeton. Boo! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Quinn | 2/11/2014

    " Like watching molasses pour at 30 below. The idea for this book was great, at times even interesting to read, but there was so much wasted text that the book dragged and ultimately was tedious to read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Nick Stengel | 2/7/2014

    " Better than the Davinci Code, natch. But it suffers from the association. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Luann | 2/6/2014

    " This was billed as a great story if you enjoyed The Davinci Code - I disagree. I enjoyed TDC but found The Rule of Four to be a bit tedious and at times hard to follow. Lots of sub-plots and lots of twists and turns. It was okay but I probably won't pick up anything else by this author. "

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