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Download The Rule of Four Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Rule of Four Audiobook, 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: September 2004 ISBN: 9780743543217
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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.” 

    People 

  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 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 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 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 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. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jillyn | 1/30/2014

    " You know it isn't really a good book when you can't remember you even read it! The plot was too confused and never fully worked itself out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 1/30/2014

    " Took a few chapters to get into but overall an okay read. Not one I would read over again though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah Pandes | 1/24/2014

    " Puzzling but not that interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 apaul | 1/23/2014

    " mine has a blue cover.. thrilling.. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim | 1/17/2014

    " Along the lines of the DaVinci Code. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 1/14/2014

    " Would have been rated higher had I not read it following The Davinci Code. Same basic premise, but still a good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 1/4/2014

    " 4.5. Intelligent novel set at Princeton about college students. Similar to Dan Brown type books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doris | 1/1/2014

    " A great book! If you like/read Brimstone by Preston, read this... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Missy | 12/6/2013

    " Robin told me this is one of her favorite books. I'm waiting? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marci Kramer | 11/28/2013

    " Reminds me of the Da Vinci Code. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Christoffersen | 11/26/2013

    " I thought it was interesting and a good read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Samantha | 11/18/2013

    " If you like The DaVinci Code (but like a little better writing), this book is a good one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kari | 10/1/2013

    " I loved the feel of entering the world of academia and how intelligently it was written. I didn't love the end- it went too far to be believable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jim | 8/5/2013

    " This is the rare book that I started reading and it was TERRIBLE! I stopped reading after 80 pages and threw the book away. Pretentious nonsense. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 4/18/2013

    " An interesting book- it was well laid out with twists and turns. Very like Dan brown, with a predictable ending but neither of those things affected the quality. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jana Kaplan | 1/24/2013

    " I was listening to this....it nearly put me to sleep. YAWN. Boring and pretentious, and filled with weird descriptions.mind you, I only got half way through the second CD. It was more than enough. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Bill Mcarthur | 1/1/2013

    " This is by far the worst book i have ever read.....nothing happens "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ali | 10/1/2012

    " Really interesting idea, although the actual writing isn't stellar. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anna Hanson Bevens | 5/31/2012

    " If you liked "The Da Vinci Code", you'll like this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chason | 12/30/2011

    " Good book. Very well researched. Good for people who like history. Of my friends, Michael might enjoy this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kurt | 8/2/2011

    " A more intellectually based Da Vinci Code, with a whirlwind of thesis papers, college antics, and way more romance. A very nicely crafted book, enjoyable for the mystery as well. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Antoinette | 5/4/2011

    " Interesting but too much specific information about the Renaissance. You would need to have a PhD in Renaissance Art, Italian History, Greek History, Greek and Roman Mythology and on and on to understand the riddles and puzzles in this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrew | 5/2/2011

    " There is a good book struggling to get out. Good ingredients for a book, not great execution though "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Martin | 4/20/2011

    " Quite enjoyed this, intriguing at times. at other times read like a campus guide to Princton. But the idea was intriguing. Old (real) book the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is presumed to contain hidden meanings. Various scholars compete to solve them, with tragic results "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 4/17/2011

    " Read this one a long time ago, but it was very reminiscent of "The Davinci Code" by Dan Brown. If you liked that book, you will love this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 4/13/2011

    " I am not really one for thriller or mystery novels but this book was very smartly written. I enjoyed the characters and the development. I read it cover to cover without putting it down. The balance of danger and desire complicated by the characters results in a fantastic entertaining read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrew | 4/9/2011

    " It was overall a very well written book. It was suspenseful in all the right places and very engaging. If anything, at times, the characters were a bit difficult to deal with. Not a book in which the characters stand out (for me), but the plot is spectacular. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 4/4/2011

    " I picked this book up at my in-laws house, and I couldn't put it down. Although it is very reminiscent of the DaVinci Code, it is a good story in it's own right. I believe that it is an excellent collaboration, and I would read others from this duo should there be any. "

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About the Author
Author Ian Caldwell

Ian Caldwell is a writer and coauthor of the thriller, The Rule of Four, which spent forty-nine weeks on the New York Times bestseller list and sold nearly two million copies in North America. He was raised in Virginia and graduated from Princeton University in 1998 with a degree in history.

About the Narrator

Jeff Woodman originated the title role in Tennessee Williams’ The Notebook of Trigorin and won the S.F. Critics’ Circle Award for his performance in An Ideal Husband. In addition to numerous theater credits on and off Broadway, his television work includes Sex and the City, Law & Order, and Cosby. A six time Audie Award finalist (and a 2007 winner), he has received seventeen Earphones Awards and was named one of the Fifty Greatest Voices of the Century by AudioFile magazine.