Posted by: Andy | September 25, 2006

Rule of Four

I picked this book up on a whim a few months ago when I was trolling around in the Hawthorne Powell’s, trying to find something interesting. I prefer to be in a bookstore with a specific idea of what I’m looking for…but sometimes you just run out of books and have no leads.

So I picked it up, along with a William Gibson book and a few books about African history (I’m about halfway through the first one – 600 pages of colonial EXCITEMENT!….*deadpan*) and took a break from the first history book to burn through this.

It got lots of comparisons to the DaVinci Code…and I can sort of see that: renaissance based mystery solved in modern times by educated white man, I get that. But it wasn’t the same kind of globe trotting cliffhangar that DaVinci was. Plus, it had actual characters. Or more so anyway.

So – long story short: I enjoyed it. At points the authors (there are 2) got a little carried away with the corny metaphors for love and what not BUT, given that the POV character is a Princeton English major, I’ll actually give a lot of leeway, because that’s the kind of thing I can picture someone like that thinking. Hell, I’ve thought things like that myself, it just usually comes off corny in Lit. I found myself identifing with the POV character in a few ways at least – the most interesting was the sort of distanced way he described relationships. Sort of like, take a step back and employ black & white lens kind of thing. Don’t ask me why but a lot of it made perfect sense to me.

The mystery itself was nothing stellar – no crazy Dan Brown cliffhangars at the end of EVERY SINGLE (TINY) CHAPTER – but was very interesting in some of the same ways as the DaVinci mystery. Both used lots of scholarly arguments and descriptive angles – but this one at least the author didn’t claim it was the truth, in fact you know they made up all the solutions. Not that I’m disagreeing with the Church’s demonization of women, just that I’m not sure that kind of thing belongs in pop. fiction. Then again, who knows? Pop defines itself.

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