The Rule of Four

The book, titled The Rule of Four, was already there for quite sometimes. My daughter bought it more than 6 months ago (12 months she said). It awaited me silently and patiently on a messy table full of wires and other stuffs in our common room. Common means a shared working room for my daughter, my son and myself, as Dewi prefers to stay in the other room making herself busy with her crochet.

It was a few days ago, when the Internet connection was down, and I was kind of feeling too much already moving my fingers frantically here and there on the strings of my heavy electric bass. I took my glasses, picked up the long neglected book (even my daughter hasn't read it yet), went to my room and started reading, and continued reading thereafter, mostly during the trip from home to office.

I have finished reading the last page of the book today, after struggling for a few days sitting in my car trying to focus on the book while the car was cruising on bumpy streets full of big and small holes, results of the rainy season and the slow response from the irresponsible people in the public works department.

The Rule of Four is one of the best novels that has ever been written. It took 6 years to complete the book. What I read was the Indonesian version with excellent selections of words and phrases, and it quickly hypnotized me right from the very first page. The book then brought me to the heart-pumping and brain-twisting journey of two brilliant Princeton students whose fate were written to meet, and work together to uncover the intricate mystery of Hypnerotomachia Poliphili, a Renaissance text that made scholars confused for more than 500 years.

It's a brilliantly written book, full of inspiring complicated puzzles to be cracked, the dilemmatic struggles between loves and dreams, friendships and deadly betrayals, histories of arts and famous people, life in a prestigious campus, ancient philosophies, wisdom and many more.

The Rule of Four was jointly written by Ian Caldwell, a Princeton University Phi Beta Kappa graduate majoring in history, and Dustin Thomason, a Harvard University graduate majoring in anthropology and medicine, also a Columbia University graduate with an MD and MBA diploma.

Try to find it in a nearby bookstore if you haven't had one. Highly recommended.

, seorang pejalan musiman dan penyuka sejarah. Penduduk Jakarta yang sedang tinggal di Cikarang Utara. Diperbarui: February 28, 2008.

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