Thursday, May 27, 2004

Book seeks to solve 500-year-old puzzle ----------------

Big News Thursday 27th May, 2004

Two childhood friends have written a bestseller based on the fictional tale of solving the mystery of a 1499 Renaissance classic.

The Rule of Four, a novel in which Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason invented a solution to what The Hypnerotomachia Poliphili is about and who wrote it, will debut at No. 6 on the New York Times bestseller list Sunday and will jump to No. 3 June 6, the New York Times reported Wednesday.

The basis for the novel, released May 11, is a book published in Venice by an unknown author that has confused scholars for centuries because of its bizarre allusions, including a main character who has sex with buildings.

When Caldwell attended Princeton, he wrote a paper on hieroglyphics in The Hypnerotomachia and recalled the book contained an acrostic when put together allegedly identified the author.

I thought: 'This is a great way to start a book. What kind of secret could we invent, and what piece of Renaissance history could we connect it to to make a good yarn?' Thomason said about their book's origins.

Book seeks to solve 500-year-old puzzle

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