Liked It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“I picked up the audio tape of this book at the library and was immediately hooked. I love puzzles and I loved the puzzle of an ancient text--it has the same pull as buried treasure. The Hypnerotomachia is an authentic Renaissance text and the fact that someone would go to so much trouble to...”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It1 of 1 members found this review helpful
“One of the most confusingly written books that I've read in recent times - as if the authors couldn't make up their mind as to what the book really ought to be about. Is it about life at Princeton, is it about friendship, is there a love story lurking around some where, is it about the mysterious...”see full review » see other reviews »
“This was a book that I couldn't wait to end. It has an interesting premise, but it was needlessly didactic and supercilious in its style”Harold Kasselman wrote this review Saturday, May 18, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“A monumental waste of time and effort. Insipid, Dour and Drab.”Venky wrote this review Monday, May 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The concept was to just to my liking - college kids, old historical texts, and suspense. I thought that the plot was very well developed, and I liked how they hinted at things before you got to see them play out (yay forshadowing)! I was surprised at how academic the book was - the authors must have learned so much about the Hypnerotomachia because information about it and that time period was all over the book. I thought that the mystery they were trying to solve was interesting and intriguing, and I was actually surprised by the ending!
When I went to add this book to the "Is reading" list when I was partway through the novel, I came across the average rating for the book. On both sites in was low 3's. I was quite surprised. I knew bestsellers tended to get a wider range of reviews and ratings because more people read them, but I didn't expect this low of a rating at all. After checking out many of the reviews, I was surprised to see how many people gave this book one star. There were a lot of common problems with the book people raised, so I'll address my opinion of them here:
1) Many of the reviews on the cover say that this book was "better than the DaVinci Code" which seemed to greatly upset lots of people. They also said that the authors were totally unoriginal because they wrote this book to keep up with the DaVinci Code craze. Now, I've never read the DaVinci Code myself (only seen the movie, it's fine, go ahead and judge me), so I can't speak to which book is better. The second argument, however, I can address. After searching around on the internet a bit, I found out that the writers spent 6 years working on this book. Which means it's impossible that they wrote it because of the DaVinci code. I'm sure that the most the DaVinci Code did for them was make their publishers more keen on publishing it and people more interested in reading it.
2) Another concern people seemed to have was that they felt that the authors spent way too much time talking about the characters' backgrounds and relationships and not enough time on the mystery. Quite honestly, I think that's what made me like the book as much as I did. I liked the characters backstories, and I liked hearing about their relationships with one another. I thought it gave the story a lot more depth.
3) People also complained that the characters were pretentious. I mean... I don't know, I didn't find them pretentious. Maybe that's because I go to school with (and spend my life around) people who are like this so that it doesn't come off as pretentious to me anymore. What I will say, however, is that you can't say someone's pretentious because they go to an Ivy League school. You can go to an Ivy League school and be completely un-pretentious, and you can go to a not Ivy League school and be totally pretentious. So I had a problem with the people who had a problem with this book because the characters went to Princeton, because that's just silly.
4) People also seemed to have issues with the writing. I mean the writing didn't bother me (sometimes I felt like it was a little convoluted language-wise, but it wasn't deathly or awful by any means). But fine, that's legitimate, I guess.
I mean, this was by no means the best book I ever read or anything like that. But I thought that for what it is (i.e. a mystery thriller, junk book, etc.), it was quite well done and I liked it quite a bit. ”
“Sometimes I didn't understand what they were talking about. But the storyline kept you interested. The book really made an impression on me.Maybe because my best friend was burnt in a fire when I was 20 on April 9th & she lived for around 10 days after that. That was a very life changing event for me.”Mikie wrote this review Saturday, April 6, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Clever plot but quite heavy in its use of words and you just have to plod on and resist attempts to abandon the attempt until you hit halfway when the tempo picks up suddenly and the book virtually becomes a page turner. Good read for those interested in medieval Renaissance history ( and its hidden mysteries!) ”Ganesh Rao wrote this review Friday, March 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Historical research mystery set in 1999”Donald F wrote this review Thursday, February 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“It's OK popular fiction -- the plot is often far-fetched and sometimes full of holes. Dan Brown fans will like it.”Rodger A. Payne wrote this review Tuesday, January 29, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“From the front cover: "The International Bestseller. If you loved The Da Vinci Code, dive into this." From the back cover: "A marvelous book with a dark Renaissance secret in its coded heart. New York Times Book Review." Don't believe everything you read. This book is awful. Slow. Choppy. Irrelevant. Sophomoric. Full of figures of speech like "The snow looked like diamonds." And as bad as the book is, the book on disc is even worse. The reader is plain awful! Don't buy it. If you bought it don't read it. ”Neil Crocker wrote this review Monday, January 21, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Okay SO, super fast paced, the plot was just real and conspiracy-theory enough to be awesome, I love medieval quasi-religious quasi-magic quasi-cryptological plot devices. That said, the payoff was sorta dumb (which is the downfall of almost every thriller I guess). Also, the authors (two young Ivy boys themselves) were clearly writing semi-tortured reflections of themselves in school, complete with the requisite amount of self-doubt but also inflated intelligence, which was not unpleasant, and then the only female character was just so very whiny and insufferably non-cooperative with the obvious thrust of the plot. But, I couldn't put it down, so whatever.”bensbooks wrote this review 3 weeks ago. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No