The Book of God and Physics
  • The Book of God and Physics
  • The Book of God and Physics

The Book of God and Physics

3.6 6
by Enrique Joven
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

“Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller.”
Washington Post

 

A novel of the Voynich mystery, The Book of God and Physics is a gripping, fascinating, and eminently intelligent literary thriller akin to the genre-bending masterworks of Michael Gruber and the “secret histories” of Dan Brown

See more details below

Overview

“Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller.”
Washington Post

 

A novel of the Voynich mystery, The Book of God and Physics is a gripping, fascinating, and eminently intelligent literary thriller akin to the genre-bending masterworks of Michael Gruber and the “secret histories” of Dan Brown (The Da Vinci Code et al). Author Enrique Joven centers his compelling, fast moving story around a very real historical artifact—the indecipherable Voynich Manuscript—and spins an extraordinary tale that  asks whether legendary scientific figures (Brahe, Koeppler, Galileo, Copernicus)  might have hidden some of their secrets within its pages.

Editorial Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
“[T]he quest to crack a tantalizing old riddle . . . here takes on new twists . . . A book to delight lovers of well-crafted fiction—and well-anchored fact.”
Washington Post
“Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller . . . .The science and history lessons come fast and furious . . . Luckily, Joven’s lively expository prose (given in Dolores M. Koch’s smooth and efficient translation) stops the book from collapsing under its own weight.”
Booklist
"[T]he quest to crack a tantalizing old riddle . . . here takes on new twists . . . A book to delight lovers of well-crafted fiction—and well-anchored fact."
Ross King
Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Joven's remarkable debut, while bearing obvious similarities to The Da Vinci Code, is much more than another pale imitation. Father Hector, a science teacher in a Spanish Jesuit community, finds relief from indifferent students in an online group devoted to the real-life Voynich Manuscript. Written in an unknown language, the 500-year-old document has defied the best efforts of cryptographers and scholars to decipher it. Hector's research into an actual recent book, Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder's Heavenly Intrigue, which accuses Johannes Kepler of poisoning his mentor and fellow astronomer, Tycho Brahe, eventually ties in with the mystery surrounding the Voynich Manuscript. Local politicians' efforts to evict the order from the monastery where Hector works complicate the plot. Joven manages to cleverly blend fact and fiction as well as make the scientific debates of the 16th century relevant and compelling. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Reviews
Inspired by a mysterious real-life text, Spanish physicist Joven's fiction debut sends three friends on a series of intellectually edifying, if less than thrilling adventures. Since it resurfaced in 1912, the 15th- or 16th-century Voynich Manuscript has fascinated cryptologists both amateur and professional with its odd drawings and strange text, as yet undeciphered. Joven invents one such amateur cryptologist: Father Hector, a Jesuit science teacher in Spain whose school is soon to be demolished by the city, due to pressure from unknown interests. Hector, along with a circle of online colleagues, spends his time trying to decode the Voynich. His interest in the manuscript deepens after he meets two of his online collaborators in person and, working together, they make a series of breakthroughs that may tie the manuscript to, among others, Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler, the court of King Rudolph II of Bohemia and the Jesuits, who seem to have gone to great lengths to keep the book's meaning hidden. Hector and his colleagues even find a surprising connection in the ancient labyrinth beneath the priest's school. But someone is dead set against their solving the puzzle, and one of Hector's collaborators may have an ulterior motive. A fictional adventure surrounding a real-life mystery as fascinating as the Voynich Manuscript ought to be thrilling, but Joven wrecks the pacing by inserting lengthy lectures on a variety of topics, most often the lives of Brahe and Kepler. Attempting to combine enlightenment with entertainment, the author offers too much of the former and not enough of the latter. In addition, many of the solutions to the puzzles the trio encounters aren't satisfying; therequired clues are not necessarily provided, or they hinge on knowledge of esoteric topics in science, history and architecture. Finally, the trio never seems to be in any real danger, which robs the story of drama. Too many history lectures and not enough tension.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061456879
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/11/2010
Pages:
347
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >