The Book of God and Physicsby Enrique Joven
“Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller.”
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/b>/b>/b>
“Joven has put together a fine recipe for a thriller.”
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.
The Washington Post
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.
- HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Meet the Author
Enrique Joven holds a doctorate in physics. Since 1991, he has resided in Tenerife on the Canary Islands, where he works as a senior engineer at the Instituto de Astrofisica de Canarias. He writes regularly for various media outlets on subjects ranging from science and new technologies to the Internet. The Book of God & Physics has been translated into eight languages.
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The book is about unlocking the secret to the Voynich manuscript. A young Jesuit priest and his two friends spend the entire book trying to unlock the code to this mysterious book, a book with roots to the great astronomers Tycho Brae and Johannes Kepler. Instead of an exciting tale all you get is long history and science lectures. There is almost no plot. The book moves at a snail's pace and you will be so glad when it finally ends. If you interested in a good book that mixes history with an exciting plot read Steve Berry. Stay away from his dud.
"The Book of God and Physics" is a fictional mystery based on a very genuine mystery, the Voynich Manuscript, a book written in a code that to date even the best cryptologists in the world have been unable to crack, and filled with curious drawings. Named after the Polish book dealer who unearthed it in modern times (quite a character in his own right), and currently residing in a U.S. university library, the Voynich Manuscript has apparently existed since at least the Renaissance though some suspect a hoax. Its real or purported history involves such colorful characters as the Emperor Rudolf II of Bohemia, the Elizabethan English astronomer, magician and spy John Dee, his roguish associate Edward Kelley, and the medieval English scientist Roger Bacon. In attempting to solve the mystery of the Manuscript, the three principal characters -- a Spanish Jesuit teacher, a Mexican beauty with fundamentalist connections, and an athestic British astronomer -- find themselves on what is by no means a straightforward quest, led on excursions into the life and death of the Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe at Rudolf II's court in Prague, golems, H.P. Lovecraft, and religious assaults on evolutionary theory in the United States, as well as the Vatican and Spanish royal archives and an underground labyrinth. Though the characters are somewhat representative of points of view, with the Jesuit being the most believable and sympathetic of the three, the plot is cleverly handled. The frequent diversions from the main story line, some of which connect up again while others are merely interesting false leads or sidelights, may trouble readers who prefer more conventionally plotted thrillers, but do successfully convey the atmosphere of the strange world from which the Manuscript emerged, with one foot in the alchemy and astrology of the Middle Ages and the other in modern science. That the novel has been translated does not impair its readability, but the sense of a non-American point of view is present throughout and adds to the feeling of "otherness" that is embodied in the Manuscript itself. For anyone who has heard of the Voynich Manuscript before, or is intrigued by its story, this novel is well worth reading and may encourage further exploration of the odd history behind this undecipherable document.
Impossible to put down. It's like a murder mystery only it deals with an ancient untranslatable manuscript. And that manuscript actually exists. Joven has done a great job weaving history, science, astromony, religion, and ancient manuscripts into a marvelous novel.