About to depart on his first vacation in years, Edward Wozny, a hot-shot young investment banker, is sent to help one of his firm's most important and mysterious clients. When asked to uncrate and organize a personal library of rare books, Edward's indignation turns to intrigue as he realizes that there may be a unique medieval codex hidden among the volumes, a treasure kept locked away for many years and for many reasons. As friends draw Edward into a peculiar and addictive computer game, his obsession deepens as he discovers surprising parallels between the game's virtual reality and the mystery of the codex. An accomplished and entertaining thriller, Codex explores the mysterious power of books in the medieval and modern ages.
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The cerebral thriller Codex drops up-and-coming investment banker wunderkind Edward Wozny into the musty realm of medieval literature, where he finds an unexpected break from the rat race--a powerful client's commission to uncrate and organize a library. The diversion quickly becomes an obsession after he enlists the help of the quirkily attractive scholar Margaret Napier. Together they discover his employer, the mysterious Duchess of Bowmry, is in a race with her husband to locate an apocryphal codex that could destroy the Bowmry name. Meanwhile, Edward becomes engrossed in an addicting computer game that bears an uncanny similarity to the object of his search and accelerates his transformation from Wall Street wizard into shiftless dreamer.
For the most part, Edward moves through his adventure merely following Margaret's dedicated lead. As each new twist unfolds, he slips further into the comforting daydream of a life that isn't his but is as thrilling as the race for the codex. Codex wrestles with notions of dreams and reality that commingle as Edward finds himself adrift in a sea of passionate scholars and Old World plots. In all, Lev Grossman's novel is excellent entry into the emerging genre of literary history thrillers with an added twist for the technophile. --Jeremy PughFrom the Back Cover:
A National Bestseller
"A genuine treat with its sneaky plot and richly textured storytelling." -San Francisco Chronicle
Edward Wozny, a hotshot young banker, is about to leave for vacation when he is sent to help an important yet mysterious client. His task: search the family library for a precious, centuries-old codex that may not even exist. Enlisting the expertise of medievalist Margaret Napier, Edward is determined to solve the mystery of the codex and to decipher the parallels between the codex legend and a computer game that absorbs him in the dark hours of the night.
Weaving the medieval and the modern aspects of its plot in a chilling twist, Codex is a thriller of the highest order.
"Takes its place on the shelf of self-referential, bibliophilic page turners like The Name of the Rose, Possession and A Case of Curiosities, and it's as entertaining as any of them."--The New York Times Book Review
"This puzzle of 'nested secrets within secrets' is tailor-made for fans of The Name of the Rose and The Club Dumas." --Detroit Free-Press
LEV GROSSMAN is Time magazine's book critic. He has written for the New York Times, Salon, Entertainment Weekly, and Time Out New York. He lives in Brooklyn.
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