New from Simon & Schuster

Nora Webster by Colm Toibin
Rebel Yell by S. C. Gwynne
The Innovators by Walter Isaacson
Rocks by Joe Perry
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
As You Wish by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden
Final Theory

Final Theory

A Novel

  • reading group guide

A Spellbinding Thriller about a Science History
Professor on the Run for his Life and an Unpublished Einstein
Theory that Could Change the World


Debut novelist Mark Alpert brings one of the most explosive books of 2008, seamlessly weaving current issues of science, history, and politics with white-knuckle chases.

David Swift, a professor at Columbia University, is called to the hospital to comfort his mentor, a physicist who's been brutally tortured. Before dying, the old man wheezes "Einheitliche Feldtheorie." The Theory of Everything. The Destroyer of Worlds. Could this be Einstein's proposed Unified Theory--a set of equations that combines the physics of galaxies with the laws of atoms? Einstein never succeeded in discovering it. Or did he? Within hours of hearing his mentor's last words, David is running for his life. The FBI and a ruthless mercenary are vying to get their hands on the long-hidden theory. Teaming up with his old girlfriend, a brilliant Princeton scientist, David frantically works out Einstein's final theory to reveal the staggering scope of its consequences.

With publishers around the world snapping up rights in twenty-two countries, the book has already become a global phenomenon, and the dynamic characters and gripping plot will keep readers compulsively turning the pages until the very end.
  • Touchstone | 
  • 384 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416573098 | 
  • June 2008
Add to Cart
List Price $7.99
Available for immediate download

Video

Author Mark Alpert gives us a sneak peek at the sequel to FINAL THEORY

Get a special preview of the upcoming QUANTUM CRASH from the author, science geek and poet Mark Alpert.

Hear an Excerpt

Reading Group Guide

For Discussion
1. When David is being interrogated by the FBI immediately after Dr. Kleinman's death, he thinks, "Why should he be responsible for keeping the secret? He hadn't asked for this." Why does David choose not to reveal what he knows to the FBI?
2. Monique and David haven't seen each other in nearly twenty years when he arrives on her doorstep in Princeton. Why does David seek out Monique for help? Why does Monique, in turn, risk her life to aid David? Is it merely academic interest that compels her to accompany him on his dangerous quest, or is there something more?
3. Karen refuses to believe the FBI when they tell her that David is wanted for murder and selling drugs. Given her contentious personal history with David, why does she stand by her ex-husband? What makes her so certain that he's not involved in these illegal activities?
4. Discuss the novel's narrative structure and plotting. Did you guess the identity of Henry Cobb before it was revealed? What did you find to be most compelling about Final Theory -- the action scenes, the characters, the scientific and historical information, or something else entirely?
5. Why do you suppose the author chose to give Simon, a cold-blooded killer-for-hire, such a sympathetic back story? Was he a convincing villain? Did you empathize with him at all, given that he lost his wife and children because of an American military error in Chechnya? Why or why not?
6. David' see more

More Books from this Author

David Swift and Monique Reynolds desperately try to stop a group of religious zealots from re-creating the Big Bang.
Read more about this book

About the Author

Mark Alpert
Photograph by Sigrid Estrada

Mark Alpert

A self-described lifelong "science geek," Mark Alpert majored in astrophysics at Princeton University, writing his undergraduate thesis on an application of Einstein's theory of relativity. After earning an MFA in poetry at Columbia and working as a reporter, he became an editor at Scientific American, where he simplifies bewildering scientific ideas for the magazine's readers. Mark lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.

BECOME A FAN

Explore

CONNECT WITH US

Get a FREE eBook
when you join our mailing list!