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Publisher's Summary

Guy Carpenter has a prestigious job at NASA, a devoted wife and new baby, and, aside from a troublemaking cat, a settled, quiet life. But things take an unexpected turn when this regular guy finds himself mixed up in an international scandal of enormous proportions. Years ago, Guy worked on the Superconducting Super Collider, a giant government project dedicated to detecting a tiny, elusive particle, the Higgs Boson. Wrangling in Congress shut the project down before it could succeed, but now the Chinese claim to have found the Boson. It is a discovery that sends the nation into a panic. How did the Chinese surpass American science? What about the horrific military implications of a Boson Bomb? Is it time to start casting Hollywood's first boson-based blockbuster? An expert is needed to assess the new threat to national security.
Guy is propelled into the center of the media blitz, his old love with a Chinese physicist resurfaces, a new romance with a beautiful Congresswoman beckons, and the breakup of his happy marriage threatens. In the meantime, Congress holds urgent hearings, Hollywood comes courting, the CIA is investigating, and an unctuous reporter dogs his every step.
Once again, Herman Wouk, the man the New York Times has called "a modern Charles Dickens," exercises his deep insight and considerable comic powers to give listeners a witty and keen satire about Washington, the media, and science, and what happens when these three great forces of American culture clash.
©2004 Herman Wouk (P)2004 Time Warner AudioBooks
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Critic Reviews

"Playful, thoughtful, and passionate, this first novel by Wouk in 10 years will charm fans with its companionable warmth and wry humor." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
1 out of 5 stars
By Jonathan Hoffman on 06-02-04


My wife and I are Wouk fans, so we were looking forward to listening to this for our long drive over Memorial Day weekend. We got about 2 1/2 hours into it before we gave up. If you want more excitement, go home and clean your miniblinds, or wash out your furnace filters. This book may be unsafe to listen to while driving down the road as we did--you might fall asleep and run over someone. If you're lucky, you might hit the book editor, or perhaps the person from Publisher's Weekly who inexplicably described the book as "Playful, thoughtful, and passionate". The idea for the book wasn't bad, but, like a luxury car with four flat tires, it never gets going anywhere.

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18 of 19 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By El Loco on 05-27-04

So boring I couldn't finish

I knew that eventually I'd run into a book that I just didn't have the interest to finish. So far, my luck had been pretty good, but then I ran into "A Hole in Texas."

The book is interesting for the first hour or so, and then ... nothing happens. The main problem with the book as I see it is that the characters are flat, bland, undeveloped, and stay that way. If the main character suddenly threw an embolism and died I wouldn't feel so much as a pang of remorse.

The writing is fairly poor, although passable. There have been a few times where I've caught the author writing something that might work on paper, but certainly wouldn't work in a real conversation. For instance, to use another word for "cat" in order to avoid saying "cat" too many times in one sentence, the character refers to it as "the beast". C'mon...try saying that to a friend. Doesn't it seem awkward? Maybe that's just me.

Another problem is that there is NO tension driving this book along. There is no desire to see what happens next, so you won't be surprised when nothing ever happens. The threat of a boson bomb could have been a good one, but the threat in this book sounds like an academic one, as if we got a "B" on a test and China got an "A". Scary stuff.

In the end - or should I say at the midway point - this became the first book to put down before it's finished.

Try "A Game of Thrones" - which is absolutely INSANEly good. Now THAT book has tension & interesting characters a plenty.

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17 of 18 people found this review helpful

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