• Final Theory

  • A Novel
  • By: Mark Alpert
  • Narrated by: Adam Grupper
  • Length: 12 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 06-03-08
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars 3.4 (124 ratings)

Regular price: $39.93

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Publisher's Summary

Columbia University professor David Swift is called to the hospital to comfort his mentor, a physicist who's been brutally attacked. With his last words, the dying man gives his former pupil a seemingly random string of numbers that could hold the key to Einstein's last and greatest secret: Einheitliche Feldtheorie, The Theory of Everything. Einstein's proposed Unified Theory - a set of equations that could explain all the forces of nature - would have revolutionized our understanding of the universe. But Einstein never discovered it. Or did he?
Within hours, David is arrested by the FBI and taken to a secret interrogation center. But the FBI isn't the only faction pursuing Einstein's long-hidden theory. A Russian mercenary wants to force David to talk - and he will do whatever it takes. On the run for his life, David teams up with an old girlfriend, a brilliant Princeton scientist, and frantically tries to piece together Einstein's final theory to reveal its staggering consequences.
We used E=mc2 to build the atom bomb....What could we do with the key to creation?
Seamlessly weaving real science, history, and politics with an intriguing love story, Final Theory expertly combines fact and fiction with nonstop heart-pounding action in a plot that will have you riveted until its explosive end.
©2008 Mark Alpert (P)2008 Simon and Schuster, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Wow! Einstein would have loved this book. It's a great thriller, it has a sure feel for politics, and the science is both fun and solid." (Walter Isaacson, author of Einstein)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Jerry on 07-30-08

Such a mixed bag...

The idea of a lost Theory of Everything is a nice premise. The writing is
more than adequate from a style perspective. He also did an admirable job of
working in twists that are so important to a story like this. The pacing was
good, and the science was nicely handled. Then there are the problems...

A character engages the safety on their revolver. (Revolvers don't have
safeties.) A character "smashes" a computer on the floor and, voila, we have
parts everywhere. Among these parts, he is able to spot the hard drive
because it looks like "a turntable with glass platters." He proceeds to
smash the platters into tiny shards. Good grief. Every time an author does
something like this, it yanks you out of the story and it takes time to
reestablish the immersion. I find this way too often with authors who
obviously have zero understanding of things of the real world, whether the
topic is cars, guns, computers, etc.

The more troubling issue with the book is the ultra-poor character
development, both on the micro and macro levels. On the micro level, there's
just little there to make one bond with the individual characters. They're
stereotypical and wooden. On the macro level, the evil government is after
the poor innocent little people while an evil Master Killer stalks them, as
well. Yawn.

Finally, although it contributed absolutely nothing to the story, the author
had to take time to inject his liberal politics. The evil vice-president
with a crooked smile has to run the country for the "boob" from Texas.
Again, yawn. Maybe the author found this cathartic, but it's an incredibly
stupid thing to do in a book that has nothing to do with politics. By
including elements like this, he added nothing to the story, but did manage
to insult any conservative who happened to have bought and read his book.
Not smart to alienate half your market for no reason other than your own
need to "vent."

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By carl801 on 06-30-08

Hasn't this been done before?

Let's see: bad scientists, good scientists, ex-drunk scientist good guy, evil FBI agents, unbelievably deadly technology, unbelievably stupid military guys, military virtual reality with no security, beautiful sexy woman, severely autistic kid who is really an idiot savant, helicopters, shootouts. Hasn't this been done before?

Sorry, willing suspension of disbelief was just a few light years out of reach for this story. Not even an interesting moral dilemma tucked in there anywhere. Ultimate boredom set in around hour 3. I stuck with it to the end to see if it would get worse. In that regard, it met all my expectations.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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