Improbable: A Novel

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9780060736781: Improbable: A Novel

From a brilliant new talent comes a riveting novel of chance, fate, and numbers, and one man's strange journey past the boundaries of the possible.

David Caine inhabits a world of obsession, rich rewards, and rapid, destructive downfalls. A compulsive gambler and brilliant mathematician prone to crippling epileptic seizures, he possesses the uncanny ability to calculate odds of any hand in the blink of an eye. But one night at an underground poker club, Caine makes a costly mi scalculation, sending his life spinning out of control. Desperate, he agrees to test an experimental drug with unnerving side effects: inexplicable visions of the past, present, and future. Unsure whether he's perceiving an alternate reality or suffering a psychotic breakdown, Caine embarks on a journey that stretches beyond the possible into the world of the improbable. Gradually, he discovers the extent of his astonishing new ability -- but powerful, shadowy forces know Caine's secret. Now Caine must fight for his survival -- and his sanity . . .

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About the Author:

Adam Fawer holds undergraduate and master's degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and received an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. During his corporate career, Fawer worked for a variety of companies including Sony Music, J.P. Morgan, and most recently, About.com, where he was the chief operating officer. Improbable, his first novel, has already been translated into five languages. Fawer lives in New York with his partner, Meredith, and far too many pet fish.

From Publishers Weekly:

As Sherlock Holmes once said, "When you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth." Or as fourth-year Columbia statistics Ph.D. student David Caine tells his class in this science-driven, action-packed thriller, "[W]hen the chances of being wrong are minuscule, you have probably discovered the truth." Caine, a compulsive gambler, has just seen his sure-thing poker hand go bad, leaving him deep in debt to a Russian gangster. He can't skip town because he's started an experimental treatment for his temporal lobe epilepsy—a treatment that allows him to tap into the collective unconscious, a parallel universe known as the everywhen, where innumerable futures exist for him to choose from. Needless to say, this makes Caine a valuable commodity, and he's soon on the run from a number of government agencies, none having his best interests at heart. His schizophrenic twin brother, Jasper, aids him in his flight, as does tough female rogue CIA agent Nava Vaner. It's difficult to keep the competing bad guys straight, and discussions of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, Einstein's theory of relativity, Schrödinger's cat, Laplace's demon and probability theory tend to slow things down. But the success of The Rule of Four and The Da Vinci Code have shown that plenty of readers enjoy their science, as long as there's a compelling plot encircling it, which there is here.
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