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.