The Syme Papers

Douglas Pitt is a man obsessed. Laughed at, mocked and dismissed at every turn, Pitt has spent the best part of an unremarkable academic career attempting to prove the genius of Samuel Highgate Syme (b 1794, Baltimore; soldier, geologist, inventor). After years of frustration, Pitt finally stumbles into the good fortune he hopes will make his name: he uncovers a manuscript written by a fledgling scientist which recounts a year in the company of the irrepresible Syme. Teeming with comic detail and fierce intelligence, The Syme Papers, Benjamin Markovits' debut novel, recreates a time when to question the world and the origin of creation was the greatest project a scientist could undertake. It is a novel of genius and failure; of a man who thought he could prove the world was hollow, and in the glorious process of discover, broke his own heart.

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The Syme Papers - Faber & Faber (UK)

Praise for The Syme Papers:

An “astonishing debut novel….The reason why the novel works so well is that Markovits has an exquisite sympathy for his characters and writes beautiful, dryly humorous prose, revealing an incredible breadth of reading.” —Matt Thorne, The Independent

"This first novel by Benjamin Markovits signals the arrival of a first-rate talent….Markovits has fashioned a brilliant book from a base character.” —Alastaire Sooke, The Independent