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Discussion Guide

Final Table: A Novel

By Dan Schorr

A political thriller about sexual misconduct in the #MeToo era, one victim's battle to survive and overcome trauma, and the cable news machine that feeds off titillating scandal coverage and inflammatory confrontation, Final Table draws upon Dan Schorr's firsthand experience as a New York sex crimes prosecutor and sexual misconduct investigator to tackle the worlds of political and media dysfunction.

  
Former White House staffer Maggie Raster is struggling to build her own consulting firm and overcome a recent sexual assault by an ex-boss. Kyler Dawson, a broke former poker champion, desperately needs to gain entry into a controversial but potentially very lucrative international poker tournament. The host nation faces widespread condemnation for the recent murder of a prominent female US journalist, and a pending presidential executive order threatens to prohibit him and others from participating.

  
Maggie's chaotic first attempt to promote her new business as a television political analyst brings her to Kyler's attention, and convinces him that her political smarts and connections can provide the help he needs. When he approaches her for assistance, she must decide whether to agree – in return for a portion of the potential $20 million prize. To succeed, she will have to confront significant adversity – personal and political, foreign and domestic – including mounting pressure to publicly address the misconduct of her former boss. Kyler also has his own obstacles and upsetting past to overcome, but if they each can outmaneuver their daunting challenges, he might win the tournament--and earn them both a fortune.

 

This discussion guide and recommended reading was shared and sponsored in partnership with Dan Schorr.

Discussion Questions

Use these discussion questions to guide your next book club meeting.

After Maggie is sexually assaulted by someone she trusts, she struggles with finding the best way to respond. If you were her friend and she confided in you about what occurred, what would be your advice?

Several characters in the novel are looking for some form of justice because of past wrongs that they believe have been committed. Whose quest for justice is morally understandable? Does anyone’s tactics appear to be unfair? What resolution would be the appropriate “justice” for what Bryce did to Maggie?

Final Table is told from the perspective of four different characters, who view the key events and issues of the novel in strikingly dissimilar ways. What is the significance of character perspective in Final Table and how does each person’s viewpoint impact their actions and how they view the other individuals?

"Final Table is a compelling, timely, and fast-paced story of a sexual assault survivor's fight to regain control of her life in the face of fear, self-doubt, international intrigue, and looming retribution. Former sex crimes prosecutor Dan Schorr's nuanced and layered debut novel smashes stereotypes and cliches with a strikingly original and memorable narrative." --Sunny Hostin, Emmy-winning cohost of The View and best-selling author of I Am These Truths and Summer on the Bluffs

 

"An international political thriller that successfully weaves together multiple storylines. . . electrifying. . . A well-paced and timely novel." --Kirkus Reviews

 

". . . a little crazy intellectual stimulation. . . this political thriller about sexual misconduct will not disappoint." --Women.com

 

"Dan Schorr's Final Table is a top-class political thriller by a professional who knows the world he writes about. Authentic and moving, Final Table lays bare the highest level of international politics, and will not let go of the reader. Highly recommended." --Alan Furst, best-selling author of A Hero of France and Midnight in Europe

 

"If you enjoy poker, you need to read Final Table. Dan Schorr's novel is an exciting, unpredictable, nonstop political thriller, all told through the lens of high-stakes poker's exhilarating triumphs and soul-crushing bad beats." --Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Champion

 

"Final Table is a captivating, multifaceted, original debut novel that is smart and riveting from the first word to the last. Dan Schorr brings his real-world experience as a sex crimes prosecutor and investigator to create a powerful, engaging, and complex study of media, politics, and trauma. A must-read." --Rita Cosby, Emmy-winning TV host and best-selling author