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Solar (New York Times Notable Books)by Ian Mcewan
Ian McEwan's latest offering, Solar, is a departure from his serious side. The main character, Professor Michael Beard, is an aging, pompous, and ridiculous Nobel-winning physicist who is far past his prime. He is one messed up fellow who sits comfortably on the laurels of his discovery many, many years previous. He is duplicitous, self-obsessed, arrogant, and greedy. Yet Beard is one of the funniest characters I've ever come across, and even though the laughs are mostly at his expense, that somehow doesn't make you despise him. McEwan can do serious, tragic, obsessive, morbid, and poignant better than most writers, but it is a delightful surprise to discover that he can do humor as well. This is a wonderful book that somehow is exceedingly deeper than it appears on the surface!
Synopses & Reviews
The literary event of the season: a new novel from Ian McEwan, as surprising as it is masterful.
Michael Beard is a Nobel prize–winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. While he coasts along in his professional life, Michael’s personal life is another matter entirely. His fifth marriage is crumbling under the weight of his infidelities. But this time the tables are turned: His wife is having an affair, and Michael realizes he is still in love with her.
When Michael’s personal and professional lives begin to intersect in unexpected ways, an opportunity presents itself in the guise of an invitation to travel to New Mexico. Here is a chance for him to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster. Can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?
A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deceptions, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers.
From the Hardcover edition.
Michael Beard is a Nobel Prize-winning physicist (and compulsive overeater) whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions, and halfheartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. Meanwhile, Michael’s fifth marriage is floundering due to his incessant womanizing. When his professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Michael to extricate himself from his marital problems, reinvigorate his career, and save the world from environmental disaster. But can a man who has made a mess of his life clean up the messes of humanity?
A complex novel that brilliantly traces the arc of one man’s ambitions and self-deception, Solar is a startling, witty, and stylish new work—Ian McEwan at his finest.
About the Author
IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including the novels On Chesil Beach; Saturday; Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award; and In Between the Sheets. He lives in London.
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