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Solar (New York Times Notable Books)

by

Solar (New York Times Notable Books) Cover

 

Staff Pick

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!
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.

Synopsis:

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.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Clarity, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Clarity)
McEwan's writing is spectacular, as always.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
W S Krauss, October 29, 2011 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
Michael Beard, physicist and womanizer, is resting on his laurels after winning the Nobel Prize decades ago. He lets life happen to him and we are along for the ride. An accident in his home provides him the means and opportunity to advance his floundering career and enables him to work on a project that could save the world from climate change. I found myself quite fond of Beard, even though he sabatages everything in his life. He never learns from his mistakes and remains true to himself to the very end. This was my fourth Ian McEwan novel and, I think, my favorite.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
W S Krauss, October 29, 2011 (view all comments by W S Krauss)
Michael Beard, physicist and womanizer, is resting on his laurels after winning the Nobel Prize decades ago. He lets life happen to him and we are along for the ride. An accident in his home provides him the means and opportunity to advance his floundering career and enables him to work on a project that could save the world from climate change. I found myself quite fond of Beard, even though he sabatages everything in his life. He never learns from his mistakes and remains true to himself to the very end. This was my fourth Ian McEwan novel and, I think, my favorite.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780307739537
Author:
Mcewan, Ian
Publisher:
Anchor Books
Author:
McEwan, Ian
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;climate change;novel;science;global warming;british;england;physics;uk;satire;contemporary fiction;contemporary;21st century;london;literature;scientists;english literature;british literature;new mexico;adultery;energy;solar power;environment;scie
Subject:
fiction;climate change;science;novel;global warming;british;england;physics;uk;satire;contemporary fiction;contemporary;21st century;london;scientists;british literature;literature;english literature;new mexico;adultery;energy;british fiction;environment;
Subject:
fiction;climate change;science;novel;global warming;british;england;physics;uk;satire;contemporary fiction;contemporary;21st century;london;scientists;british literature;literature;english literature;new mexico;adultery;energy;british fiction;environment;
Subject:
fiction;climate change;science;novel;global warming;british;england;physics;uk;satire;contemporary fiction;contemporary;21st century;british literature;london;english literature;literature;scientists;new mexico;energy;adultery;english;solar power;solar en
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110331
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
28 x 13 x 4.5 in 12.5 lb

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Related Subjects

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Solar (New York Times Notable Books) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.95 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Anchor Books - English 9780307739537 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

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!

"Synopsis" by , 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.

 

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