Solar: A Novel

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Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, 2010 - Fiction - 287 pages
73 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.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - flydodofly - LibraryThing

Excellent writer he is, McEwan managed to make the main character so sickly appalling and repulsive and, yes, believable, that I had to put the book down so many times. I also picked it up because of his good writing, but, oh, it was a difficult read. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Devil_llama - LibraryThing

I'm beginning to wonder if contemporary fiction is becoming an impossible task for me. It often begins to seem like work to force a book to its conclusion, when it seems like most of them are simply ... Read full review

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About the author (2010)

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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