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Solar by Ian McEwan
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Solar (2010)

by Ian McEwan

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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» See also 190 mentions

English (116)  Dutch (6)  French (5)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
I understand, dear Ian. Dr. Beard is deplorable. He is also us: humans, particularly Americans. Imprisoned by his own appetites, he harbors only scenarios for being diversely sated. He's always selfish. He says what people want to here. Such a cad, he knows he needs to stop but can't.

It was appreciated that novel continued along its arc. After the resolution of the mud room in the polar expedition, I feared that Michael would discover self correction. Thank you, dear author. ( )
  jonfaith | Feb 22, 2019 |
Couldn't finish this one - TOOOOO depressing! Although the writing is good, I could not get 'into' the story line enough to stick with it. :-( ( )
  decaturmamaof2 | Nov 28, 2018 |
Strangley involving tale of the motivations and internal machinations of an extremely selfish scientist. Very convincing psychological portrait. ( )
  SarahStenhouse | Nov 4, 2018 |
Beautifully written as always. Real toad of a main character at whom you have to laugh or just despise. Chewy bits of science: Beard-Einstein conflation, artificial photosynthesis. You can't help but turn thoughtful about climate change. I still can't believe he got away with using the real Nobel Laureate's name in a work of fiction. ( )
1 vote juliejb9 | Sep 23, 2018 |
Excerpts from my original GR review (Nov 2011):
- Here we have the story of one Michael Beard, Nobel laureate for his Beard-Einstein Conflation (don't ask), whose abhorrent behavior, which not only includes sexual dalliances but an unrepentant delight in cashing in his considerable academic rep for the cause of alternative human energy sources, forms the core of the novel. And if you stopped reading this and declared you'd had enough of despicable characters, in this case one whom McEwan tells us is "a solipsist at heart, and in his heart was a nugget of ice", then I bid you adieu... However, if you value extraordinary writing, intelligent writing...effortlessly flourished onto the page, then I vote that you indulge yourself.
- And besides, you'll get to experience the best ever scene of a man's penis freezing in the Arctic, along with what I'll call "potato chip bliss", a bit of writing (p. 123 in my edition) that yet again endears me to Mr McEwan's talent. And the guy has done his research. Photovoltaics, other physics. ( )
1 vote ThoughtPolice | Sep 7, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)

Solar is grappig, slim geschreven en spannend tot op de laatste bladzijde. Een roman om, Beardsgewijs, duimen en vingers bij af te likken.
added by PGCM | editKnack, Jan Stevens (Nov 25, 2010)
 
Despite the book’s somber, scientific backdrop (and global warming here is little but that), “Solar” is Mr. McEwan’s funniest novel yet — a novel that in tone and affect often reads more like something by Zoë Heller or David Lodge. Like “Amsterdam,” this latest book shows off his gifts as a satirist, but while it gets off to a rollicking start, its plot machinery soon starts to run out of gas, sputtering and stalling as it makes its way from one comic set piece to another.
 
Solar” is een vermakelijke en bijzonder goed gevulde roman, waarvan ook de wetenschappelijke gedeelten strak en helder geschreven zijn. Ian McEwan weet als zo vaak minutieus realisme en stilistische elegantie met elkaar te verenigen. De vraag die velen zich wel zullen stellen is: waar wil McEwan met zijn lezer naar toe? Er is namelijk slechts één gids: de onbetrouwbare anti-held Michael Beard, “passé” als geleerde maar niet genoeg om hem zo maar van de tafel te vegen. Zijn seksuele en andersoortige geeuwhonger maakt van deze Nobelprijslaureaat wel een karikaturale omkering van wat de nieuwe mens zou moeten zijn en hoe hij zich op een verantwoordelijke wijze tot de aarde en zijn medebewoners zou moeten gedragen.
 
Lightness, however, comes less easily to McEwan, whose style depends on deliberateness and a certain ponderousness. The ominous lining up of causes and effects and the patient tweaking of narrative tension don't always mesh well with the aimed-for quickness and brio. Some of the humour is quite broad: there's a rather clunking motif concerning polar bears, and Beard gets involved with a stereotypical Southern waitress who's called, in the way of trailer-trash types, Darlene. He emerges as a figure of some comic dynamism, but the pages on his childhood and youth, though brilliantly done, articulate poorly with the knockabout parts of the plot. Once it became clear that the book's world is comic, I also found myself wondering if it wouldn't have benefited from being more loosely assembled, with shorter, discontinuous episodes and Beard functioning along the lines of Updike's Bech, Nabokov's Pnin or the consciousness in Calvino's Cosmicomics.
 
Beard is as robust and full-fleshed and ebullient a character as McEwan has come up with. And in Solar, he shows a side to himself as a writer — a puckishness, a broadness of humour, an extravagance of style — that we haven’t seen before.
 

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ian McEwanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dean, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olcina, EmiliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
"It gives him great pleasure, makes Rabbit feel right, to contemplate the world's wastings, to know the earth is mortal too."

Rabbit is Rich, John Updike
Dedication
To Polly Bide
1949-2003
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He belonged to that class of men - vaguely unprepossessing, often bald, short, fat, clever - who were unaccountably attractive to certain beautiful women.
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La Edad de Piedra no terminó a causa de la escasez de piedras.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385533411, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:19:49 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

When Nobel prize-winning physicist Michael Beard'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.… (more)

» see all 10 descriptions

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