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Solar by Ian McEwan

Solar (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Ian McEwan

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2,5151232,408 (3.29)180
Authors:Ian McEwan
Info:Nan A. Talese (2010), Edition: First American Edition, Hardcover, 304 pages
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Solar by Ian McEwan (2010)

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English (100)  Dutch (6)  French (4)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Norwegian (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (123)
Showing 1-5 of 100 (next | show all)
3.5 *. Grim, well-written on a sentence-by-sentence level, but too predictable where it ultimately leads us. ( )
  ronhenry | Nov 17, 2015 |
I was taken aback by the humour in this - you can pretty much rely on Ian McEwan to deliver something satisfyingly literary with the odd titter, but this - at least the first part of it - was full-on hilarious. Reading it in a public place, I was in danger of choking on suppressed laughter. There was a lot of quite dense physics stuff too, but when you add in the slapstick and calculate the arithmetical mean it ends up bang on the funny bone.

You could at a pinch read the first section as a stand-alone story, and not bother with the rest - anyone finding the physics bits heavy going might be well advised to do that. The second and third sections are denser, heavier on the physics, and less funny. If you are Ian McEwan you can get away with things other people can't - like including long speeches word for word, and including plot events which appear to have been lifted wholesale from Jeffrey Archer (Jeffrey Archer!!) and which weren't even original when Jeffrey used them. Then, after letting your public think the less of you for several pages, admitting via a character that you did lift them from Archer and they weren't original when he used them etc etc. Either brave, daft, or meaningful in ways I can't discern. Either way, I'm glad I ploughed through to the end. You always come out of his novels with more knowledge than you started, and this one had a playfulness about it that made it probably my favourite by him so far. ( )
  jayne_charles | Oct 25, 2015 |
I like Ian McEwan but could not finish this book - trying too hard to be Malcolm Bradbury, another author I struggle with. ( )
  rlangston | Oct 19, 2015 |
Summary: In the afterglow of winning a Nobel Prize, Michael Beard lives a dismal life marked by multiple marriages, figurehead positions, and his own gluttony. However, after his most recent wife leaves him, Beard attempts to start living life to the fullest. He stumbles into this new life with a great deal of fanfare and catastrophe: covering up murder, nearly losing his penis to frostbite, and devising a plan to harness the power of the sun to save the planet. ( )
  dalzan | Apr 13, 2015 |
Per alcuni versi un po' grottesco, per altri un po' strascinato, il romanzo (che è pur sempre un buon romanzo, scritto con mestiere e solidità, con la professionalità del narratore quale McEwan è) è su toni decisamente minori rispetto ad altri del medesimo autore. Salvo tra tutte le ambientazioni quelle relative al viaggio sui ghiacci, che danno qualche elemento di novità in un folto gruppo di pagine leggere e deja-vu. ( )
  bobparr | Dec 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 100 (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 editionsconfirmed
Dean, SuzanneCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Olcina, EmiliTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"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
To Polly Bide
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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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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)

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