“Enjoyable humorous tale.”Keith Barraclough wrote this review Tuesday, May 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Overall, excellent.”Ian M wrote this review Sunday, April 22, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“This was chosen by our work Book Group or I would have abandoned it fairly early on.
Solar tells the story of Michael Beard, Nobel Laureate for Physics, at three points in his live: 2000, 2005 & 2009. His is an obnoxious character: a serial womaniser with 5 ex-wives, he is pompous and has rested on his laurels since he won his Nobel Laureate. To add to this, he is fat & lazy, continously planning to do something about his weight problem but constantly procrastinating and indulging himself. He lies and cheats his way through his private, public & working life, leaving a trail of broken lives behind him. A totally unsympathetic character.
So, what is the 'story'? After a few excrutiating incidents around the dissolution of his 5th marriage and a trip to the arctic, a 'shocking' incident puts him in a position of opportunity: does he use this in a constructive way or take advantage?
Events jump to 2005 and we see him with a new woman, flat, job etc. etc. Again, various situations and opportunities open themselves up to him and again, the question of how he'll react is placed before us.
Ditto with 2009 and the final denouement.
The thing is, you just know how he'll react (if not always precisely what he'll do). There is very little to surprise in the book and the ending was so obvious..... I found the various 'incidents' excruciating and obvious, in particular the 'crisp incident'.
I guess it's supposed to be a moral tale. We're not supposed to like the character, we're supposed to side with everyone else in the book. Even so, I didn't enjoy this (as is obvious), I wouldn't have finished it if it wasn't the Book Group choice and I certainly won't read anything else by this author. (I did read Chesil Beach a year or so ago & didn't particularly enjoy that either).”
“This tragicomic satire is another winner from one of the finest writers of contemporary fiction alive. The part about the frozen appendage is the most hilarious bit I've read in a while.”RichieDave L wrote this review Friday, April 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Superb. Very funny and readable, with some memorable scenes and some deep thoughtful content.”jimwolffman wrote this review Monday, March 26, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Novel about a physics professor who, although he achieved a Nobel prize earlier in his career, is now skating through the chaos his loose lifestyle has created for him. Book jacket described McEwen as a male equivalent to Jane Austen; his written observations of contemporary society are funny and rich. The ending is still worthy of pondering, with its possibilities but no ring of conclusion. I kept hoping throughout, that I would end with a better loyalty and interest for solar energy research and development, but alas, not really, I'm still unsettled about that, too.”Jennifer L wrote this review Thursday, March 8, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Now one of my favourites by McEwan - fast-paced and funny.”Marcos M wrote this review Sunday, March 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Theft , lies, infidelity, alcoholism, are among the sina of the protagonist in a less than stellar book by McEwan
An engrossing, satirical and very funny new novel on climate change by bestselling author, Ian McEwan”