BookBrowse Reviews Solar by Ian McEwan

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Solar

by Ian McEwan

Solar
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Mar 2010, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2011, 368 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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A complex novel that traces the arc of one man's ambitions and self-deceptions

The only thing falling apart faster than our planet is the personal life of Michael Beard, the fictional lead of Ian McEwan's Solar. He's a brilliant scientist, to be sure, the winner of the Nobel Prize in physics for the Beard-Einstein Conflation, much in demand not only as a research scientist but also as a public intellectual of sorts, the kind of guy likely to show up as a talking head in a documentary on climate change, speaking persuasively about his plans to use the immense power of the sun to create artificial photosynthesis, to craft the means to save us all.

But Beard himself is a mess, grotesque and downright unlikeable to boot, yet oddly irresistible to women. "He belonged to that class of men—vaguely unprepossessing, often bald, short, fat, clever—who were unaccountably attractive to certain beautiful women. Or he believed he was, and thinking ...

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  Artificial Photosynthesis

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