April 2010 Indie Next List
“Nobel Prize-winning English physicist Michael Beard is a human being of extremes: very bright, very lazy, overweight, over married (five times), amoral, and rapacious. Despite early success, he has become irrelevant until a lucky break furnishes him with material to change course, become an environmental darling, and appear to save the world. McEwan, as usual, writes a taut plot line, with suspense and dread of retribution building with each turned page.”
— Darwin Ellis, Books on the Common, Ridgefield, CT
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.
"From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
IAN McEWAN is the bestselling author of thirteen books, including the novels "On Chesil Beach"; "Saturda"y; "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. "From the Hardcover edition."
#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book
An O: The Oprah Magazine Great Read
Winner – Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2010
"Scarcely a page fails to dazzle with some wittily caught perception about contemporary life. Blazing with imagination and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance."
—Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times
"McEwan at his best. Intelligent, funny, and full of insights."
"A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet."
"Solar burns with wit and energy. It demonstrates why McEwan is among the language's most popular literary novelists."
—Winnipeg Free Press
"In Atonement or Enduring Love or Amsterdam or Saturday or pretty much any of his novels, Solar has many adept competitors for best of breed, and those competitors are beloved. But this may be his best work yet."
—The Star Phoenix