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SOLAR Hardcover – 2010

8 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 2010
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Knopf Canada; Canadian First edition (2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0224090496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224090490
  • Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.5 x 2.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 581 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #734,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Andy Strote on May 15 2010
Format: Hardcover
While some of the plot twists are perhaps a bit too audacious, this book is worth reading if only to marvel at McEwan's command of the English language. I often caught myself reading sentences a few times, just enjoying the writing. There are few writers that have that effect for me. Back to plot for a minute. McEwan does know how to get the story from A to B quite efficiently, sometimes within a sentence, where others would have taken paragraphs to make the leap. I've liked nearly everything McEwan has done and this just adds to the list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Samantha TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 28 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ian McEwan is a great writer because each novel has its own distinctive style. In Solar, he delights with a wry depiction of Michael Beard, Nobel Prize winning physicist, a buffoon who stumbles into success and flails about trying to remain important. He is not an endearing protagonist, but I found his story, living on the edge of immorality, highly enjoyable. While not a comedy per se, there are a number of comical incidents that are laugh out loud funny. Although the novel centers around global warming and its politics, I did not find it dry. It was an engaging read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Hana on June 9 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you were rushing to a bookstore or a library to obtain this "savagely funny" and "enormously entertaining" book, as the advertising on the cover calls it, you will be well advised to slowdown and think again.
This book is funny close to the beginning. There are dirty jokes, for men, by a man, and on men, particularly middle aged ones. Then, later, the description how the politically correct hysterics resulted would be funny, if it were not literally true and actually frightening.
Our hero is not only a scientist and a holder of the Nobel Prize, but also first class Don Juan. I might believe that he could have had even more sexual encounters than mentioned, but not about four relationships a year, while married. A relationship needs some time, while getting entangled and disentangled, and ending it all, unless, of course, he carried more than two relationships at the same time.
This book is about creating energy from water and solar energy. It is very educated and well researched.
But there is still a possibility that the whole book is a joke. On us, on the author, and on novel writing generally.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Micheal Beard, four times divorced and having too much time to contemplate the collapse of his fifth marriage, is introduced to us with Ian McEwan's unique brush stroke; Beard attributed a rich mixture of foibles, perhaps so rich that in the amassing of his traits, I am a little lost in the welter of detail or else mildly irritated that the pace is put on hold until Beard is fully built. It is as if we are immediately presented by the whole album that describes Beard, rather than just those few snapshopts which would, the more fluously, unravel his essence without loss of pace.

Perhaps I should not dare to criticise a writer from whose writing I otherwise usually get such great satisfaction and, for the rest of the book, I'm relieved to say, I don't have to dare; for again I am drawn by the incisiveness of the snapshots themselves. For instance, in describing Beard we learn of his marriages being "... tidal, with one rolling out, just before another rolled in." This sound like a metaphor for the inevitability of his marital failure while also implying the loneliness of one man confronted by an ocean full of lady-fish but none staying long enough for him to savour; none long enough, for him to experience what McEwan might elsewhere call "enduring love."

Yet, despite Beard's hapless marriages and the mild disgust I felt for the "vaguely unprepossessing, often bald, short, fat" and "clever" man, nevertheless, I couldn't help feeling a scintilla of pity for him as he at last confronts/repents at leisure with a consuming sense of "shame" and is ultimately reduced to a sort of "sexual masochism"; in that "No woman had ever looked or sounded so desirable as the wife [No. 5] who he suddenly could not have" while she was busy with another affair.
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