Monday, June 21, 2010

Book Report: "Solar" by Ian McEwan

Solar Solar by Ian McEwan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Ian McEwan, the author of books like Atonement, Chesel Beach and Saturday; isn't known for his humor, particularly, but this book is very funny, in a peculiarly English slap-stick sort of way.  It's about a scientist who wins a Nobel Prize at a young age, and then spends the rest of his life basking in his laurels and acting the cad.  He is utterly immoral, ditching wives and mistresses on whims; stealing the ideas of associates, and looking for ways to make money without having to work.  His life takes a turn when the wife he has been cheating on, cheats on him with a contractor and a junior associate scientist.  The hero (or anti-hero), manages to kill two birds in what has become a McEwan trade-mark, the bad guy falling down.  It all comes to an improbable end in the desert in New Mexico, but McEwan is such an excellent wordsmith that you put up with the schlock.  This book was made for summer beach reading.  It is short and fun.


rdl said...

This sounds interesting. I only tried him once - Atonement.

forsythia said...

I liked both ATONEMENT and CHESIL BEACH, Then I read AMSTERDAM. I said, "Never again." I tried to cut and paste my "review" from FREE VERSE AND WORSE, but my computer hates me. If you wanna see it, keep clicking on "next" on my bookshelf until you find it and then rest the cursor over the picture of the book. Maybe this book was supposed to be funny, but I found it vile.

Crockhead said...

Thanks for the tip, Forsythia. I will avoid Amsterdam.

Anonymous said...


This book has one of the most memorable and disturbingly vivid opening scenes I've ever read. It is so gripping you simply have to read the book to understand how a writer can evolve the story line to some satisfaction and peace.

If I could use one word to sum up any of McEwan's tone it would be "discomfort" - though he crosses the line to be seen as "disturbing"