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.