Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Solar - Ian McEwan

Synopsis - 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.  A compulsive womaniser, Beard finds his fifth marriage floundering.  But this time it is different: she is having the affair, and he is still in love with her.

When Beard's professional and personal worlds collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for him to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster.

Review - Ian McEwan has a lot of critics, particularly amongst my reading group friends.  For me, he is an excellent writer, although I agree he can be long winded.  Atonement was a tome, although I enjoyed the book and the film, despite Keira Knightley being the female lead.  This is my second read by Ian McEwan.  I have Saturday in my TBR pile and On Chesil Beach on my wishlist for some time in the future.

Michael Beard may be a very clever man but he is a very weak and not particularly nice character.  We learn that his father did not show love for his only son in a physical sense but was quietly loving and supportive.  His mother doted on him and consequently spoiled him. making him the man he became.  On her deathbed, his mother admits to having a string of affairs during her marriage and Michael went down that same road.  Basically, a commitment phobe in many ways.  McEwan shows us the man who had his day once, but was opportunistic to jump on someone else's bandwagon.  He also had the ability to extricate himself from what may be regarded as rather a pickle! 

Well written, but I did struggle a bit.  It was interesting and different reading for me.  3*

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