Solar is a timely, hilarious novel from the author of Atonement that examines the self-absorption and (self-)deceptions of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Michael Beard. With his best work many decades behind him Beard trades on his professional reputation to earn continuing financial favor, and maintain influence and respect amongst his peers. And, with his personal life in an ever-decreasing spiral, with his fifth marriage coming to an end, Beard manages to entangle himself in an impossible accident which has the power to re-shape his own world, and the planet in the process.
Ian McEwan’s depiction of Michael Beard is engaging and thoroughly entertaining. Beard hops from relationship to relationship in his singular quest for “love”, but very much on his own terms. And, this very centric view of himself extends to his own science, where his personal contributions don’t seem to be all that they appear. Satire and climate science makes a stylish and witty combination in the hands of McEwan.