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New Release: Solar

41hTJBU0M7L._SL160_By Ian McEwan
Nan A. Talese | 304pgs
Release Date: March 30, 2010

Nobel prize–winning physicist, Michael Beard is skating by on his celebrity and little else, as Ian McEwan’s Solar opens. His exorbitant public speaking fees and regular paychecks from his post at Britian’s National Centre for Renewable Energy, give him plenty of time and resources to over-indulge in food, drink and women. In Part One of the book, Beard’s voracious appetites and infidelities have ruined his personal relationships, and caused his professional life to stagnate. In Part Two, the physicist attempts to jump start his career by passing off a dead colleague’s research as his own, and gains sponsorship to study climate change in New Mexico. Because Beard comes by his fresh start in the U.S. dishonestly, he decides to work on mending his deceitful ways. Part Three has him striving to save the environment from Global Warming and himself from a life of debauchery.

Considered one of Britain’s most distinguished modern novelists, Ian McEwan has written 13 books, including The Child in Time, On Chesil Beach and the bestselling Atonement. The author is also the recipient of numerous awards and accolades such as the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Booker Prize. Critics seem to be in agreement that Michael Beard is a fairly unlikeable protagonist. Yet overall, the early reviews for Solar have been positive, praising McEwan for his beautiful prose and wry wit. Jeff Giles of Entertainment Weekly calls Solar “the funniest book Ian McEwan has ever written,” and finds the author to be “a nearly peerless wordsmith, as well as being crazy smart.”

Read Entertainment Weekly review

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