From the cover: 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 Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, Solar is a serious and darkly satirical novel, showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time. A story of one man’s greed and self-deception, it is a profound and stylish new work from one of the world’s great writers.
Solar is entirely from Michael Beard’s point of view, a bit of a pathetic and dislikable person. He is anything but a breath of fresh air. Self-centered, incapable of love, insecure and dishonest. He is living on past glories. Eating to much, nog charming at all, a bit of a fool and yet women seem to like him. Don’t expect to learn about clean energy. The book is all about the drama of sex, compromised integrity and serial irresponsibility played out by Beard’s shambling figure.
McEwan tells an engaging and funny story that I really enjoyed reading. My judgement, four stars.