Solar

Kobo eBook available

read instantly on your Kobo or tablet.

buy the ebook now

Solar

by Ian Mcewan

Knopf Canada | March 9, 2010 | Hardcover |

3 out of 5 rating. 2 Reviews
Not yet rated | write a review
An engrossing, satirical and very funny new novel on climate change.

Michael Beard is in his late fifties; bald, overweight, unprepossessing - 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. An inveterate philanderer, 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 are entwined in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself, a chance for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster.

With a global scope, Solar is a comedy dealing directly with the crises of today. A story of one man''s ambitions and self-deceptions, it is a startling and stylish new departure in the work of one of the world''s great writers.

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 6.3 × 9.06 × 0.79 in

Published: March 9, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399249

ISBN - 13: 9780307399243

save
76%

Out of stock Sorry, this item has sold out and may be re-stocked in the future. Hurry, only 0 left! Not yet released

$2.00  ea

Online Price

$7.99 List Price

Cart

This item is eligible for FREE SHIPPING on orders over $25.
See details

Easy, FREE returns. See details

Downloads instantly to your kobo or other ereading device. See details

All available formats:

Reviews

– More About This Product –

Solar

by Ian Mcewan

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 304 Pages, 6.3 × 9.06 × 0.79 in

Published: March 9, 2010

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307399249

ISBN - 13: 9780307399243

Read from the Book

He belonged to that class of men – vaguely unprepossessing, often bald, short, fat, clever – who were unaccountably attractive to certain beautiful women. Or he believed he was, and thinking seemed to make it so. And it helped that some women believed he was a genius in need of rescue. But the Michael Beard of this time was a man of narrowed mental condition, anhedonic, monothematic, stricken. His fifth marriage was disintegrating and he should have known how to behave, how to take the long view, how to take the blame. Weren’t marriages, his marriages, tidal, with one rolling out just before another rolled in? But this one was different. He did not know how to behave, long views pained him, and for once there was no blame for him to assume, as he saw it. It was his wife who was having the affair, and having it flagrantly, punitively, certainly without remorse. He was discovering in himself, among an array of emotions, intense moments of shame and longing. Patrice was seeing a builder, their builder, the one who had repointed their house, fitted their kitchen, retiled their bathroom, the very same heavy-set fellow who in a tea break had once shown Michael a photo of his mock-Tudor house, renovated and tudorised by his own hand, with a boat on a trailer under a Victorian-style lamp post on the concreted front driveway, and space on which to erect a decommissioned red phone box. Beard was surprised to find how complicated it was to be the cuckold. Misery was no
read more read less

From the Publisher

An engrossing, satirical and very funny new novel on climate change.

Michael Beard is in his late fifties; bald, overweight, unprepossessing - 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. An inveterate philanderer, 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 are entwined in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself, a chance for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and very possibly save the world from environmental disaster.

With a global scope, Solar is a comedy dealing directly with the crises of today. A story of one man''s ambitions and self-deceptions, it is a startling and stylish new departure in the work of one of the world''s great writers.

About the Author

IAN McEWAN is the author of two collections of stories and eleven previous novels, including Enduring Love, Amsterdam, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1998, Atonement and, most recently, On Chesil Beach.

Editorial Reviews

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book
An O: The Oprah Magazine Great Read 
Winner - Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2010
 
"Deeply funny."
-Toronto Star
 
"Scarcely a page fails to dazzle with some wittily caught perception about contemporary life. Blazing with imagination and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance."
-Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

"McEwan at his best. Intelligent, funny, and full of insights."
-The Guardian

"A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet."
-Financial Times

"Solar burns with wit and energy. It demonstrates why McEwan is among the language''s most popular literary novelists."
-Winnipeg Free Press

"In Atonement or Enduring Love or Amsterdam or Saturday or pretty much any of his novels, Solar has many adept competitors for best of breed, and those competitors are beloved. But this may be his best work yet."
-The Star Phoenix


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Bookclub Guide

1. Examine the character of Michael Beard, described in the novel''s opening sentence as "Vaguely unprepossessing, bald, short, fat, clever… stricken". What do you think are Beard''s virtues, and what are his vices? Is it possible to view him as a hero, or anti-hero?

2. Solar takes as its main theme climate change, and the immense difficulties in tackling it. What do you think the novel has to say about climate change, and contemporary efforts to combat it?

3. Jonathan Raban has described Ian McEwan as "the best realist novelist alive." Do you think that Solar confirms this evaluation? If so, in what ways?

4. A Nobel Prize-winning physicist dedicated to fighting global warming, and an "emblem of instincts that have brought our species to its present hazardous state". What do you believe the author is articulating about society and climate change through the character of Michael Beard?

5. "I actually find novels that are determined to be funny at every turn quite oppressive." (Ian McEwan, Guardian interview)
Given the sober themes of Solar - the threat of climate change, murder, plagiarism, adultery - to what extent do you view it as a "comedy"?

6. To what extent is Solar a tragedy?

7. "It''s good to get your hands dirty a bit and to test how you see things at a given point. And it''s very pleasing after writing something like Atonement or On Chesil Beach, which are historical, to get involved in some plausible re-enactment of the here and now."
To what extent do you see Solar as a contemporary novel? How far do you agree that it is a novel solely concerned with the problems of today?

8. "There was plenty behind me to make me feel that what had to be really radical in literature was the content, not the style" Gaining an early reputation for the controversial subject matter of his stories, how far do you believe Solar continues this tradition in the work of Ian McEwan?

9. Luck and coincidence play pivotal roles in Michael Beard''ss success over the course of the novel. To what extent do you see him as a man in control of his destiny? To what extent is he a victim of chance?

10. To what extent do you believe that Michael Beard suffers for his actions in Solar? Do you believe that he gets what he deserves by the novel''s end?

Item not added

This item is not available to order at this time.

See used copies from 00.00
  • My Gift List
  • My Wish List
  • Shopping Cart