Maya Lang's Reviews > Solar

Solar by Ian McEwan
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Jul 16, 12

Read in July, 2012

Truly have no idea how to rate this book. It's not my favorite Ian McEwan, but I have a huge amount of respect for it--partly for the absurd amount of research involved (into physics! and not in a superficial, passing gloss, but in an involved, detailed, headache-inducing way) and for the risks he takes, including with the foray into comedy. Michiko Kakutani of the Times was put off by the unsavory character of Michael Beard, but I loved this about the book--I love that we are stuck in the head of a philanderer and glutton who never feels the stirrings of conscience, and that *this* is the person attempting to save humanity from itself. I also loved the small paradoxes in the book, like the team sent to Antarctica that can't manage the mudroom (where gloves and goggles routinely get stolen). "How were they to save the earth--assuming it needed saving, which he doubted--when it was so much larger than the boot room?" It is one thing to have a lefty liberal hero in a novel about global warming, but I love that McEwan went the other way.
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