Alecia's Reviews > Solar

Solar by Ian McEwan
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's review
Jan 25, 2011

really liked it

Ian McEwan is funny! Who'd have thought it? I liked this book a lot, except it seemed disjointed to me. Some of the parts could even have been short stories with the same main character, Michael Beard. Also, with McEwan in a more comic mode, the main character Michael Beard even reminded me of some of Philip Roth's protagonists, and the prose itself reminded me of Roth's. That is a compliment.

Beard has gone through 5 marriages, is a compulsive womanizer, and is a Nobel Prize winning physicist. He is physically unappealing (by his own description), and is a real sensualist, loving food as much as he does his variety of women. He has dubious moral scruples, and a way of rationalizing everything. He seems to acknowledge his human frailties and carry on.

I loved his hilarious dilemma at a conference in the frigid tundra, as well as his speech in a later chapter where is ill from something he ate, and his experience with a fellow passenger on a train. His character is like a train wreck (albeit an amusing one), and I was pleasantly surprised at how enjoyable I found this book.
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