Tuesday, October 16, 2012

SOLAR - Ian McEwan

Michael Beard is a Nobel Prize winning physicist whose best years are well behind him as are five marriages. He's short over weight and somehow human catnip to females.

He's a totally unlikeable individual who does nothing unless he is the first beneficiary of his efforts.

When he cottons on to work done by a younger staff member and makes it his own he appears to be once again to be a leading force but..............

The highlight  for me of this novel  was the following paragraph -

“There was an Old Testament ring to the fore warnings, an air of plague-of-boils and deluge-of-frogs, that suggested a deep and constant inclination,enacted over the centuries, to believe that one was always living in the end of days, that ones own demise was urgently bound up in the end of the world, and therefore made more sense, or was just a little less relevant. The end of the world was never pitched in the present, where it could be seen for the fantasy it was, but just around the corner, and when it did not happen, a new issue, a new date would soon emerge.”

This sums up the the climate change brigade nicely and while Beard is not totally skeptical he is more inclined to think of climate change believers in the above terms than not.

The novel starts strongly and is very funny - even though it does peter out to a  foreseeable conclusion it is worth the effort to read it - I enjoy seeing the selfish reap their just deserts and for an Ian McEwan novel it is almost uplifting meaning I wasn't so depressed at the end of it I thought of self harm. (2010)

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