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Solar
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About the Author

Ian McEwan is the bestselling author of seventeen books, including the novels Nutshell; The Children Act; Sweet Tooth; Solar, winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize; On Chesil Beach; Saturday; Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and the W. H. Smith Literary Award; The Comfort of Strangers and Black Dogs, both short-listed for the Booker Prize; Amsterdam, winner of the Booker Prize; and The Child in Time, winner of the Whitbread Award; as well as the story collections First Love, Last Rites, winner of the Somerset Maugham Award, and In Between the Sheets.

Reviews

Man Booker Prize winner McEwan's 11th novel follows On Chesil Beach (2007), also available from Recorded Books. One-time Nobel Prize-winning physicist Michael Beard-now middle-aged, overweight, an alcoholic, and a serial monogamist-is well past his glory days. When a renewable energy foundation sends him on a junket to the Arctic to document the effects of global warming, he sees his chance at redemption. British actor Roger Allam nicely presents McEwan's tale, whose writing is beautiful and precise but whose plot is encumbered by the details of Beard's self-absorbed, narcissistic life. Recommended only for inclusive collections, to satisfy demand for British fiction, and where McEwan does well. [Includes a bonus interview with the author; the Nan A. Talese: Doubleday hc was recommended for "fans of McEwan's other works," LJ 4/15/10.-Ed.]-Sandy Glover, Camas P.L., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

In the afterglow of winning a Nobel Prize, Michael Beard lives a dismal life marked by multiple marriages, figurehead positions, and his own gluttony. However, after his most recent wife leaves him, Beard attempts to start living life to the fullest. He stumbles into this new life with a great deal of fanfare and catastrophe: covering up murder, nearly losing his penis to frostbite, and devising a plan to harness the power of the sun to save the planet. Roger Allam's English accent and gravelly voice balances a range of characters and emotions, especially Beard's arrogance and self-righteousness. More importantly, Allam's straightforward delivery of Beard's zany adventures enhances the humorous quality of McEwan's text. A Doubleday hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 1). (May) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

"Totally gripping and entirely hilarious." --The Wall Street Journal "Playful . . . glittering, gimlet-eyed. . . . Solar is balls-out, inventive, and brilliant." --Elle "McEwan's funniest novel yet." --The New York Times Book Review, Editors' Choice "Excellent....Discreet and witty." -The New York Review of Books "Wonderful....Underlying the novel's mordant comedy and its mounting suspense....is a genuine concern for the climate, the planet, the future of man." -Kansas City Star "McEwan writes sentences of such witty elegance that the loss of John Updike seems a little easier to bear. . . .[He] comes to this [climate change] debate with considerabl[e] sophistication." -The Washington Post "Precise and satisfying." -People "Artistically ambitious [and] seriously entertaining. . . .In Solar [McEwan has] elegantly discovered a terrible truth: that comedy is the only possible way to deal with the searing specter stalking the planet." -The Wall Street Journal "McEwan's best novel ever. . . .Fans of McEwan's previous work will find much to like." -The Daily Beast "Vivacious and sprawling, a beautifully and compellingly written novel. . . .[His] achievement is the brilliant creation of a flawed, larger than life character who all but walks off the page to shake your hand." -The Times (London) "The funniest book Ian McEwan has ever written. . . .McEwan is a nearly peerless wordsmith. . . .[and] crazy smart." -Entertainment Weekly "[With] wonderful scenes, comic set pieces. . . .If you're human, it's hilarious." -Minneapolis Star Tribune "Deft. . . .McEwan's background research is so seamlessly displayed that scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technoloy might wonder if he's nicked their notes. But where Solar really succeeds--beyond the dark comedy--is the author's ability to reveal the nature of the climate conundrum in the very human life of his protagonist." -Time "This may be his best work yet. . . .From start to finish, Ian McEwan has delivered his fastest-paced and most fastidiously researched novel." -The Vancouver Sun "Wonderfully rendered. . . .Thoroughly engrossing and often quite funny." -The Seattle Times "McEwan has shown himself to be a master of the smart, cynical tale. With Solar, though, the bar is raised. This may be the first climate-change comedy." -Montreal Gazette "A pleasure to read. . . .McEwan mines [Beard's] rich and extravagant interior life for comic gold. McEwan proves himself comfortable not just with comedy and suspense but with science as well." -The Salt Lake Tribune "Elegant and surprising. . . .[McEwan] reaches for a lighter, more comic mode than usual. . . .The overarching plot pulls off a clinching novelistic coup." -The Guardian (London) "Provoking. . . .[With] carefully plotted twists. . . .It is a sign of McEwan's comic skill that he makes us sympathize with [the protagonist]. . . .Longtime readers of McEwan know how skilled he is at producing disasters from the ordinary, the way a magician pulls a bunny from a hat." -Slate "Charlie Chaplinesque. . . .The comedy keeps coming....[Solar] tells the story of our polluted planet more vividly than any amount of well-explained physics." -Bloomberg News

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