Book Review: Solar by Ian McEwan

SolarWhat’s it about?

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, 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 collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, this is a story of one man’s greed and self-deception; a darkly satirical novel showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.

My thoughts

This was our book club read for May and having not being over-impressed with The Children Act I approached this book with trepidation and it seems I was right too! This was a quote from quite early on in the book but it kind of reflects my feelings towards it.

“And that was the problem. Much of the time he did not know what they were saying.”

The book started off well; there’s humourous antics, in particular the artic arrival, the accident and crisps scenes did raise an eyebrow but the author’s choice in language coupled with no chapters and the constant pages of solid text with too much laborious description of the science and technology aspects did not sustain my interest or raise my enjoyment level.

It’s not even if there’s any relatable or engaging characters, the protagonist Micheal Beard is a first class tw*t, his behaviour, the way he treats people, his wives, he’s just not a nice bloke with this air of arrogance about him that he doesn’t seem to think he’s doing anything wrong.

In parts I started to feel a little sorry for him but overall I think he totally deserves what he got but even then he still manages to come up smelling of roses.

I’m so glad to have finished this book for 2 reasons; 1) so I can say I got to the end and 2) so I could start something far more interesting.

This is one of the most baffling and boring books I’ve ever read. I just don’t get all the hype that surrounds Ian McEwan’s books  as they just have a way of making me feel totally uneducated and thick. Although at book club we did discuss the fact that he is able to write about an array of subjects extremely convincingly and with such thorough research that I totally believed everything he wrote – this I can appreciate. Overall, his books are just not for me so won’t be reading another!

If you wanna give it a go, here are the links: Paperback | Kindle

Connect with the author Ian McEwan

Website | Facebook

 

My month in books – May

What’s happened in May?

May’s provided me with some disappointing and unfilling reads that have slowed my reading progress down. Currently my Goodreads challenge tells me I’m 3 books behind schedule however I’ve bought myself more books this month than I have done in a long time for no other reason than I could. I’m hoping this will spur me on!

I’ve signed up to #PaperbackSummer which is running June to August so hopefully I’ll be getting through a few of my paperbacks. I’ll be deciding what I’m reading by using my TBR jar – see post here for details Paperback Summer Here I Come.

Last week I visited Agatha Christie’s Devon holiday home Greenway which was lovely, there’ll be a blog post and photos to follow 🙂

Books read: 5

The Dead Wife's HandbookThe Red NotebookIn My HouseSolarDisclaimer

 

 

 

Books added to the TBR: 9

Gray MountainTell No LiesRunaway WifeFalling The Night Circus The Truth about the Harry Quebert AffairThe-Year-of-the-RatThe DishNormal

Currently reading: The Ship by Antonia Honeywell

Favourite book for May: The Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

What’s coming up in June?

  • Start of #PaperbackSummer

How was your May reading and what are you looking forward to in June?

WWW Wednesday (May 27th)

I’m actually having a few days away in Cornwall this week but have prepped my post in advance. Apologies though if I don’t get to your comments etc straight away 🙂

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading…

DisclaimerDisclaimer by Renee Knight

Finally a book that’s got me hooked and eager to read. I was worried that the all the hype surrounding this book was going to be leave me feeling under whelmed but so far a big thumbs up from me!

The blurb

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew…

I recently finished reading…

SolarSolar by Ian McEwan

I’m so glad to have finished this book for 2 reasons; 1) so I can say I got to the end and 2) so I can start something far more interesting.

This is one of the most baffling and boring books I’ve had the misfortune to read. I just don’t get all the hype that surrounds Ian McEwan’s books and I for one won’t ever read one again.

The blurb

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, 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 collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, this is a story of one man’s greed and self-deception; a darkly satirical novel showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.

What’s up next?

IMG_0595 #PaperbackSummer starts June 1st so I’ll be randomly picking from my TBR jar so I’m not sure what my next read will be 🙂

 

 

What are you all reading this week?

WWW Wednesday (May 20th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

SolarSolar by Ian McEwan

This is our book club read for May and having not being over-impressed with The Children Act I approached this book with trepidation and it seems I was right too! 75% boring techy science stuff, 25% humourous antics. Also, I don’t know what it is about Ian McEwan books but they have a way of making me feel totally uneducated and thick! 😦

The blurb

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, 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 collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, this is a story of one man’s greed and self-deception; a darkly satirical novel showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.

What did you recently finish reading?

In My HouseIn My House by Alex Hourston

I was expecting something very different from this book. I was expecting more from the human trafficking plotline rather than the human interest story that I got. The majority of the book was quite slow and all in all I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to recommend.

The blurb

Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’

Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.

But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.

Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.

As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end.

What do you think you’ll read next?

DisclaimerDisclaimer by Renee Knight

June, July and August are going to be dedicated to #PaperbackSummer so I wanted to squeeze in this e-book before then. It’s had such a lot of positive hype on social media I’m really looking forward to seeing if it’s as good as everyone says.

The blurb

When an intriguing novel appears on Catherine’s bedside table, she curls up in bed and begins to read.

But as she turns the pages she is sickened to realize the story will reveal her darkest secret.

A secret she thought no one else knew…

Let me know in the comments what you’re reading this week?

WWW Wednesday (May 13th)

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words. It’s open to all to participate. Why not join in and let us know what you’re reading this week…

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

In My HouseIn My House by Alex Hourston

I was expecting something very different from this book. It’s very slow and has an overwhelming sense of sadness and to be honest if I hadn’t have been sent it by the publisher and don’t like giving up on books I would have given up by now.

The blurb

Maggie lives a life of careful routines and measured pleasures. But everything changes when, walking through Gatwick a few days shy of her fifty-eighth birthday, a young woman approaches her and whispers a single word: ‘Help.’

Maggie responds, and in that moment saves a stranger, earning Anja her freedom and ensuring the arrest of a brutal trafficker.

But when the story gets picked up by the papers, Margaret is panicked by the publicity, as well as the strange phone calls she begins to receive.

Meanwhile Anja makes contact. She wants to thank her rescuer, but quickly insinuates herself into Maggie’s life.

As her relationship with Anja intensifies, Maggie begins to reveal, in increments, what it is she has been hiding. As a picture of her past takes shape, we are drawn into a slippery moral maze in which every choice is compromised. Maggie’s account is faithful, but she will keep you guessing about what really happened until the very end.

What did you recently finish reading?

The Red NotebookThe Red Notebook by Antoine Laurain

This is a lovely story with well developed characters even though you only know them for a short time.  I really enjoyed this book and contemplated giving it 4* on Goodreads but then I thought what could the author have done to make it better and there wasn’t anything and would I read it again, yes, so I gave it 5*.

The blurb

Bookseller Laurent Letellier comes across an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street, and feels impelled to return it to its owner. The bag contains no money, phone or contact information. But a small red notebook with handwritten thoughts and jottings reveals a person that Laurent would very much like to meet. Without even a name to go on, and only a few of her possessions to help him, how is he to find one woman in a city of millions?

What do you think you’ll read next?

Solar

Solar by Ian McEwan

This is our next book club read and having not being over-impressed with The Children Act I approach this book with trepidation. I have been advised that it’s not typical McEwan and will enjoy it….mmmm we’ll see!

The blurb

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. A compulsive womaniser, 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 collide in a freak accident, an opportunity presents itself for Beard to extricate himself from his marital mess, reinvigorate his career and save the world from environmental disaster. Ranging from the Arctic Circle to the deserts of New Mexico, this is a story of one man’s greed and self-deception; a darkly satirical novel showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.

 What are you reading this week?