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  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099549024
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99


Re-jacketed in stunning new series style, Solar is an engrossing, satirical and very funny novel about climate change by the Booker prize-winning, Sunday Times-bestselling Ian McEwan

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: his wife 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.

  • Published: 1 April 2011
  • ISBN: 9780099549024
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 304
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Ian McEwan

Ian McEwan is the critically acclaimed author of seventeen books. His first published work, a collection of short stories, First Love, Last Rites, won the Somerset Maugham Award. His novels include The Child in Time, which won the 1987 Whitbread Novel of the Year Award; The Cement Garden; Enduring Love; Amsterdam, which won the 1998 Booker Prize; Atonement; Saturday; On Chesil Beach; Solar; Sweet Tooth; The Children Act; Nutshell; and Machines Like Me, which was a number-one bestseller. Atonement, Enduring Love, The Children Act and On Chesil Beach have all been adapted for the big screen.

Also by Ian McEwan

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Praise for Solar

Savagely funny... Enormously entertaining

Sunday Times

A satirical masterpiece...it will come to be regarded as a classic

Daily Telegraph

A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet

Financial Times

McEwan has succeeded in producing a novel that is both profoundly serious and hilariously funny

Mail on Sunday

Vivacious and sprawling, a beautifully and compellingly written novel

The Times

Wonderfully enjoyable... He shows a side to himself as a writer - a puckishness, a broadness of humour, an extravagance of style - that we haven't seen before

Sam Leith, Spectator

From an early stage, McEwan's sumptuously textured language rested on a flair for finely engineered design


He's green and he should be read


McEwan avoids the problem of how to dramatise and emotive area of science by uncharacteristically and highly effectively deploying a sly streak of comedy

Claire Allfree, Metro

This is an absorbing, accomplished, instructive, and very funny novel bye one of fiction's most fecund minds

Country Life

McEwan's reputation as one of Britain's greatest living writers remained safely intact

Sunday Express

McEwan excels at climate science but his protagonist makes you shudder


A sensitive study of selfishness versus altruism

Mail on Sunday

An ambivalent, comic picaresque of cunning and subtle wisdom ... McEwan's established readers will enjoy it, as will everyone else, not only for the humour but for many moments of eerie truth

Eileen Battersby, Irish Times

Maybe most intractably, there's the problem of response-fatigue. Pressing invitations to think about global warming aren't thin on the ground. McEwan's solution is both elegant and surprising: instead of applying doom and gloom, he reaches for a lighter, more comic mode than usual... The overarching plot pulls off a clinching novelistic coup, using comedy to sneak grimmer matters past the reader's defences

Christopher Tayler, Guardian

Masterful prose

Time Out

A sharp, satirical tale


Superbly written with some sublime set pieces.... Read it and purr with pleasure. Solar radiates joy from start to finish and is never less than entertaining. It can't fail to put a smile on your face

Sebastian Shakespeare, Tatler

Among the best and most entertaining of McEwan's books

Stephanie Cross, The Lady

This is an entertaining book and there are, as always, exquisite moments of observation

Catherine Nixey, The Tablet

The best Ian McEwan I've read so far

Farm Lane Books blog

Reliably entertaining

DJ Taylor, Literary Review

Sizzling lucidity distinguishes this enormously entertaining novel about rationality and unreason. Right up to its final moment - teasingly poised between the heart-warming and heart-stopping - scarcely a page fails to dazzle with some wittily caught perception about contemporary life. Blazing with imaginative and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Climate-change comedy that's every bit as brilliant as its title suggests

The Sunday Times

There are only a handful of contemporary novelists whose new books are viewed as cultural events, and one of these is Ian McEwan... A Booker contender, for sure

Enjoy your Flight


James Delingpole, The Spectator

Excellent...the turn here is new and interesting.

Michael Wood, The New Yorker Review

The science doesn't take over the story, but it gives it necessary body and depth, and helps in attempting to understand the work of a climate change physical in some way... McEwan displays Michael's character brilliantly.... Solar raises a fundamental, and tropical, point- how we race (or slowly plod) to reverse climate change


Ian McEwan's venture into comedy for his latest novel, Solar is a triumph. McEwan has researched his topic thoroughly and environmentalists will find much to enjoy here

The Environmentalist

I love just about all the books of his...his latest novel, which I'm reading now, is every bit as good as his previous work

Gerald Scarfe, Daily Express

McEwan's first overtly comic novel promises sunshine on several fronts

Boyd Tonkin, Independent

McEwan is on top form in an exuberant and comic tale of a priapic and cynical Nobel scientist wrestling with both his conscience and his outsized appetites

Sunday Times Summer Reading

Absorbing, comic and hugely enjoyable

Emma Lee-Potter, Daily Express Summer Reading

Human beings are frail, Mother Nature is implacable - and old McEwan is as bleakly entertaining as ever

Kate Saunders, The Times

Hugely entertaining and the deserved winner of the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction


The book opens up another dimension of McEwan's genius as a novelist... Right up to the final moment scarcely a page fails to dazzle. Blazing with imaginative and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times

Takes on climate change through the weirdly compelling personage of Martin Beard, a scientist on the edge in every way. McEwan is never less than entertaining

Erica Wagner, The Times, Christmas round up

McEwan's book, which sizzles with intelligence, offers a rich spectrum of comedy, form zestful farce to satiric wit

Peter Kemp, Sunday Times, Christmas Books

Crafty, comic spin on climate change

Boyd Tonkin, Independent, Christmas round up

A marvellous return to witty form

Nick Curtis, Evening Standard, Christmas round up

Ian McEwan's dark, satirical novel takes one of the obsessions of our era - climate change - and forges it into a masterpiece

Telegraph - Editor's Choice

It's an unusual foray into satire - part misadventure, but descending into something much bleaker

Holly Kyte, Seven

Ian McEwan is not generally known as a write of laugh-out-loud fiction, but Solar - inspired by the uncomic subject of climate change - is just that

Emma Hagestadt, Independent

McEwan is a master at the height of his powers, and his prose sparkles and glitters with mischief and malice. He pokes fun at government scientific policy, at international conferences - at M-theory, even. You'll be chuckling so hard you won't notice that this is really a tragedy. And by then, it's too late

Irish Post

Solar has an engagingly direct, bleakly comic view of science and scientists. It also convinces

Times Literary Supplement

Entertaining - and often very funny

Sunday Times, Summer Reading

A novel that promises comedy as well as crisis


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