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Solar

Average Rating 3
( 159 )
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5 Star

(44)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(30)

2 Star

(33)

1 Star

(27)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Solar by Ian McEwan

Sorry to see the American critics so down on this novel, esp. NYT, where IM's readers probably go. Even McEwan's "not his best" is far better than most other writers best. He is a craftsman who doesn't patronize his readers and trusts that they bring something besides ...
Sorry to see the American critics so down on this novel, esp. NYT, where IM's readers probably go. Even McEwan's "not his best" is far better than most other writers best. He is a craftsman who doesn't patronize his readers and trusts that they bring something besides eyes to the page.

posted by 248416 on May 5, 2010

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Most Helpful Critical Review

5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

Not So Sunny

Ian McEwan apparently has a variety of observations he wishes to make on contemporary issues, not the least of which is science. He is a very smart man, an accomplished writer, and deserves to be heard. So. Why does he choose a vehicle like the novel Solar, centered on ...
Ian McEwan apparently has a variety of observations he wishes to make on contemporary issues, not the least of which is science. He is a very smart man, an accomplished writer, and deserves to be heard. So. Why does he choose a vehicle like the novel Solar, centered on an unlikable character who probably has turned most readers off by page 80? But it was around page 80 that I thought the book picked up a bit, and I was able to enjoy some of the dilemmas he created for Michael Beard, the unworthy scientist who's haphazard life is supposed to carry our interest. Yet for those who think the book is very funny or even a good read, I wish to say that I think McEwan would have better conveyed his ideas in a Sunday magazine piece and saved us all from what is essentially a boring novel.

posted by KenCady on April 6, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    Solar by Ian McEwan

    Sorry to see the American critics so down on this novel, esp. NYT, where IM's readers probably go. Even McEwan's "not his best" is far better than most other writers best. He is a craftsman who doesn't patronize his readers and trusts that they bring something besides eyes to the page.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not So Sunny

    Ian McEwan apparently has a variety of observations he wishes to make on contemporary issues, not the least of which is science. He is a very smart man, an accomplished writer, and deserves to be heard. So. Why does he choose a vehicle like the novel Solar, centered on an unlikable character who probably has turned most readers off by page 80? But it was around page 80 that I thought the book picked up a bit, and I was able to enjoy some of the dilemmas he created for Michael Beard, the unworthy scientist who's haphazard life is supposed to carry our interest. Yet for those who think the book is very funny or even a good read, I wish to say that I think McEwan would have better conveyed his ideas in a Sunday magazine piece and saved us all from what is essentially a boring novel.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Books of this caliber don't come by often so best to savor it...

    Fiction of this caliber is too rare, but is all the more welcome for being so. This novel has a message, great prose, hilarious caricatures, and a laugh-at-aging-old-me sense of humility. The book felt like an amusing conversation with several bright friends where a number of the important discussion topics of our time are (lightly, lightly) raised: the "social construct" of genetic code, cap and trade, solar vs. wind, photosynthetic energy, government responsibility, the tentativeness of financing, the "coldhearted predation" of the media.

    In a time when one might plausibly argue the world is falling down around our ears, it is heartening and enervating to have a crusty old scold and storyteller spin a tale of human greed, folly, and outsized appetites, and how we manage to move ahead despite these things. The inexorability of the human aging process and the failures of self control we all experience is rendered so ridiculous it makes us laugh while we weep. But what I liked most was McEwan showing us that even the greatest among us is so fatally flawed and so repulsively human, that we are bound to fail--unless...and this is the genius in the equation...we cooperate.

    And how could it be otherwise? Even as free light from the sun falls on our heedless heads, we focus blearily on the changing weather through the thick glass bottoms of anesthesizing glasses of scotch. Only when weather threatens to drown or parch us do we half-heartedly sling our heavy buttocks out of our easy chairs to murmur, annoyed, that the government should do something, sue someone, drill somewhere. Folly, all.

    Art may after all be an important prod to action, but here I find it a resting place, a way-station on the weary slog to changing things we feel helpless to change, even though we can. It places the finest thinkers right down among us, so we can all claim some superiority, and perhaps even some responsibility. McEwan suggests, perhaps, that even self-interest plays a role in advancing the ball towards the goal, but shows how fragile our hopes, and how easily we can all come undone, lest we not be vigilant.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    Difficult to Like, But Clever

    Michael Beard won a Nobel Prize in physics as a young man and he has been coasting on it ever since.
    The book is told entirely from his point of view, in the third person. It is divided into three parts, starting in 2000, then moving to 2005 and ended in 2009. At the beginning, Michael is the head of a government funded program in Britain, that is working on alternative energy. He is rarely there and not really committed to its mission. He goes on excursions and to conferences, giving speeches, but not doing any real work. His marriage is ending, due mostly to his chronic infidelity. In the rest of the book, we see how he progresses, or progressively declines would be more accurate.
    I found it difficult to like the book, because Michael is such an unlikable character. Still the book is extremely funny in parts; I did laugh out loud. I was interested in the story and kept reading because I wanted to see how it ended.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2014

    Iceshard's Bio

    Name: Iceshard <p> Nickname: Ice <p> Gender: She <p> Age: 17 moons <p> Personality: She is very intelligent, and witty, feirce and strong, and bubbly, funny and warm-hearted. <p> Looks: She has a soft, white pelt that has grey dapples that get darker from head to tail. She has stunning, curios eyes. Her left eye is a vibrant blue (she is not blind) but as for her right eye, it is a rich carmel color. <p> Crush: Yes <p> Mate: Searching <p> Kits: Wants <p> History: Was born as a house cat. She ran away with her mom at 5 moons. <p> Anything else: Just ask! She doesnt bite! <p> &heart

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    WhisperWillow's Bio

    [Bare with me on remmbering the details, I haven't rp'd Whisper in ages! ;-;]
    <br>Name: WhisperWillow
    <br>Gender: She
    <br>Age: 30 Moons
    <br>Rank: Warrior
    <p>Appearance: Creme pelt with a white under belly, white muzzle, and white tail tip. She has sandy colored paws and sandy dapples along her spine, a pink nose and very pale green eyes.
    <br>Persona: She is calm, caring, loyal, protective, kind-hearted, loving, and willing to help whoever she can.
    <p>Kin: MysticSun- Daughter (Missing), Suneyes- Daughter (Missing), LightningStreak- Aunt (Deceased) RunningWind-Mother (Deceased), and WhisperRain-Father (Deceased)
    <br>Mate: Frost- (Deceased) She is finally ready to find someone new.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2014

    Windheart bio

    Age 19 moons appearence a sleek strong built tome with blue eyes position warrior personality fun outgoing loyal determined protective warrior code obeying mate none

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Aurorapaw's Bio, Type 1.

    Name: Aurora Borealis. No, is's Aurorapaw. Call me Aurora dor short. <p>Age: 10 moons. <p>Gender: Are you really that stupid? <p> Appearance: Electric blue eyes with shimmering silver fur. Hence the name "Aurora." She's also a fairly small cat. <p> Mate/Crush/Kits: No, no, no. She's training to be a medicine cat. <p>Living Kin: Scarpaw, Gingerpaw, Lionpaw, and Fangpaw. All searching for clans or hunting down previous clan. <p> Other: Ask.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 8, 2014

    Redsky bio ver. 1.7.1!

    Name:redsky*age:21 moons*apperance:red pelt with white underbelly, stiches from a tiger fight years ago, teal eyes.*kin:?*crush:none*mate:goldenflare*other:ask

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2014

    Longtail's bio

    Hello, I am Longtail. I am a 19-moon old tom with a short black/white spotted pelt. I do not have a crush or a mate though I want kits. I realize that Longtail is a name that carries great honor and I live up to that. Thank you for listening to me as i told my bio.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 18, 2014

    Barkfur

    Barkfur is a dark brown tom with deep blue eyes. His brown fur is long and always mat-free. His tail is long and feather-like with a white tip on it. Barkfur is clan born, but his parents were traitors and left to become kittypets. He always gets dark looks from the other warriors, because they all suspect he will run off, too. He has a crush, but because of his history he is afraid to talk to her.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Rushingriver Bio .1

    NAME: Rushingriver~•~ AGE: about 19 moons~•~ GENDER: tom/&male ~•~ DESCRIPTION: dark gray with white highlights and points and blue-green eyes. He has three silver stripes that run down his spine, tapering at the forehead, then widening to frame an upside down triangle of silver. He is strong, great at climbing, hunting, but is an ok runner~•~ PERSONALITY: when you first meet him, he can be a little snappy, but he starts to become a really fun cat later on. He will obey his leader's orders no matter the cost. He loves kits, and can be a little shy. But when around his hard-earned friends, he is outgoing, courageous, fun, and kind~•~ STRENGTHS: fighting, climbing, hunting, talking ability~•~ WEAKNESSES: trusts a little to easily. Follows orders. Hates to kill without big reason. He is a great fighter, but hates wars~•~ CRUSH: yes. Two actually. Hint: she welcomed me to SolarClan. Hint: the other I have talked to the most, but really! There are no toms to be friends with!~•~ MATE: looking~•~ KITS: silly! I don't even have a mate!~•~ KIN: none that is known~•~ HISTORY: ask~•~ FAVORITE FOOD: sparrow~•~ SIGGY: working on it!~•~ OTHER: ask!
    <br>
    <p>
    Thanks for reading!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    IceFlame

    Name:IceFlame•Age:20 moons•Gender:Male//Tom•Apperance:He is a Russian blue tom with alarg build and black tabby stripes. An silver steel eyes. •Personality: His sweet and kind buy he will snap if you wander into his past. But over all hw is sweet kind annd fun to be with.•Family:Shadowflare:mom,Foxteeth:father.•Mate:None •Crush:I have my eye on someone •Kits:None but you can hope! •Birth Clan:AshClan •Other Fetures:A scar across his leg,flank and shoulder,from Revolution days.•Skills:Hunting,Stragy,and Fighting.•

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2014

    Featherkit's Bio

    Name: Featherkit. <p>
    Age: 6 moons (!!!) <p>
    Gender: Are you serious? <p>
    Coat: White with grey and black splotches <p>
    Eyes: Green with blue lines <p>
    Personality: Meet me. <p>
    Likes: Herbs, singing, hunting, running, hiding, and home. <p>
    Dislikes: Fish.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    WinterFlare's Biography Version 0.1

    Name- WinterFlare, if you can't see headlines.
    <p>
    Age- 15 Moons
    <p>
    Rank- Warrior
    <p>
    Gender- &female
    <p>
    Description- A fluffy, very light grey shecat. She has small white flurry-like spots. She has long legs and and fluffy tail. Her eyes are dark green, like a pine tree. She is a swift runner but a terrible swimmer. She smells similar to pine wood.
    <p>
    Personality- Quiet and calm-minded. She can keep a level head in complete chaos, and almost nothing can move her. She is strong willed and a skilled warrior. Loyal as a retreiver, brave as a lion.
    <p>
    History- She was born in Snowclan. Mentoured by NightWish, DoeSleet, and BrackenFall. She learned very fast and HailStar agreed to make her a warrior almost two moons early. The night she became a warrior, a storm ripped through camp and ki<_>lled her family, besides her brother, whose wearabouts she doesn't know. She wondered around for three moons, finally settling down in EclipseClan.
    <p>
    Mate- Nope.
    <p>
    Crush- Silly. I'm new here!
    <p>
    Kits- Simple math, people. Nope.
    <p>
    Kin- Mother: SwiftRiver dead. Father: SilverSnow dead. Brother: BraveStorm. Sisters: FallenFire and Rain.
    <p>
    Themesong- Battle: Survival by Eminem. Always: Sail by Awolnation.
    <p>
    Signature- Working on one now.
    <p>
    2,224 letters left!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    Dominos amazing bio

    Name Domino age ? Gender She Family unknown Likes everything except dislikes fish rude cats cussing at little kids mean parents leather belts and suicidalls! Looks black with white spots a silver tiped tail and a black spot around left eye Other Ask me and read my story at res 12!!!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2014

    Cloudhearts bio

    Name cloudheart but call me cloud white tom blue gold eyes personality quiet mate none crush no one history?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Dawnpool

    May i join? I want to be deputy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    Mothstripe's Super Amazing Bio Ver. 1.1.2!

    Name- Mothstripe the Magnificent. No, just Mothstripe.<p>Gender- She-cat, of course!<p>Age- Not super-young warrior but not old.<p>Appearance- Beige-cream with creamy white stripes, thicker than a normal tabby stripe. Yellow eyes. Semilong fur, creating a feathery tail.<p>Personality- Occasionally overhyper. Always puts a bit of humor into things. Extremely loyal to her Clan. And a bit like Luigi. Yes, the Man in Green. Yes, I am a a gamer irl. Yes, you have to deal with it.<p>Love life- She is kinda sorta looking for a mate, but with so few toms, all of them are nearly taken. Or at least crushed on by other shes. Never had mate/kits before.<p>History- I haven't made this up yet. Umm... Her parents are deeeeeeeeeaaa- No. That won't do. Hmm... it involves Twolegs. But she isn't a kittypet? I guess. That'll do, Donkey. That'll do.<p>Theme song- Smile Song Vocals in D-Flat Major And Also The Background Music is in 8Bit. Not the exact title but it's in a PooTube playlist by Vengeful Hang<_>over called Pitch Shifting Goodness.<p>Favorite Prey- fish, but it's secretly a secret. Shh!<p>Likes- fish, rain without lightning, the cooling feeling of stretching out on dirt or grass in the shadeon a hot day, references to fandoms, and fourth wall jokes.<p>Dislikes- Thunderstorms, intense heat, having to wake up quickly, and bad grammar, spelling, and puctuation.<p>Other: I feel there should be more to this bio. Oh yeah! Forgot to mention. Mothstripe's kinda the deputy. Oh wow. I was even thinking of putting that when I was writing the Personality section. Oh well. Goodbye and have a nice day. Close the door on your way out. Don't eat ramen noodles and drink chocolate milk in the same sitting unless you WANT intense stomach pain. Put the shower curtain inside the tub if you're taking a shower. Don't check on your rice unless you're sure it's done. And remember, kittens make your sad go away. :3

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