Nancy Corbett



by Ian McEwan

Solar presents the life of Michael Beard, breaking the supreme novel-writing rule: the protagonist must instill in readers affection and/or empathy. The only people who could possibly like this pathetic example of a man are men who are womanizing, self-aggrandizing, double-standarding, lying weasles. He's fat, bald, self-important, thieving, womanizing, manipulative and treacherous. Yet I read Solar to the last word. How does McEwan do that? Beard's past does catch up with him in the end, but the appendix delivers readers to the chasm between perception and reality, and leaves us there questioning everyone we've ever considered great.

"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams..." Arthur O'Shaughnessy


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