Monday, 16 February 2015

Solar by Ian McEwan

Solar is a novel ,written around the theme of climate change. .The protagonist is a Nobel Laureate in Physics Dr. Michael Beard.He is a man given to temptations of gluttony ,revenge and lust.Twenty two years ago,standing on the shoulders of Einstein , he invented a trailblazing Conflation Theory ,that won him a Nobel Prize. At the age of fifty plus(He turned 53 that July of 2000) , he tours around the globe,gives costly lectures and consultancies ,and sits as a member of a Board of a Centre for renewable energy in London.By the time  part three of book ends in 2009,Beard is past 62 years,still going "strong".
               Though a Nobel Laureate,  Beard is a philanderer.His four wives divorced him, one after  the other,after they all discovered that he was having multiple affairs  while married to them.He assured himself that this will not be the case with his fifth wife.Michael crushes people in his path without remorse but also without any vindictiveness                This 390 pages long novel left me puzzled in more ways than one.Is it a comedy,or a satire, or a reality? The author has done a lot of home work on Physics,Photovoltaics,Wind turbines,M theory,Betz's Law ,E8,String theory,climate change and global warming.As a result,he has been able to  keep it interesting despite lot of Physics and climate change in it.
                   Beard is a perfect reflection of our indifference to  global warming and climate change.He chooses to ignore the reality of global warming  in favour of personal comforts and temptations.After all,Nobel Laureates and "Great men" do have their own weaknesses.