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Solar
 
 
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Solar [ハードカバー]

Ian McEwan
5つ星のうち 4.0  レビューをすべて見る (2件のカスタマーレビュー)
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内容紹介

Michael Beard is a Nobel prize-winning physicist whose best work is behind him. Trading on his reputation, he speaks for enormous fees, lends his name to the letterheads of renowned scientific institutions and half-heartedly heads a government-backed initiative tackling global warming. 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, SOLAR is a serious and darkly satirical novel, showing human frailty struggling with the most pressing and complex problem of our time.A story of one man's greed and self-deception, it is a profound and stylish new work from one of the world's great writers.

レビュー

#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER
INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER
 
A Globe and Mail Best Book
A New York Times Notable Book
An O: The Oprah Magazine Great Read 
Winner – Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2010
 
“Deeply funny.”
Toronto Star
 
"Scarcely a page fails to dazzle with some wittily caught perception about contemporary life. Blazing with imagination and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance."
—Peter Kemp, The Sunday Times

"McEwan at his best. Intelligent, funny, and full of insights."
—The Guardian

"A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet."
—Financial Times

"Solar burns with wit and energy. It demonstrates why McEwan is among the language's most popular literary novelists."
—Winnipeg Free Press

"In Atonement or Enduring Love or Amsterdam or Saturday or pretty much any of his novels, Solar has many adept competitors for best of breed, and those competitors are beloved. But this may be his best work yet."
—The Star Phoenix --このテキストは、絶版本またはこのタイトルには設定されていない版型に関連付けられています。

登録情報

  • ハードカバー: 304ページ
  • 出版社: Jonathan Cape (2010/3/18)
  • 言語: 英語, 英語, 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0224090496
  • ISBN-13: 978-0224090490
  • 発売日: 2010/3/18
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 23 x 15 x 3 cm
  • おすすめ度: 5つ星のうち 4.0  レビューをすべて見る (2件のカスタマーレビュー)
  • Amazon ベストセラー商品ランキング: 洋書 - 188,058位 (洋書のベストセラーを見る)
  •  カタログ情報、または画像について報告


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最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー
8 人中、6人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Inscrutable 2010/7/9
投稿者 takako
形式:ハードカバー
Michael Beard は47歳にしてノーベル物理学賞を受賞した科学者。彼のその後が50代後半から60代前半にわたって、2000年、2005年、2009年の三章で描かれている。
彼は地球温暖化問題にとりくみ、太陽光利用を考案している。北極にのりこんだり、アメリカにも渡る。しかし彼の現在のありようは過去の栄光によりかかっているところが大きい。
一方では5人目の妻との確執をかかえ、そのキャリアからは想像しがたいような行動も起こす。年齢を重ねるにつれて、食生活から健康問題も憂う。

総じて、この作品を通して作者はなにを伝えたかったのか。科学分野の難解さもさることながら、その本質が私には見えてこなかった。さまざまな問題をかかえる現代社会の中の知識人の葛藤、ということもできようが、Beard の誠実さを欠く人間性には承服しかねる部分が多かった。
このレビューは参考になりましたか?
1 人中、1人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 傑作です 2014/4/15
投稿者 Amazon Customer
形式:ペーパーバック
出張先の空港で、読むものがなかったので購入。太陽光関係の仕事しているし。いやーすごい小説でした。何しろ、バックカバーの評語がすごい。Financial Times は、”A stunningly accomplished work, possibly his best yet… both funny and serious, light and dark, morally engaged and ironically detached.” だと。そんな小説読んでみたくなるでしょう。

主人公のBeard博士は、昔ノーベル物理学賞をとった科学者という設定で、物語冒頭では、イギリスの国営新エネルギー研究センターの所長をしている。背が低く、小太りで、少し傲慢なところがあるが、しかし、”unaccountably attractive certain beautiful women” という設定。このあたりから、筆者のアイロニカルな筆致が楽しめる。Beardは酒癖と女癖が悪く、何度も離婚を繰り返している。そして、今回のPatriceとの結婚は最悪で、自分の浮気が原因なのだが、Patriceは大工のTarpinと浮気を始めて、それを様々なかたちでBeardに見せつけるようになった。Beardは悩む。それで、気分転換に、招待された北極海見学ツアーに行くことにする。科学者とか
... 続きを読む ›
このレビューは参考になりましたか?
Amazon.com で最も参考になったカスタマーレビュー (beta)
Amazon.com: 5つ星のうち 3.5  241 件のカスタマーレビュー
161 人中、147人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 "Someone, or everyone, would be disappointed. Nothing new there." 2010/3/31
投稿者 Michael J. Ettner - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
If you scan the large body of comments placed here, and if you track down the published reviews of major book critics, you'll find that reactions to McEwan's new novel have been -- to use a word from the lexicon of the book's physicist protagonist -- polarized. Many reviewers, especially the British establishment critics, declared "Solar" a delightful work by a master, well worth your while. Others, especially on this side of the pond, vented their disappointment, perhaps best expressed by an online critic who headlined his review: "A Flabby Character Portrait."

With the verdict on the book's merits a split decision, it doesn't seem useful simply to add to the chorus of contradictory conclusions ("Yes, it's brilliant!" "No, it's a waste of your time!"). Instead, let me offer some guidelines for you to consider if you're thinking of reading "Solar."

- Are you expecting an experience comparable to McEwan's recent novels? If so, be forewarned that "Solar" is not cut from the same cloth. In the best of his recent works, McEwan provides readers with the supreme pleasure of a plot and characters that fully seize your consciousness and sympathy. He composes set pieces with such fine craftsmanship that you forget you are engaged in the act of reading. You lose awareness of the author's guiding hand. These are the moments readers long for: being pulled forward by a frictionless, seemingly unmediated flow of story and emotion. The opening chapter of "Enduring Love" and parts of "Saturday" achieve this magical state. Many readers, myself included, experienced this phenomenon most memorably amid the sweep of "Atonement". So a red flag must be raised this time: if you pick up "Solar," do not expect to enjoy anything similar. The book is lighter, less engrossing; it is a lark, an entertainment, its enjoyments of a different order.

- Are you usually annoyed when an irredeemably bad character occupies center stage in a novel you are reading? Do you choose your fictional heroes and heroines as carefully as you do your friends? If so, best stay clear of "Solar." Even those readers who ended up enjoying other features of the writing concede the book's protagonist -- the sole thread of continuity among the vignettes that comprise the novel as it jumps around in time and geography -- is a thoroughly despicable human being. In his own words, Michael Beard is "neither observant nor sensitive." This makes him an odd choice to carry the weight of the story. Worse yet, Beard is an inveterate liar and thief; a criminal in the making; and morally bankrupt ("But why should he feel guilt? Someone please tell him why.") At the book's end he begins to acknowledge the hell he's put people through ("Someone, or everyone, will be disappointed. Nothing new there.") Yet he doesn't much care. Being in his company is a chore -- for his five discarded wives, for his professional colleagues, and, possibly, for you as a reader.

- Are you in the mood for a picaresque comedy/satire? Take care to note "Solar" is being ballyhooed by its publisher as a "comedy" -- a book plum-filled with "comedic antics". Humor is a tricky subject for a reviewer to tackle: there are few things more subjective, more personal, than the question of what is funny. With that in mind, consider the serio-comic episode, set in the Arctic, in which Beard joins a group of environmentalist-artists on an excursion to receding glaciers. When McEwan launches into his jokes, you may be struck by how the best laughs are borrowed ones. Even if you think the author's recycling of old jokes fits within acceptable bounds of comedy piracy, you will struggle to call the humor "novel."

For example [Spoiler Alert (jokes revealed in this paragraph)], you will probably laugh again at the dilemma of a child straight-jacketed by winter clothing rendering him helpless. This is a staple of cartoons such as "The Family Circus" and "Peanuts"; kid-centered sitcoms; and movies such as "A Christmas Story" (remember the bundled up Randy?). This old chestnut is cadged by McEwan for a scene where Beard, who in so many ways is a child-like man, prepares for a sub-zero trek by donning layers and layers of clothes including multiple gloves -- only to discover his self-mummification bars him from putting on his boots, not to mention answering a call of nature. Next, you might squirm with delight, as you've done before, when Beard undergoes a variation on the "There's Something About Mary" film gag of genitals caught in a pants zipper. You may also be familiar with the lines coined by Robert Mankoff back in 1993 and used as the caption for a cartoon published in "The New Yorker" (one of its most popular ever). In the cartoon, an executive, looking at his date book and trying to dissuade a caller who's asking for an appointment, says: "No, Thursday's out. How about never -- is never good for you?" If this is part of your memory bank, you will smile again when reading a flash-back scene in "Solar," set in the early 1950's, as a co-ed parries a young Beard's request for a date by replying: "How about never? Can you make never?" [End of Spoiler Alert].

- Are you interested in a British author's take on America? If so, you will find McEwan's attention to things American to be an attractive aspect to "Solar." This is the first of McEwan's novels to be set in whole or in part in the U.S. In the book's final section, McEwan shows a fondness for our manners and our civic culture. At one point he describes "the plenitude and strangeness of America as represented by its television." He favorably notices "the intimate politeness at which Americans excel." Beard thinks about his female companion in New Mexico in these terms: "She was so merry, so hopelessly optimistic and well-disposed. So American." And of course the climate is better: "Always a delicious moment to be savored, and never to be had in the British Isles, when, showered and perfumed and wearing fresh clothes, one steps out from the air-conditioning into the smooth, invincible warmth of a southern evening."

(Mike Ettner)
251 人中、226人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 Brilliant satire 2010/2/26
投稿者 "switterbug" Betsey Van Horn - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー|Amazon Vine レビュー (詳しくはこちら)
McEwan's latest novel skewers fanatics, libertines, and the god-headed media, as well as taking an unapologetic stab at the politics and religiosity of 21st century science. He reveals the folly of doublethink, groupthink, and egomania in a ferocious satire of many-layered complexity. When you close the pages of the book, you are apt to appreciate it more as it settles into the parts of your brain that mingle literature with social commentary. The entertainment value is actually eclipsed by its brilliance, the dazzling rays reaching out to prior gems and reflecting an awful lot of sublime light. It's cheeky, satirical, uncomfortable, and to some readers, it will be controversial.

Our unsympathetic protagonist is Michael Beard. (I note that the name is no accident, a beard being a person that is used by someone else to cover something up, and Michael meaning someone who is like God.) Michael is a 50-something former Nobel laureate, resting on his fleshy laurels from twenty-two years ago, where he stood on the shoulders of Einstein and proposed a scientific "Conflation Theory" that was trailblazing at the time. Now, he tours around the globe giving lectures and consults for a large fee, and he sits idly as a member of a board at a center for renewable energy in the UK. His main pursuit is women, and he pursues them with -aholic depravity. As the novel opens, his fifth marriage is falling apart due to his infidelities. But this time, his wife got the last word by having some side dishes for herself and leaving him labeled as the cuckold.

Michael is a bozo with a brain. He is selfish, hideous, immoderate, and amoral. He exploits what he sees as the folly and weakness of the mass ideology in order to feed his degenerate egomania, but he is in denial of his own foolishness and excesses. He observes the current hysteria of global warming fanatics. (By the way, don't kill the messenger--I am not denying the seiousness of climate change, but rather sharing aspects of the novel). He compares them to Old Testament Armageddon-addicts and peril-seekers. He proclaims that global warming has created so much heat that it has evolved into a religion of sorts, so that even left-wing atheists have merged science and religion into a cataclysmic catastrophe, a noble purpose--and, for some people, a fanatical life quest.

Well, Beard wants IN. He swindles and schemes and adopts ideas as his own, swaggering in with a proposal for a renewable energy source by artificial photosynthesis. He commits the most menacing breach of humanity and moral ethics in order to achieve his aims, and the reader can see him barreling toward comeuppance right out of the starting gate. His massive appetite for food and women continue to grow--he feeds the beast and the Buddha-belly at every opportunity, and drinks booze like water. He fervently maintains his invincibility as a hustler and a savior of mankind. Along the way are moments of physical comedy that are sheer hilarity, reminiscent of the Farrelly and the Coen brothers. And his apartment is so squalid it would make Dickens howl.

McEwan pays homage, with his own brand of subversive humor, to previous literary monuments. There is a character with the surname Aldous, and a twisted reference to the sex-hormone chewing gum, saluting Brave New World (P.S.), and the doubethinking of Nineteen Eighty-Four. There's also a nod to the water-sharing (substituted with Scotch) and media circus of Stranger in a Strange Land, and the mob frenzy of The Bonfire of the Vanities is also peppered throughout the story.

In order to appreciate this novel, the reader must be OK with a thoroughly revolting reprobate as a protagonist, and able to find humor in the tempest of global warming politics. Additionally, the reader is going to encounter that Beard is the only fleshed-out character. If that doesn't appeal to you, this may not be your cuppa. In lesser hands, I would not have enjoyed the focus on a singular person, with no supporting characters rounding out the story. Moreover, the prose gets scientifically dense, even verbose, at times. It was on the verge of distracting me from the novel's momentum at intervals, but not enough to thwart my pleasure. As I mentioned earlier in this review, the more I think about SOLAR, the more of its merits shine through.
88 人中、81人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 4.0 Entertaining satire 2010/3/7
投稿者 Daffy Du - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー|Amazon Vine レビュー (詳しくはこちら)
I've spent the past 20+ years working at the margins of academia, currently work at a scientific research institute, and live with someone in the solar energy field, so when I read the blurb about Ian McEwan's new novel, I couldn't resist ordering it. Although I'd never read any of his books before, I knew his reputation, so I figured it would be worth the read.

And by and large, it is, if only for his scathing satire of the scientific world, with all its egos, posturing and pretensions. I was mightily impressed not only with McEwan's grasp of the pettiness, jealousy and dysfunction that are so prevalent among the uber-educated, but also with the extensive research that obviously went into his descriptions of alternative energy technologies and solar energy in particular.

The catch, however, is that his protagonist, Nobel laureate Michael Beard, is a thoroughly repellent character, and what I found laugh-out-loud funny in the beginning became increasingly tedious as the book wore on. In tone, Solar is vaguely reminiscent of Tom Sharpe's books, only darker and a whole lot more literary. A brilliant physicist in his younger days, who has been coasting for years on his one big breakthrough and the Nobel it earned him, Beard is a compulsive philanderer whose fifth marriage is on the rocks. Amoral and utterly selfish, Beard engages in a series of self-serving and self-destructive actions that grow increasingly predictable throughout the book, until the chickens come home to roost in the final segment. (It's worth noting that contrary to the promotional blurb, only the final third of the book is set in New Mexico. And a small gripe: McEwan could have used a little minor editing to eliminate the Britishisms in the dialogue of his American characters.)

McEwan is brilliant in the utterly original language he uses to describe his characters and the often farcical situations and settings they find themselves in, but in the end, his literary legerdemain can't overcome the fact that just about everyone in the book is unlikable.

Four stars for the stellar writing; the general unpleasantness of the characters and plot prevent me from awarding it a fifth star.
53 人中、43人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 5.0 If you are a McEwan fan, I think you will like this 2010/2/28
投稿者 sb-lynn - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー|Amazon Vine レビュー (詳しくはこちら)
Brief summary, no spoilers.

Our protagonist in this story is a middle-aged man named Michael Beard. Michael is a brilliant physicist who won a Nobel Prize early in his career, but he hasn't done much professionally since then. Michael takes on the task of solving the global warming crisis. He does this not because of his sense of goodwill or because he cares about saving humanity, but more because he is an opportunist and he sees the personal advantage in his doing so. He's not even convinced that global warming exists, and doesn't really care.

Michael is a serial womanizer, to say the least. He has been married five times, and cheated on them all. His charm comes not from his physical looks (he is described as short and dumpy), but from his brilliant mind and impressive resume, and his clever machinations to get all these women to fall in love with him. He is almost sociopathic in his detachment to them all, and in fact, to his feelings in general.

The story is told in 3 parts - first in the year 2000, as Michael's fifth wife has decided to leave him. As Michael tries to win her back, we read about his professional and personal life, the concealment of a crime, and the theft of intellectual property. Plus, we have an unbelievably harrowing description of a journey to the Arctic, with a scene so shocking that I'll never forget it. This first section of the book is my favorite, and classic McEwan.

We then go on to sections 2 and 3. We also go back in time learn about Michael's upbringing and what makes him tick and about his lack of empathy and attachment. The last section takes us to the present, as Michael is on the verge of being famous and being credited with coming up with a solar solution to the global warming crisis. But of course this is a McEwan novel, and there will always be a price to pay for Michael's sins, as well as a skewering of politics in general.

I am a big fan of Ian McEwan, and have read all of his books. When he has a new book out, I read it right away, and this one was no exception. I enjoyed this novel, but like his book Saturday, there is a lot of technical discussion. In Saturday we learned a lot about surgery - in this novel it's quantum mechanics and global warming theory. For some readers this may slow the story down, but I was impressed with McEwan's research and thought the balance between scholarly narrative and interesting plot was just perfect. And as always, I think this author has some fantastic and profound observations about humanity and the ability to string together just the most perfect words to express these ideas.

Atonement is still my favorite McEwan book, with Enduring Love a close second. But I did enjoy this book and recommend it.
7 人中、7人の方が、「このレビューが参考になった」と投票しています。
5つ星のうち 3.0 Solar by Ian McEwan 2011/9/1
投稿者 Tom Keoughan - (Amazon.com)
形式:ハードカバー
Michael Beard is short, fat, bald and slovenly. He is riding (not resting) on his laurels which are a Nobel Prize that he won thirty years ago. For some reason, beautiful women are attracted to him. He likes marrying them and is currently in the process of breaking up with wife number six. Uh, he also likes women that he's not married to which may have something to do with his high turnover rate. Beard has a rich and hilarious inner dialogue which strikes me as Ignatius O'Reilly if he was smart enough to win the Nobel Prize. He's not a bad guy. He just doesn't care about anyone else except himself. He doesn't actively not care about them, it just never occurs to him to do so. He's actually a rather likeable sort.

Beard sets out to regain his intellectual stardom with a "free solar energy" system. The science seems mostly right (would I know if it wasn't? Honestly no). We follow him through the follies and foibles that his apathetic narcissism creates.

I enjoyed reading this book, so why did I only give it 3.5 stars. It's because I wasn't riveted. I put the book down for weeks at a time. Perhaps it's because it was summer and I was off doing other things. If it was January maybe I would have been all over it. I really did enjoy it. It just never occurred to me to give it more than 3.5 stars. That said, it's worth the read.
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