3 Nov 2019

Solar by Ian McEwan

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Gemma said...

Gemma on 21st November.
Solar, by Ian McEwan
It’s two weeks since I read the book and what am I left with?
Solar, the title, points the way to energy security for the whole world if we can but harness it efficient and cheaply.
Otherwise, the book reflects on the baby boomer generation and how difficult it is for harmony to be restored again in people’s lives after so much madness in the first half of the 20th century. It is a good study of the male protagonist’s (a Nobel laureate) survival in a rapidly-changing world, urging a re-examination of former male privileges in a new gender equality environment. He’s an antihero and it is an uncomfortable read as we witness his self-destructive addictions to food and women and downward chute into obesity and ruin. Through it all he forgives himself and has a knack for moving on, a very ordinary mortal. And there is hope at the end in the guise of his 3-year-old daughter and her mother who loves him. He might still get his life back on track at 62, not considered old in this day and age.
There is a beautiful quote from the philosopher, Francis Bacon, at the end of the book: The sweetest and best harmony is when every part or instrument is not heard by itself, but a conflation of them all.
The potential for everybody and everything in the world to achieve this harmonious conflation is there.

Anonymous said...

So it's a symphony. Tom