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Solar by Ian McEwan
In Solar, Michael Beard is a Nobel laureate in physics who has coasted on his reputation for decades without doing any meaningful scientific work. He's been married five times, constantly unfaithful, lazy, bald, and fat. He's the head of a government-backed scientific group investigating global warming and he goes on an Arctic trip to avoid problems at home. It becomes a trip full of mishaps and sets in motion a chain of events that will unsettle his life for the rest of the decade. Beard will frame a competitor, steal other's scientific theories, and try to salvage his reputation, if that's at all possible. Ian McEwan's novel has received mixed reviews with the London Times saying, "Right up to its final moment - teasingly poised between the heart-warming and heart-stopping as nemesis arrives for Beard - scarcely a page fails to dazzle with some wittily caught perception about contemporary life. Blazing with imaginative and intellectual energy, Solar is a stellar performance."