McEwan's 'Funniest Novel Yet'

How is Ian McEwan’s new novel, Solar, his “funniest novel yet” but also one of his “decidedly lesser efforts?” Michiko Kakutani uses both phrases to describe Solar in The New York Times. Though the book—about a philandering climate-change scientist who tries to profit off another scientist’s plans to stop global warming—gets off to a “rollicking start,” Kakutani says it quickly loses steam, “sputtering and stalling as it makes its way from one comic set piece to another.” Kakutani says the entire last two-thirds are “oddly static,” with McEwan “repetitiously harp[ing] on Beard’s gluttonous habits and growing waistline, his sexual promiscuity and his opportunistic efforts to cash in on global warming.”