Monday, April 19, 2010

Solar by Ian McEwan (part 1)

I have just finished listening to the first part of Solar by Ian McEwan, narrated by Roger Allam . I am supposed to be reserving this as a treat for myself while exercising but it is so good I am cheating. I have read all of Ian McEwan's output and I think this is his best book so far. The word choice is perfect. It is witty and urbane...and it has what I used to think was a McEwan trademark (although lacking in recent work): a body. The characters are perfectly drawn, the settings interesting and convincing, the plot unpredictable and relevant. It captures the life of a scientist - all the grievances and frustrations - perfectly.

The narrator, Roger Allam, is also excellent. I didn't really think I'd like listening to an audiobook, but I am actually finding I like it very much. There are drawbacks, in that once or twice I have missed a little due to traffic noise, and since I have it on my ipod shuffle I can't rewind just a little, but in general I think I am appreciating Ian McEwan's sentence construction even more than I would if I read the text myself. However, I think I am going to have to buy the book in hardback as well as audio because, firstly, I keep feeling I need to see the words on the page as well as hear them to appreciate them more deeply and, secondly, I need to see the text in front of me in order to indulge in my annoying habit of reading a particularly good bit out to my long-suffering husband.

I've had a few frustrating days over the last week, but hearing this book has been such a pleasure - and there are two more parts (I think) to look forward to. I am a lucky woman.


Blogger Kay Cooke said...

'Choice!' that's a kiwi expression did you know? North Islanders started using it in the 70s - as in 'Choice, bro!' It's a choice adjective. Sweet as. Which is another kiwi adj. / expression. ;)
I must read some Ian McEwan, he's a bit of a genius by the sounds.

Tue Apr 20, 12:26:00 am  
Blogger Clare Dudman said...

Ha, no I didn't know that Kay! Good 'un. Yes, I think you'd love this, Kay.

Tue Apr 20, 05:38:00 am  

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