Solar. Michael is the prototypical dumb smart guy — he's a capable, well-respected physicist, but he can't seem to get his personal life together, and Solar is basically a study of his (deplorable) character. When the novel opens, Michael, a serial philanderer, is trudging amidst the ruins of his failed fifth marriage and happily resting on the laurels of the Nobel Prize he won decades ago.
Solar is also a novel of ideas, to use a cliche — McEwan is an incredibly skillful writer, easing us in and out of complex scientific and philosophical notions in a way that enlivens them, keeping the reader engaged. To me, one of the more interesting parts of the novel is a discussion of why more women don't go into physics. To get to the root of this question, we see Michael, as a scientist and therefore staunch objectivist, defending his discipline against what he believes to be silly postmodernists who believe that science is only one of many possible ways of understanding the world — on par with philosophy, sociology and religion.
To relate this to climate change, Michael's opponents would say that it's just as legitimate for fundamentalist Christians to be exasperated by those who don't believe in God as it is for scientists to dismiss as idiots people who don't "believe" in climate change. Obviously, most scientists would disagree with the validity of that analogy.
Ultimately, though, this novel is about Michael. We travel with him from the Arctic to his London home to the desert of New Mexico, where he tries to develop a new solar energy technology. Ostensibly, his goal is develop a source of clean energy and save the world from climate change, which seems very admirable, but only until you realize that he's only doing it for personal fame and fortune. Throughout the story, you constantly feel bad for the people, his women especially, who are caught in Michael's misogynistic maneuverings. Even so, there are some laugh-out-loud funny parts (during his trip the Arctic, Michael stops to take a pee, and his thing gets frozen to his zipper), especially in the first few chapters as McEwan seems to realize he needs you on his side to continue telling Michael's depraved tale.
So I won't render an absolute judgment on this book, because it'll appeal to different folks. If you're turned off by a protagonist who is such a turn-off, you'll hate this book. But if you don't need likable characters to enjoy a novel, this could work. For me, the cynical view of climate change action — that the majority of those working on solutions are either greatly deluded or only doing so for personal gain — was more than a bit irritating, which is too bad, because I enjoyed the writing, the physics, and the discussions about renewable energy. I also had fun rooting for Michael to get his comeuppance.
(Also, if you are skeptical of or just cynical about climate change, you'll probably really dig this novel. It'll fit nicely on your shelf next to State of Fear, by Michael Crichton.)