Ian McEwan's Solar is a satire about academia, business, and self centeredness. Michael Beard, a scientist who made a brilliant discovery early in his career, for which he won a Nobel, is incapable of faithfulness to either of his five wives and numerous mistresses. He can't control his eating and drinking. He steals another scientist's work, and he arranges to have his wife's lover convicted for a murder which was actually an accidental death. He's a thoroughly unlikeable character, but in the end, of course, his crimes catch up with him.