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Saturday

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  45,041 Ratings  ·  3,210 Reviews
Saturday, February 15, 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man, a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind and the proud father of two grown-up children, one a promising poet, the other a talented blues musician. Unusually, he wakes before dawn, drawn to the window of his bedroom and filled with a growing unease. What troubles him as he looks out at the nigh ...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published April 11th 2006 by Anchor (first published 2005)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shovelmonkey1
Aug 05, 2011 Shovelmonkey1 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are prepared to suspend their disbelief about how talented and successful everyone is
Recommended to Shovelmonkey1 by: 1001 books list
Hello everybody,
I'm Henry Perowne and welcome to a day in my life... a Saturday to be precise. I'm a good natured sort of chap, if I were famous I'd probably be saddled with the tag of "thinking women's crumpet", but personally I take myself much to seriously to acknowledge that kind of thing. I'm a successful neurosurgeon who enjoys long, descriptive and adjective laden games of squash with my erudite and debonair colleagues. Today, for once in my incredibly lucky and wealthy life, I had a spot
...more
Lobstergirl
Jan 27, 2009 Lobstergirl rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: to-be-burned, fiction
Godawful.

"Saturday" was ponderous, labored, rhetorically thick and therefore perhaps to my mind pretentious, or do I mean pompous? It was like a big bloated beer gut, but a beer gut bloated - indeed, rendered distended, turgid, and tumescent - by the finest chardonnays, Gewurztraminers, and Sauvignon Blancs, sipped (quaffed?) while listening to Bach Partitas. It was bereft of conciseness, brevity, midgetude, terseness, laconism, abbreviation, and pith, its rather meaningless, hollow sentences cu
...more
Jonathan

Jonathan sits before his reliable laptop, gathering his thoughts on how to begin a review of Ian McEwan's Saturday. He has already made up his mind as to how he shall write this review, a mediocre attempt at emulating Mr McEwan's third-person, present-tense style, will suffice. Yet he struggles with the concept of how best to begin the review. Shall he mention the plot, the themes or the beautiful writing? He knows at this point that he will refer to why he talks as an omniscient narrator for th
...more
John Brooks
Nov 14, 2007 John Brooks rated it really liked it
I would not qualify "Saturday" as McEwan's best work. I think the argument begins and ends with "Atonement" in terms of sheer literary achievement.

But "Saturday" is McEwan's most immediate work; the one that feels most like a significant and honest byproduct of both the time and place from which it emerged and the man from whose mind materialized. To be clear, I adore "Atonement" and, for all its heart-wrenching and visceral exploration of obsession and paranoia, I love "Enduring Love".

"Saturda
...more
Paul Bryant
Sep 19, 2012 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
*******Note : SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE!! This review is for people who have read Saturday or people who will never read Saturday!********

Reading Saturday is like running a weird obstacle race. At first it’s all manicured lawns and rhododendrons, and then it’s hideous piles of donkey droppings, and that’s how it goes – daffodils, donkey droppings, vistas of beauty, donkey droppings. And I’m not sure that was the intended effect. What a weird novel – here we have one of the stupidest plot devic
...more
Jason Koivu
Apr 02, 2015 Jason Koivu rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I found this book: Saturday by Ian McEwan.

Then I read it.

Things happened, some exciting and some less so, nothing of super consequence.

I finished the book. I put it away and forgot about it.

I then went on to another book.

That's my reading experience and that's the arc of Saturday. It's a "day in the life of" short story dragged out into novel length. Granted there's plenty packed into that day and it's admirably juggled by McEwan.

The main character is accosted. He happens to be a doctor and tha
...more
Marigold
Apr 28, 2008 Marigold rated it really liked it
I loved this book! This is not a book for you if you’re looking for entertainment only, or light reading. This is a book full of layers, metaphors, parallels, & issues to think about. The thing that most reached out & grabbed me was the idea of a man going about his daily life (whether you find his daily life mundane or overly privileged or whatever), when unexpected events occur & change everything. That’s always sort of a scary theme for me! On the surface it’s the story of Henry, ...more
Manny
Aug 21, 2011 Manny rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lori
Sep 13, 2007 Lori rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who have trouble falling alseep
Shelves: fiction
Ok. I usually force myself to finish each novel I start. (with the two exceptions so far being Catch 22 and Atlas Shrugged).. I do this (1) to at least get my moneys worth, and (2) because I know somewhere in there, there must be a part worth waiting for.

This book fell into the (2) catagory. It was an impossible bore throughout most of the novel, with one interesting fight in an alley due to a fender bender.... until you hit the last 50 pages. For me, hitting those last chapters was like breaki
...more
Maciek
Short version: GOD IT WAS BORING.

Long version: You know the anecdote that a succesful novelist could publish his shopping list and people would buy it? That's the case with Saturday. A chronicle of 24 hours from the life of neurosurgeon Henry Perowne, the novel is full of his ruminations, reminiscences, all described in painful, tedious detail. McEwan fails to build an actual plot; instead you'll be sure to hear every single event, no matter how irrelevant and drawn out (there's an 18 page descr
...more
Helle
Dec 23, 2015 Helle rated it really liked it
There’s something mesmerizing about Ian McEwan’s writing which results in my having a peculiar kind of blind spot when it comes to his stories. No matter how ordinary they are; no matter how unremarkable they appear at first sight, or how construed they clearly are, I am helplessly drawn into the universe of his prose. There’s some kind of stylistic vortex that just sucks me in.

As in many of his novels, the plot hinges on one event, though in this novel it might be two: first, the protagonist, H
...more
Will Byrnes
Nov 02, 2015 Will Byrnes rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carol
Jul 12, 2015 Carol rated it liked it
Saturday, a day in the life of a neurosurgeon, is my first experience with Ian McEwan, and I'm afraid it didn't go well for me. The tedious writing style with umpteen unnecessary subject matters thrown in pretty much put me off. There are a couple of OH NO! moments though, and I did want to find out how the good doctor handled his (view spoiler) last surgery of the day, so 3 Stars it is and a hopeful move forward to Atonement bc I happen to own that novel too.
Lain
Dec 02, 2007 Lain rated it it was amazing
Rare is the author who can write a compelling story in clear prose. Rarer still is the author who can create fine and distinct layers of meaning while maintaining that clear narrative. Ian McEwan is one of those authors.

In the tradition of "Mrs. Dalloway," "Saturday" traces the ordinary activities of an ordinary man, neurologist Henry Preowne. Against the backdrop of a huge anti-war march in London, Henry goes about his daily activities -- a squash game, checking in on his patients at the hospi
...more
Rose
Aug 07, 2008 Rose rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: doctors, determinists, naturalists, those interested in the human brain
No spoilers here.

This book explores the events of Henry Perowne's Saturday, which I can kind of see as a metaphor for a person's life. You start out with nothing but potential, events happen, and each day ends with its own sort of oblivion - sleep.

As with Atonement, McEwan's prose in this book was simply delicious. At the end of this review are some of my favorite passages that I just needed to type out for my own memory's sake.

But I also think that reading Atonement first spoiled me. I was ex
...more
Marcello S
(Quasi) sempre alti e bassi con McEwan.

C’è poco da fare: il suo stile elegante è uno dei punti di forza.
Solo che ci mette davvero poco a diventare lezioso e indolente.

Me lo immagino, il buon Ian, lì nella sua villetta di Oxford coi gomiti appoggiati sulla scrivania di legno pregiato e un bicchiere di scotch a portata di mano - le Variazioni Goldberg in sottofondo - mentre immagina storie di professionisti dallo status sociale invidiabile e dalle abitudini costose che si muovono in vestaglia ne
...more
C.
May 22, 2009 C. rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Suzy, everyone
Recommended to C. by: the three-for-the-price-of-two table at Borders
Shelves: own-or-access
A day in the life of a neurosurgeon? Sounds interesting enough. A day in the life of a neurosurgeon, which just happens to be the day when a curious chain of events culminates in the aforementioned neurosurgeon performing an emergency operation upon the man who threatened to slit the throat of his wife and rape his daughter? Does that sound better, or just trashier?

This book works thanks to the detail. I'm not sure if it's McEwan (I must reread Atonement and read some of his other books; Endurin
...more
Reid
Dec 22, 2008 Reid rated it it was amazing
Atonement was a great novel, a pretty good movie as well. But Saturday is tighter, a more personal novel, more focused and perhaps more human. I originally got interested in this book as it was compared to Proust and I wanted to get the gist without slogging through thousands of pages to get that done. The action is almost entirely in Perowne's head, which really gave me a glimpse into McEwan himself. I suppose I think it's impossible to get outside one's own thoughts, I think that might be part ...more
Wanda
Jan 19, 2015 Wanda rated it liked it
I guess it speaks volumes that many days have passed since I finished Saturday and I really didn’t have too much to say about it. It was very well written—the story pulled me swiftly along until the end (once I finally committed to starting the novel). I liked the main character, Henry, well enough.

Saturday made me realize what privileged lives we lead in the developed world. What passes for a bad day for Henry (minor car accident, bad squash game, visit to his mother with dementia, disagreemen
...more
Amanda Patterson
Nov 16, 2010 Amanda Patterson rated it did not like it
I took this book out of desperation. There seems to be so little good fiction out there at the moment. I wish I hadn’t. I began to hope that Saturday would become Sunday very quickly as I started to read.

I think McEwan gets by on his literary accolades alone. Apparently he won the Booker Prize for Amsterdam in 1998. He has also written 8 other novels. I would dare another publisher to take him on under a pseudonym – and to succeed.

McEwan, as always, dwells on the damage and darkness of life. He
...more
Janet
Sep 26, 2009 Janet rated it it was ok
I hated this book. He's a great writer but this was pure bullshit. The best doctor in London married to the best lawyer in London, their kids a world class guitarist and a world class poet, the grandfather a world class poet too and even the goddamn grandmother was a channel swimmer. Isn't there one damn slacker in the whole group? Just one fat daughter who dated a criminal amputee and worked at the 7-11? please? I believed this book for a fast 2.5 seconds. Every punch is pulled. I wanted the cr ...more
Fabian
Jul 16, 2016 Fabian rated it did not like it
Without a doubt one of the worst books... ever. The titular day is a bland array of stupid events that fill up a stupid life. The neurosurgeon atop his manse contemplates the plague of humanity living right below him (commoners, proletarians, drug addicts) all the while believing that his own existence is worthwhile as he parades around all the perks of being rich in a modern-day luxurious London. I detested this neo-bourgeoisie panorama too too much to continue about what a drag it was for a mi ...more
Alan
Jul 21, 2008 Alan rated it it was ok
as usual expertly written - so why 2 stars? Because it is stupidly unbelievable - the hero is not only a great brain surgeon but an excellent squash player and a good cook, with a beautiful wife who loves him, a son who is a marvellous bass player (tutored by Jack Bruce!), and a daughter who is not only a good poet (and just out of her teenage years), but an award winning one too. The parents too are distinguished. There are maybe families like this around but I've never met them or known anyone ...more
M. D.  Hudson
Dec 14, 2009 M. D. Hudson rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Yani
Mar 01, 2016 Yani rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: neurocirujanos
Shelves: universidad
Relectura febrero 2016*

Tengo que ser sincera y decir que este libro es mi favorito más por la forma en la que está escrito que por la historia en sí. Henry Perowne, el protagonista, es un hombre un poco exasperante. Su vida es casi perfecta. Hay un par de excepciones que "contaminan" esa burbuja de cristal en la que está metido, y esas son las cosas que generan acciones en este libro. A pesar de eso y de las descripciones de las cirugías que él realiza (demasiado detallistas e innecesarias, p
...more
Siobhan
May 13, 2009 Siobhan added it
Shelves: bad-books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caris
Aug 01, 2009 Caris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
Goddamn you, Ian McEwan.

This book made me uncomfortable. That's the best word I can come up with at the moment. The story is so thoughtfully told and never rushed that I didn't see what was coming until it hit me. How is one to go on after reading something like this? Just pretend it didn't and continue to talk to people like nothing has happened? Like that aching tightness in your chest isn't there? Like that slight lack of resolution isn't sitting in your gut like so much lead?

When I started t
...more
Stela
Apr 02, 2015 Stela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

“…here as on a darkling plain”

Freud, I think, said once that the man’s main objective in life, the pursuit of happiness, is prevented by at least one of the following factors: his own body, the external world and the relationships with the others. Family, which could be his refuge and personal heaven is continuously threatened by a society that cannot permit isolation which would lead to its extinction.

This appears to be the theme of Saturday: the frailty of human happiness, permanently challen
...more
Jim
Apr 03, 2008 Jim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Someone who already likes McEwan. Someone new to the author should choose something else.
I think McEwan took the approach James Joyce used in Ulysses, that is, to detail the events of a day, in a narrative driven by a character's thoughts. Ulysses is a stream-of-consciousness masterpiece, Saturday isn't in that league. (It's probably unfair to compare a novelist with James Joyce, but literary publicists do it all the time. McEwan has received plenty of positive comparisons with the likes of Dickens and Hardy, even Shakespeare.)

There is some beautiful writing here, and that kept me
...more
Bonnie
Dec 11, 2008 Bonnie rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this much more than Atonement!
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Saturday By Ian McEwan 6 141 Oct 29, 2014 12:45PM  
Was this book turned into a movie? 5 55 Apr 08, 2014 09:18PM  
Let's Start a Boo...: July Book Review: Saturday 2 11 Feb 02, 2014 06:50PM  
Showing all angles 1 27 Oct 01, 2013 01:22AM  
Well... 18 184 Apr 27, 2013 07:39AM  
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Ian McEwan was born on 21 June 1948 in Aldershot, England. He studied at the University of Sussex, where he received a BA degree in English Literature in 1970. He received his MA degree in English Literature at the University of East Anglia.

McEwan's works have earned him worldwide critical acclaim. He won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for his first collection of short stories First Love, Last
...more
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