Steven's Reviews > Saturday

Saturday by Ian McEwan
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's review
Apr 03, 08

bookshelves: 1001, goodmodernfiction, mcewan
Read in April, 2008

This book is my fourth Ian McEwan novel and much like the previous three that I have read, I think it is very good. While nowhere near the Cormac McCarthy page turners that I have digested recently, it thought it was a refreshing change of pace.

I am somewhat surprised by how much this book appears to be disliked by other members of the goodreads community. It is also sort of dismissed as a slice of life commentary on the ordinary mundane natures of the things that make up a day. While there is some of that element within the book, the day described is anything but ordinary. There are plane crashes, road rage incidents, competitive squash matches, attempted rapes and burglaries, sex, surprise pregnancies, surgery, etc.

Despite all that happens throughout the day, this book does thrive by slowing time down, sometimes exhaustingly so. If you don’t like the inner monologue, then this book is not for you. Interesting hat the protagonist of this novel, which focuses so much on the inner workings of the mind, is a neurosurgeon.

The novel describes a day in the life of successful neurosurgeon, Henry Perowne. He is the married to the lovely Rosalind, who is a lawyer, and he is the father of two wonderful and successful kids: Daisy who is a soon to be published poet, and Theo, a budding success as a blues guitarist. He is a lucky man, but various events happen throughout the day when the reality of this life and the accompanying comforts are threatened.

Without a doubt, though, my favorite parts of the book involve Perowne’s reaction to the impending Invasion of Iraq, where a large protest march in central London serves as a backdrop throughout the novel. I think this novel is the best I have read yet in describing what life is like in the post 9/11 world. I think we all are aware that an attack, likely very bad and bloody, is inevitable. I don’t know if we really know what to do about it, though. I don’t know if there really is a point to this novel, but I think McEwan is trying to point out that the safety and security that we all feel can be destroyed in an instant, be it by intruders suffering from Huntington’s disease or terrorist attacks.


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