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In the predawn sky on a Saturday morning, London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne sees a plane with a wing afire streaking toward Heathrow. His first thought is terrorism--especially since this is the day of a public demonstration against the pending Iraq war. Eventually, danger to Perowne and his family will come from another source, but the plane, like the balloon in the first scene of Enduring Love, turns out to be a harbinger of a world forever changed. Meanwhile, the reader follows Perowne through his day, mainly via an interior monologue. His cerebral peregrination records, in turn, the meticulous details of brain surgery, a car accident followed by a confrontation with a hoodlum, a far-from-routine squash game, a visit to Perowne's mother in a nursing home and a family reunion. It is during the latter event, at the end of the day, that the ominous pall that has hovered over the narrative explodes into violence, and Perowne's sense that the world has become "a commuity of anxiety" plays out in suspense, delusion, heroism and reconciliation. The tension throughout the novel between science (Perowne's surgery) and art (his daughter is a poet; his son a musician) culminates in a synthesis of the two, and a grave, hopeful, meaningful, transcendent ending. If this novel is not as complex a work as McEwan's bestselling Atonement, it is nonetheless a wise and poignant portrait of the way we live now. (Mar. 22)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
McEwan's key strategy is to pit reason against chaos and art against arbitrariness as he orchestrates thorny moral dilemmas and menacing situations. This is the structure underlying his Booker Prize-winning Amsterdam (1998), his best-selling Atonement 2002), and this tightly focused, high-performance, stream-of-consciousness drama about one day in the life of a sanguine London neurosurgeon. Henry Perowne is a good man. He loves to perform delicate operations while listening to classical music, and he adores his smart lawyer wife, adventurous poet daughter, and gentle musician son. For him this particular Saturday in February 2003 is a day full of promise, even though he's had a strange night and London is gearing up for an immense protest march against the impending war in Iraq, and even though he gets into a frightening altercation with a twitchy thug named Baxter, a confrontation he escapes by diagnosing his attacker's degenerative condition. It's been said that what makes literature so enthralling is its devotion to detail and its digressions. McEwan is a master of both, and consequently the reader reads this embroiling tale with two minds: one luxuriating in Henry's piquant ruminations on everything from the dysfunctions of the brain to evolution, Iraq, and society's retreat from "big ideas"; the other cued to suspense: how will Baxter exact his revenge? McEwan is as provocative, transporting, and brilliant as ever as he considers both our vulnerability and our strength, particularly our ability to create sanctuary in a violent world. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
I definitely had mixed feelings about this novel, but in the end it was one that really resonated with me. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Emma
Great. Unlike some, I loved the digressions and the 20-page squash game.Published 5 months ago by Pete
I did not like this man or his family..I got to the end by skipping pages & because I paid for it! He blamed himself for the accident? He hurt Baxters feelings? Grow a pair doc. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2012 by zoda
Saturday, Ian McEwan's single-day probe into the psyche of Henry Perowne, a London neurosurgeon, is a brilliant work which explores the neurosis and fears of the post-9/11 era. Read morePublished on April 7 2010 by Garp
One of those tedious "I can describe every detail" books with little or no basis in any sense of purpose or meaningful reality. Don't waste your time or money. Read morePublished on March 26 2010 by S. Penn
Although this is not one of his best, this still was a classic engrossing Ian McEwan read.Published on Nov. 19 2007 by Leah MacFarlane
There are few novelists today who can write transformative fiction. McEwan is one of them.
This is a story well suited for its middle aged readership, exploring the joys and... Read more
good details about medical aspects but the plot really isn't page turning
i somehow finished the book
i have not looked for another book by the author yet and don't think... Read more
Having been disappointed by Atonement, I expected little from this book. I was surprised to find myself enthralled from the first word. Read morePublished on July 16 2007 by Samantha