Saturday Paperback – 2006
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In his triumphant new novel, Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Atonement, follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose high promise gradually turns nightmarish. Henry Perowne–a neurosurgeon, urbane, privileged, deeply in love with his wife and grown-up children–plans to play a game of squash, visit his elderly mother, and cook dinner for his family. But after a minor traffic accident leads to an unsettling confrontation, Perowne must set aside his plans and summon a strength greater than he knew he had in order to preserve the life that is dear to him.
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Top Customer Reviews
A serious professional, Henry's "relaxation" is an intense squash game with his anesthetist. He's approaching the big "five-oh", time when any reflective man will look back on his achievements and disappointments. Henry seems to have few of the latter. His daughter is a poet about to be published. Naturally, with her living in Paris, he worries about her private life. Laced with erotica, her poetry seems to impart much. Perhaps more than Henry wants to hear. Having a daughter is an effective way to age a man. Daisy's intelligent and deeply committed. On this Saturday, she's committed to blocking the Bush-Blair crusade in Iraq. A great march will take place, and Daisy expects her father to participate. His demurral shocks her and McEwan provides a charged confrontation - the "generation gap" is still with us.
Whatever Henry might have wished about attending the march is circumvented by a light road accident. A car brushes his, and he faces a trio of London street toughs. Their leader, "Baxter", is a complex character. His opening line to Henry is priceless.Read more ›
"Saturday Night" seems to be a repeat of the "Enduring Love" story, only less compelling. Both books feature an accident throwing characters, who otherwise would not meet, together and then exploring the unpleasant consequences which follow the chance encounter. Both also have a rational scientist type middle-aged man as the main character, confronted with emotions and situations outside the comfortably rational world of science. Both feature an irrational protagonist. Both central characters end up resolving the confrontation by realizing that rational science cannot provide a solution for everything.
While the book is extremely well written, MacEwan has also fallen into the trap of many contemporary authors (see Iain Banks) of trying to appear hip by mentioning current music etc - here we have references to Steve Earle's El Corazon, a girl sustaining a skull fracture falling out of a tree while watching Radiohead.
This is not his best book by any stretch, but compared to most modern fiction it is still pretty good.
I was interested to read that the central character, Perowne, preferred William James to his "fussy brother" Henry, because the latter would "run round a thing a dozen different ways than call it by its name". This was much the way I found this book. Good editing could perhaps reduce it to a short story of some merit, but as a full length novel, it is weak.
Most recent customer reviews
I definitely had mixed feelings about this novel, but in the end it was one that really resonated with me. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Emma
Great. Unlike some, I loved the digressions and the 20-page squash game.Published 11 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