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4.1 out of 5 stars
Saturday.
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on May 25, 2015
I definitely had mixed feelings about this novel, but in the end it was one that really resonated with me.

I used to hate overly descriptive paragraphs when I was reading. And 'Saturday' is basically nothing BUT description. It takes place in one single day in the life of the main character. There's only small amounts of dialogue and action in comparison.

If I had read this book as little as five years ago, I think I would have put it down and never finished it. But now, I realize the beauty in the description. The intricate detail of every movement the main character made throughout his Saturday was fascinating. It helped also that this particular Saturday was an eventful one by any standard. But the agility and power with which McEwan wrote flowed from event to event seamlessly.

Because the time-frame is so small, it does drag in some places. But I often found myself stopping, and re-reading the passages that had my attention veering off. And when I did, I found that those passages were particularly meaningful.

Saturday is both thought provoking, and simple. Shocking, and mundane. But overall, it was an incredible read.
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on April 7, 2010
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. Set on February 23rd 2003, the novel focuses on the political and personal preoccupations of Perowne in the time leading up to the invasion of Iraq and the homecoming of his eldest child, Daisy. As the reader meanders through the effortless stream of conscious narration, it becomes clear that Perowne is a sort of contemporary Everyman. We see reflected in Perowne a highly nuanced and obsessive attention to the forces of consumerism, the inevitability of the human body's decline, parental pride, professional fulfillment, and the general joys and anguishes of living an everyday existence in the 21st century. The book is, to my mind, not McEwan's greatest novel (that has to be Atonement or The Child in Time) but it is probably his greatest expression of literary virtuosity: only McEwan could make the quotidian details of everyday life as incredibly vivid and meaningful as they are in Saturday.
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on April 12, 2005
Very rarely does a book come along that grips the reader so that he/she can't put it down. The number of times this has happened can be counted on one hand. Certainly ATONEMENT comes to mind, as does the little gem THE CHILDREN'S CORNER by Jackson McCrae. But other than that, there isn't much. Now we have "Saturday." There are several moments in SATURDAY when the protagonist, Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, summons the image of a figure from a past or future century and speculates what that person would think about what Henry is observing at that moment. What would the architects who laid out London's streets and parks make of the rows of light emanating from the headlamps of the stalled cars? How would a surgeon from the Edwardian era react if he could step into Henry's operating room? Henry in the shower thinks of a time a century or so from now when the ability to command an instantaneous flow of warm water would seem to be an astonishing luxury. Throughout the day, Henry reflects on his position in the broad sweep of history. But it is also a day when Britain is contemplating a decision of that particular historical moment in February 2003, whether to join in America's invasion of Iraq. For on this particular Saturday, masses of people gather in London, just a few blocks from Henry's apartment, to protest the war. This is a remarkable novel. It grips you in its symbolism, and I did enjoy it as much as "Atonement". It gives us a story of great love, happiness and the misery that can be interjected into our lives. What we come to expect as just another day turns into an event that is quite unexpected with reverberating consequences. A little like life in general. A book for everyone- highly recommended. Also check out ATONEMENT and McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER for equally riveting reads full of great writing.
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on June 29, 2005
In my quest for the next best thing, I ran across SATURDAY. While I hadn't read ATONEMENT, I was still cautiously optimistic, given the fact that sometimes the term "bestseller" doesn't always mean "good." But the sixth day of the week turned out to be quite fascinating. Well written and well thought out, along the same lines as McCrae's CHILDREN'S CORNER and full of inspirational insight (think GLASS CASTLE) this wonderful novel captivated my attention from page one until the end. Certainly one of the reasons for the success of this novel is the fact that it deals in some way or other with terrorism and the war in Iraq. But McEwan takes things farther than just that. It may only be one day in a man's life, but what happens internally to him is much, much more. Caution: This is not the book for you if you don't like to think!!!
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on May 22, 2005
In my quest for the next best thing, I ran across "Saturday." While I hadn't read "Atonement," I was still cautiously optimistic, given the fact that sometimes the term "bestseller" doesn't always mean "good." But the sixth day of the week turned out to be quite fascinating. Well written and well thought out, along the same lines as McCrae's "Children's Corner" and full of inspirational insight (think "Glass Castle") this wonderful novel captivated my attention from page one until the end. Certainly one of the reasons for the success of this novel is the fact that it deals in some way or other with terrorism and the war in Iraq. But McEwan takes things farther than just that. It may only be one day in a man's life, but what happens internally to him is much, much more. Caution: This is not the book for you if you don't like to think!!!
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on August 4, 2005
"SATURDAY" is a highly provocative novel of complex plots and characters. You have to pay attention to truly enjoy it, but that shouldn't be a problem because the writing is engrossing enough to make you want to do that. It would be easy to compare it to "MY FRACTURED LIFE" because of the use of nontraditional protagonists, however I prefer to challenge that "SATURDAY" and any other book be judged individually. "SATURDAY" and "MY FRACTURED LIFE" are both excellent and I recommend them both, but not for their similarities, but for their inherent uniqueness. They should be read as individual books and judged as individual books. From my point of view, "SATURDAY" is a strong and compelling book that stands on its own.
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on May 25, 2005
"SATURDAY" is a highly provocative novel of complex plots and characters. You have to pay attention to truly enjoy it, but that shouldn't be a problem because the writing is engrossing enough to make you want to do that. It would be easy to compare it to "MY FRACTURED LIFE" because of the use of nontraditional protagonists, however I prefer to challenge that "SATURDAY" and any other book be judged individually. "SATURDAY" and "MY FRACTURED LIFE" are both excellent and I recommend them both, but not for their similarities, but for their inherent uniqueness. They should be read as individual books and judged as individual books. From my point of view, "SATURDAY" is a strong and compelling book that stands on its own.
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on June 3, 2005
So often I come across a book I want to read and think to myself, "Is this journey really going to be worth the effort and money?" So often I am disappointed, especially after spending hours alone, delving into some hyped and over-touted book, only to find that the critics were wrong when they came to praising it. Not so with SATURDAY. Riveting characters make this book more memorable than most and I felt it moved along with more edge than ATONEMENT or even the much suggested BARK OF THE DOGWOOD, which was recommend at the same time. If you want a book that won't disappoint, this is it.
Also very highly recommended: ATONEMENT, BARK OF THE DOGWOOD and the novel CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG.
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on May 9, 2005
"Saturday" is a love it or hate it type of book. It has a very distinct, very English personality to it. If you love this kind of dry, subdued style, Ian McEwan's "Saturday" is going to be very enjoyable because it captures the style perfectly. It is the day in the life of a brain surgeon in England. Although it is not going to have as far reaching an impact as books that appeal to highly diverse interest groups ("Da Vinci Code, "My Fractured Life", "Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time", "Simon Lazarus", "Nightmares Echo", "Losers Club"), "Saturday" is an idea book within its specific niche and is sure to satisfy.
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on May 16, 2005
So often I come across a book I want to read and think to myself, "Is this journey really going to be worth the effort and money?" So often I am disappointed, especially after spending hours alone, delving into some hyped and over-touted book, only to find that the critics were wrong when they came to praising it. Not so with SATURDAY. Riveting characters make this book more memorable than most and I felt it moved along with more edge than ATONEMENT or even the much suggested CHILDREN'S CORNER by McCrae, which was recommend at the same time. If you want a book that won't disappoint, this is it.
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