Saturday

by Ian Mcewan

Knopf Canada | February 24, 2009 | Kobo Edition (eBook)

Saturday is rated 3 out of 5 by 6.
From the pen of a master — the #1 bestselling, Booker Prize–winning author of Atonement — comes an astonishing novel that captures the fine balance of happiness and the unforeseen threats that can destroy it. A brilliant, thrilling page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Saturday is a masterful novel set within a single day in February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man — a successful neurosurgeon, happily married to a newspaper lawyer, and enjoying good relations with his children. Henry wakes to the comfort of his large home in central London on this, his day off. He is as at ease here as he is in the operating room. Outside the hospital, the world is not so easy or predictable. There is an impending war against Iraq, and a general darkening and gathering pessimism since the New York and Washington attacks two years before.

On this particular Saturday morning, Perowne’s day moves through the ordinary to the extraordinary. After an unusual sighting in the early morning sky, he makes his way to his regular squash game with his anaesthetist, trying to avoid the hundreds of thousands of marchers filling the streets of London, protesting against the war. A minor accident in his car brings him into a confrontation with a small-time thug. To Perowne’s professional eye, something appears to be profoundly wrong with this young man, who in turn believes the surgeon has humiliated him — with savage consequences that will lead Henry Perowne to deploy all his skills to keep his family alive.


From the Hardcover edition.

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 24, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307371220

ISBN - 13: 9780307371225

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

Rated 4 out of 5 by from February 15, 2003 I'm not sure how I feel about Saturday. On one hand, I have to express my admiration for McEwan's prose that is manifest in all of his fiction; yet, I can't help feeling that McEwan was far too eager to show his technological knowledge. Often the otherwise beautiful, careful dissection of neurosurgeon Henry Perowne's life diverges into neurological jargon that I believe could have been left out. One of John Banville's problems with Saturday—which he candidly expressed in his scathing review in the New York Times—was that Henry Perowne is an unrealistic character who leads an unrealistic life. However, I disagree with Banville: Perowne does lead what I would say is an "exceptional" life, not entirely unbelievable. Also, I can't help but see McEwan—after watching and reading interviews, as well as in general being informed about the author—in Perowne as a character; while I wouldn't say they are parallel (for example, Perowne is a staunch critic of literature), but there are some similarities, and, ultimately, I enjoyed Perowne as a character. Some scenes in this book I loved—such as the tension between Daisy and John Grammaticus in France—some I did not. I appreciated the thematic value of the search for happiness in a postmodern world, and the interesting ambiguous meditations on the Iraq war. I liked Saturday; I would definitely read it again. While it isn't my favourite McEwan, the novel itself is an experience that I do recommend.
Date published: 2010-12-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The pursuit of morality in a Post-9/11 Britain The beginning of ‘Saturday’ was an exercise in sounding out medical vernacular, causing me to envision a prodigal episode of Sesame Street, whilst with the help of my Oxford, piecing together sentences with grave patience. This incidentally helped little with my inability to comprehend the complicated neurological procedures being described, but it did make for a quickened response time in my dictionary drilling skills. Although the beginning was toilsome, I soon found myself captivated and carried away by McEwan’s infectious prose. His adept understanding of people and the inner-workings of casual - or painstaking - everyday happenings, and further to that, the feelings and thoughts associated with such occurrences, is like no other I’ve experienced. There were times in the novel when I felt myself blush at the brutally honest confessions that his protagonist was making to himself about his responses to some of life’s challenging situations, things that I might not even be inclined to admit to myself, let alone publish for the world’s perusal. Through this one day in the life of Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon in his late forties, we observe him teetering on the brink of midlife crisis, as he reflects on the anomaly that he imagines himself to be. We are privy to his onslaught of contradictory convictions relating to his car, his choice of careers, and to a quickly emerging and terrorizing international conflict with the Middle East. Through his ruminations, personal relationship with an Iraqi, and heated discussions with his daughter regarding the implications of an imposing war with Iraq, juxtaposed by the anti-war rally that is taking place on the neighbouring streets of London on this very day, we are met with a rhetorically balanced assessment of the issues surrounding this historical tragedy. Steadily relevant to the last decade, reoccurring themes relating to violence, terror and invasion, would have made this novel hot topic for the water cooler, when it made its debut back in 2005. During these keen observations of ‘Saturday,’ February 15th, 2003, McEwan, has led us on a journey that dares us to awaken ourselves to our consciousness, to be honest with ourselves, and to question our ability to take action, feel compassion and forgive. This was my first encounter with McEwan, but now that I’m aware of his extraordinary command of the written word and his expert insight, I look forward to poring over everything he has to offer. I think my next selection shall be Atonement. www.booksnakereviews.blogspot.com
Date published: 2009-03-02
Rated 3 out of 5 by from A very long day... I am not a McEwan newbie. Saturday is the 4th of his books I have read and, thus far, my least favourite. But even though I didn't love this book, I would still have to praise McEwan's ability to write. If I have a criticism of Saturday it's that it's over-written. That may be the fault of McEwan's decision to set the novel in one day in the life of neurosurgeon, Henry Perowne. Saturday is Henry's favourite day. He plays squash, does some shopping and on this particular Saturday- anticipates the homecoming of his daughter, Daisy. But, of course, this Saturday isn't going to be like all the others. He awakens in the middle of the night and watches from his bedroom window as a plane- streaming fire, cuts across the sky to (crash, he assumes) land at Heathrow. This event wouldn't be the cause of so much concern if this story wasn't set post 9/11 and on the very day when hundreds of thousands on people are set to march in London's streets to protest the war against Iraq. As Henry sets out to accomplish his long list of things to do before his daughter arrives he gets into a minor fender bender that will propel (although not quickly) the book towards its denouement. Whether or not you find the ending, or the book for that matter, satisfying, will depend on how much you care for Henry and the minutia of his Saturday.
Date published: 2007-11-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A Day in the Life... McEwan is truly a master of precision when it comes to storytelling. He combines one man's interior world with the frightening outer world of contemporary society. The novel goes from quiet introspection to chaotic suspense and then back to introspection--all in the space of one day in the life of its protagonist. Henry Perowne is a contented man, having a family and career that he loves until one Saturday when disparate elements trigger his fears and provoke anxiety. An intellectual read that encompasses what it means to live in a post-9/11 world.
Date published: 2006-10-18
Rated 3 out of 5 by from The length of a day... McEwan's book makes one consider how much can happen in the span of a day, how our lives are tenuously interconnected and how the macrocosm ripples down into the microcosm of individual lives. Although the book had moments where I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief, overall I felt McEwan did an admirable job of allowing the reader to enter the life and 'mind' of a neurosurgeon on a not-so-usual Saturday.
Date published: 2006-06-08
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Saturday felt like a year ... This was a bookclub selection that I would otherwise have not picked up. The book had an extremely slow pace, and but for an interesting and unexpected plot twist nearing the end, was dull and uninspiring. Unfortunately, I wouldn't recommend this one.
Date published: 2006-05-25
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Rubbish Pedestrian, preachy, dull and utterly disappointing- IF you can even finish it. Ian Mcewan has much better, even brilliant previousl novels. Stop buying books just because they appear on lists, people, and trust your bookseller!
Date published: 2006-04-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! This is one of those books where you step back and say, Wow! I'm glad I read that since it is a superb writer at his best! Insightful, intelligent and thought provoking, this book flies by.
Date published: 2006-01-24

– More About This Product –

Saturday

by Ian Mcewan

Format: Kobo Edition (eBook)

Published: February 24, 2009

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0307371220

ISBN - 13: 9780307371225

From the Publisher

From the pen of a master — the #1 bestselling, Booker Prize–winning author of Atonement — comes an astonishing novel that captures the fine balance of happiness and the unforeseen threats that can destroy it. A brilliant, thrilling page-turner that will keep readers on the edge of their seats.

Saturday is a masterful novel set within a single day in February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man — a successful neurosurgeon, happily married to a newspaper lawyer, and enjoying good relations with his children. Henry wakes to the comfort of his large home in central London on this, his day off. He is as at ease here as he is in the operating room. Outside the hospital, the world is not so easy or predictable. There is an impending war against Iraq, and a general darkening and gathering pessimism since the New York and Washington attacks two years before.

On this particular Saturday morning, Perowne’s day moves through the ordinary to the extraordinary. After an unusual sighting in the early morning sky, he makes his way to his regular squash game with his anaesthetist, trying to avoid the hundreds of thousands of marchers filling the streets of London, protesting against the war. A minor accident in his car brings him into a confrontation with a small-time thug. To Perowne’s professional eye, something appears to be profoundly wrong with this young man, who in turn believes the surgeon has humiliated him — with savage consequences that will lead Henry Perowne to deploy all his skills to keep his family alive.


From the Hardcover edition.