Saturday

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Saturday

by Ian McEwan

January 18, 2005 | Hardcover

Saturday is rated 4 out of 5 by 2.
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.

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 18, 2005

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676977618

ISBN - 13: 9780676977615

Found in: Fiction and Literature

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Reviews

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 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

– More About This Product –

Saturday

by Ian McEwan

Format: Hardcover

Published: January 18, 2005

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0676977618

ISBN - 13: 9780676977615

Read from the Book

One Some hours before dawn Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, wakes to find himself already in motion, pushing back the covers from a sitting position, and then rising to his feet. It’s not clear to him when exactly he became conscious, nor does it seem relevant. He’s never done such a thing before, but he isn’t alarmed or even faintly surprised, for the movement is easy, and pleasurable in his limbs, and his back and legs feel unusually strong. He stands there, naked by the bed – he always sleeps naked – feeling his full height, aware of his wife’s patient breathing and of the wintry bedroom air on his skin. That too is a pleasurable sensation. His bedside clock shows three forty. He has no idea what he’s doing out of bed: he has no need to relieve himself, nor is he disturbed by a dream or some element of the day before, or even by the state of the world. It’s as if, standing there in the darkness, he’s materialised out of nothing, fully formed, unencumbered. He doesn’t feel tired, despite the hour or his recent labours, nor is his conscience troubled by any recent case. In fact, he’s alert and empty-headed and inexplicably elated. With no decision made, no motivation at all, he begins to move towards the nearest of the three bedroom windows and experiences such ease and lightness in his tread that he suspects at once he’s dreaming or sleepwalking. If it is the case, he’ll be disappointed. Dreams don&
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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 Jacket

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.

About the Author

Ian McEwan is the author of nine novels, including Amsterdam, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1998, and of Atonement, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, and the WHSmith Literary Award.

Editorial Reviews

" Saturday revives W.H. Auden’s definition of great art as ‘clear thinking about mixed feelings.’” – The Globe and Mail “[McEwan’s] writing has been almost critically unimpeachable. . . . Of all the writers currently at work, McEwan stands with very few others as one who can . . . inspire . . . complexly formed feelings of deep admiration.” – Books in Canada “McEwan brilliantly conveys the process whereby a man’s competitive instincts go overboard and he becomes desperate to win a squash game or and argument.” – Toronto Star “Skilfully blends the joys of food, music and sport with the uncertainty of an age undergoing disturbing transition.” – Canadian Press "This is a gripping portrait of a man who suspects he’s heading downhill. And there are transcendent moments, like the brief, utterly heartbreaking sequence describing the encounter with his mother, as devastating as it is subtle. Fascinating.” –Now (Toronto) "Saturday is thoughtful, finely written, rich in detail and analysis, a portrait of a living mind. – The Gazette (Montreal) “[McEwan] is a towering figure in the world of letters. . . . One of the smartest authors at work today. ” – Edmonton Journal “This season’s most discussed novel. . . . McEwan again and again proves his virtuosity. . . . In McEwan’s hands . . . wars and politicians and terrorist
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