BookBrowse Reviews Saturday by Ian McEwan

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Saturday

by Ian McEwan

Saturday by Ian McEwan
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2005, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Apr 2006, 304 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reviews

BookBrowse:


'An exemplary novel, engrossing and sustained...undoubtedly McEwan's best.'

From the book jacket: 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.

On this particular Saturday morning, Perowne's day moves through the ordinary to the extraordinary....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 Iraq 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.

Comment: Since publishing his first volume of short stories more than 30 years ago, McEwan's fiction has explored the places that most of us hope we never have to visit outside of a book - as one reviewer once put it,  "For McEwan, happiness has rarely gone unpunished."

In this case, Henry's average middle-class day evolves into something truly sinister, allowing McEwan to explore what lengths a humane and civilized man might go to to protect what he holds dear from raw terror.

Early in his career, McEwan was criticized for writing full length novels that could  have been condensed into short stories.  It could be argued that a day in the life of one man could easily be told in a short story but McEwan's gift of observation fills all 300 pages with nary a wasted word. 

"A sort of middle-class humanist manifesto: when you find yourself fortunate beyond all measure in a random universe, gratitude, generosity, and compassion are a decent response." -- Kirkus Reviews

"...operating at the height of his formidable powers... Artistically, morally and politically, he excels." -- The Times, London.

This review was originally published in March 2005, and has been updated for the April 2006 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.



This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

One-Month Free Membership

Discover your next great read here

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Ghachar Ghochar
    by Vivek Shanbhag
    The Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) that has dominated economic news headlines over the past decade is the...
  • Book Jacket: Caught in the Revolution
    Caught in the Revolution
    by Helen Rappaport
    So taken were BookBrowse's First Impression reviewers by the inside look at the start of the Russian...
  • Book Jacket: Hillbilly Elegy
    Hillbilly Elegy
    by J.D. Vance
    In this illuminating memoir, Vance recounts his trajectory from growing up a "hillbilly" in ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Atomic Weight of Love
by Elizabeth J. Church

In the spirit of The Aviator's Wife, this resonant debut spans from World War II through the Vietnam War.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Mercies in Disguise
    by Gina Kolata

    A story of hope, a family's genetic destiny, and the science that rescued them.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Our Short History
    by Lauren Grodstein

    Lauren Grodstein breaks your heart, then miraculously pieces it back together so it's stronger, than before.
    Reader Reviews

Who Said...

At times, our own light goes out, and is rekindled by a spark from another person.

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

O My D B

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
Modal popup -