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 X
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!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: American Histories
    American Histories
    by John E. Wideman
    In American Histories, a collection of 21 short stories, John Edgar Wideman draws America's present ...
  • Book Jacket: I Found My Tribe
    I Found My Tribe
    by Ruth Fitzmaurice
    Ruth O'Neill was only 28 when she married film director Simon Fitzmaurice in 2004. Changing her...
  • Book Jacket: The Art of the Wasted Day
    The Art of the Wasted Day
    by Patricia Hampl
    Patricia Hampl wants you to know that daydreaming is not a waste of a day. Nor is spending time ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Towards the end of Madeline Miller's novel Circe, the titular nymph is questioned by her son ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Music of the Ghosts by Vaddey Ratner

A love story for things lost and restored, a lyrical hymn to the power of forgiveness.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Girl Who Smiled Beads
    by Clemantine Wamariya

    A riveting story of dislocation, survival, and the power of stories to break or save us.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Leavers

The Leavers by Lisa Ko

One of the most anticipated books of 2017--now in paperback!

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T E H N Clothes

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.