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Saturday by Ian McEwan

Saturday (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Ian McEwan

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,386199369 (3.68)201
Authors:Ian McEwan
Info:Anchor (2006), Edition: 4th, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Finished 2013, 1001 books, Fiction, Your library

Work details

Saturday by Ian McEwan (2005)

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» See also 201 mentions

English (175)  French (7)  Dutch (4)  German (3)  Catalan (2)  Norwegian (2)  Swedish (1)  Spanish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Finnish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (198)
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
Saturday Ian McEwan

We as readers spend Saturday 15th February 2003 following neurosurgeon Henry Perowne from his early awakening where he witnesses a crashing to plane to the early hours of the following morning where he returns home to his wife after having saved a mans life in the operating theatre.

McEwan combines real life events, the antiwar protests in London, with a fictional account of how Perowne and his family respond to world events and those closer to home.

As he focusses only on one day McEwan can provide us with a detailed look into Perowne himself and how he responds to events.

I liked watching Perowne with his elderly mother who is suffering with dementia, the descriptions of brain surgery, how Perowne bonds with his son over music and how he looks forward to and fears a reunion between his daughter and her maternal grandfather and also the central point of the book his confrontation with Baxter a man obviously suffering with a neurological issue. The downside of this is we are given a detailed description of a squash match where both players are ultra competitive and which goes on for several pages.

Overall I enjoyed this detailed look into Perowne's life but it is not McEwans best work in my opinion. ( )
  BookWormM | Feb 6, 2016 |
One day. That's right. One day. Now imagine what can happen in one day! Ian McEwan is a master story teller and this was a very enjoyable book. ( )
  deldevries | Jan 31, 2016 |
I listened to this on audio, had to start it multiple times to get the story straight and figure out what was going on. An interesting idea going through a whole Saturday with this person, but I found the whole story kind of unbelievable and having a made-up quality. ( )
  KathyGilbert | Jan 29, 2016 |
A man awakens early on a pre-dawn Saturday morning and witnesses a plane on fire on its approach to Heathrow. It is February 2003 … the emotions of 9-11 are still raw, even in London. The talk is of war with Iraq; Blair supports Bush’s intent to dethrone Saddam.

A few hours later, on his way to his weekly squash game, he gets into a minor traffic accident. His like-new Mercedes has a faint scratch, the other driver’s red BMW is missing a side mirror and has also scraped several parked cars.

This sets in motion a chain of events that will culminate in a suprising decision.

This is a beautifully written book. There’s a “normalcy” of everyday life about it, and a sense of fate and impending disaster. There are surprises – of the kind that we stumble upon daily. And there is the constant re-examining of our intent, and looking back to what-ifs. ( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 25, 2016 |
Not my usual choice of reading but I found this Ian McEwan forced me to really care about the people on the pages, even though they were not my type at all. Later I found myself so afraid for them that I had to put the book down and return later. Never happened before.

A masterclass read. ( )
  SpikeSix | Jan 20, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 175 (next | show all)
L’acuité du regard et le sens du détail dévastateur. La profondeur de la réflexion politique autant que philosophique.
added by miniwark | editTélérama, Michel Abescat (Oct 14, 2006)
Overall, however, Saturday has the feel of a neoliberal polemic gone badly wrong; if Tony Blair—who makes a fleeting personal appearance in the book, oozing insincerity—were to appoint a committee to produce a "novel for our time," the result would surely be something like this.
added by jburlinson | editNew York Review of Books, John Banville (pay site) (May 26, 2005)
[T]he lambent, stream-of-consciousness narrative that Mr. McEwan uses so adroitly in these pages. In fact, "Saturday" reads like an up-to-the-moment, post-9/11 variation on Woolf's classic 1925 novel "Mrs. Dalloway."
We have learned to expect the worst from Ian McEwan. Since his debut collection of stories, First Love, Last Rites, his fiction has always dwelt at the heart of places we hope never to find ourselves in: the vacancies left in lives by the kidnapped child or the lost lover; the mined no-man's-land that follows extreme violence or sexual obsession. His subject has always been damage and the way the darkest events in a life will drain the rest of love. For McEwan, happiness has rarely gone unpunished.

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McEwan, Ianprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Verhoef, RienTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wilby, JamesNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For instance? Well, for instance, what it means to be a man. In a city. In a century. In transition. In a mass. Transformed by science. Under organised power. Subject to tremendous controls. Ina condition caused by mechanization. After the late failure of radical hopes. In a society that was no community and devalued the person. Owing to the multiplied power of numbers which made the self negligible. Which spent military billions against foreign enemies but would not pay for order at home. Which permitted savagery and barbarism in its own great cities. At the same time, the pressure of human millions who discovered what concerted efforts and thoughts can do. As megatons of water shape organisms on the ocean floor. As tides polish stones. As winds hollow cliffs. The beautiful supermachinery opening a new life innumerable mankind. Would you deny them the right to exist? Would you ask them to labor and go hungry while you yourself enjoyed old-fashioned Values? You-you yourself are a child of this mass and a brother to all the rest. Or else an ingrate, dilettante, idiot. There, Herzog, thought Herzog, since you ask for the instance, is the way it runs.
-- Herzog, Saul Bellow, 1964
To Will and Greg McEwan
First words
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.
Kdyby Perowne projevoval sklony k náboženství, k nadpřirozeným vysvětlením, mohl by si pohrávat s představou, že byl povolán: tím, že byl probuzen a s neobvykle povzbuzenou myslí bezdůvodně přistoupil k oknu, měl by vzít na vědomí jakýsi skrytý řád, vnější inteligenci, jež mu chce sdělit nebo ukázat něco významného. Jenže neklidné město si nespavce doslova pěstuje, samo o sobě je nespící entitou, jejíž komunikační dráty nikdy nepřestávají bzučet, a mezi tolika miliony se musejí najít lidé, kteří se dívají z okna v době, kdy by normálně spali. A nejsou to každou noc titíž lidé. Že by tím vyvoleným měl být on, a ne někdo jiný, je náhoda. Ve hře je prostý antropogenetický princip. Primitivní přemýšlení o nadpřirozenu má sklony přerůst v to, čemu jeho kolegové psychiatři říkají představa o vlastní důležitosti. Přehánění jedine, přetváření světa v souladu s vlastními potřebami, neschopnost přemýšlet o vlastní bezvýznamnosti. Z Henryho hlediska patří takové uvažování do spektra, na jehož vzdáleném konci se jako opuštěný chrám tyčí psychóza. (s. 21)
Takhle začíná onen dlouhý proces, v jehož průběhu se stáváte dítětem svého dítěte. A nakonec od něj jednoho dne uslyšíte třeba: "Tati, jestli zase začneš brečet, jde se okamžitě domů." (s. 33)
Jaké štěstí, že žena, kterou miluje, je zároveň jeho manželka. (s. 40)
Tenhle všední cyklus usínání a probouzení, ve tmě pod vlastní přikrývkou, s další bytostí, bledá, hebká, citlivá bradavka, přibližující se obličeje v rituálu lásky, nakrátko zabydlené ve věčné potřebe tepla, pohodlí, bezpečí, proplétání údů, aby bylo možno přitáhnout se k sobě blíž - prostá denní útěcha, snad až příliš samozřejmá, že se na ni dá za úsvitu snadno zapomenout. Zaznamenal to kdy nějaký básník? (s. 49)
Sex je jiný živel, láme čas a rozum, je biologický hyperprostor vzdálený od vědomé existence tak jako sny nebo jako voda od vzduchu. Jiný živel, jak říkávala jeho matka, jiný živel - když si zaplaveš, Henry, den se ti promění. A dnešek bude jistě v porovnání s ostatnými jedinečný. (s.50)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0099469685, Paperback)

Saturday, February 15, 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind and proud father of two grown-up children. Unusually, he wakes before dawn, drawn to the window of his bedroom and filled with a growing unease. What troubles him as he looks out at the night sky is the state of the world - the impending war against Iraq, a gathering pessimism since 9/11, and a fear that his city and his happy family life are under threat. Later, Perowne makes his way to his weekly squash game through London streets filled with hundreds of thousands of anti-war protestors. A minor car accident brings him into a confrontation with Baxter, a fidgety, aggressive, young man, on the edge of violence. To Perowne's professional eye, there appears to be something profoundly wrong with him. Towards the end of a day rich in incident and filled with Perowne's celebrations of life's pleasures, his family gathers for a reunion. But with the sudden appearance of Baxter, Perowne's earlier fears seem about to be realised.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:56 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

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.… (more)

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