Saturday Saturday Is A Masterful Novel Set Within A Single Day In FebruaryHenry 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 BeforeOn 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

First Love, Last Rites the Whitbread Novel Award 1987 and the Prix F mina Etranger 1993 for

[PDF / Epub] ★ Saturday Author Ian McEwan –
  • Paperback
  • 289 pages
  • Saturday
  • Ian McEwan
  • English
  • 10 October 2018
  • 9781400076192

10 thoughts on “Saturday

  1. says:

    Hello everybody,I m Henry Perowne and welcome to a day in my life a Saturday to be precise I m a good natured sort of chap, if I were famous I d probably be saddled with the tag of thinking women s crumpet , but personally I take myself much to seriously to acknowledge that kind of thing I m a successful neurosurgeon who enjoys long, descriptive and adjective laden games of squash with my erudite and debonair colleagues Today, for once in my incredibly lucky and wealthy life, I had a spot of bad luck and pranged my top of the range Merc This led to an encounter which can, at best, be described as unpleasant The thugs in the red BMW gave me a bit of a pasting which left me with a cracking haematoma over my sternum However, my extensive medical knowledge allowed me to diagnose one of my attackers with a genetically inherited degenerative disease on the spot This allowed me to escape, quick smart, while they brooded over their own mortality.Later, after welcoming home my improbably talented and successful 16 year old Blues Musician son and my improbably talented and successful published poet daughter there was another small altercation This time however the ebb and flow of violent modern day life breached the walls of this englishman s pricey Georgian Castle and things took a turn for the worse Needless to say, my calculating surgeons mind and spirited, courageous family pulled together to best the simian like thugs Ironically it then fell to me to save said thug with an emergency neurosurgical procedure Life s funny that way I wrapped up the whole day the way it began by making love to my improbably talented and successful wife and then having a little bit of a wistful ponder about my own mortality while considering it in perspective against a backdrop of modern foreign policy.

  2. says:

    Godawful Saturday was ponderous, labored, rhetorically thick and therefore perhaps to my mind pretentious, or do I mean pompous It was like a big bloated beer gut, but a beer gut bloated indeed, rendered distended, turgid, and tumescent by the finest chardonnays, Gewurztraminers, and Sauvignon Blancs, sipped quaffed while listening to Bach Partitas It was bereft of conciseness, brevity, midgetude, terseness, laconism, abbreviation, and pith, its rather meaningless, hollow sentences curled around each other like vines choking a tree trunk, maybe a turkey oak Paragraphs wended, labyrinthinely, toward a ridiculous and pat conclusion Even when things happened, they were narrated along with the protagonist s meandering thoughts and by thoughts, I mean those electrical impulses traveling from synapse to synapse between the neurons and glial cells in the nodes of the brain as he moved through that last day of the week, also known as Saturday This is how I would describe the book if I were writing in the style of, say, Ian McEwan.

  3. says:

    Jonathan sits before his reliable laptop, gathering his thoughts on how to begin a review of Ian McEwan s Saturday He has already made up his mind as to how he shall write this review, a mediocre attempt at emulating Mr McEwan s third person, present tense style, will suffice Yet he struggles with the concept of how best to begin the review Shall he mention the plot, the themes or the beautiful writing He knows at this point that he will refer to why he talks as an omniscient narrator for this review yet he lacks words and ideas to allow him to begin His fingers hover over the keyboard, waiting for inspiration in order to begin a review different from others previously attempted.It comes to him now, he will open with a tale of how he came to be reading Saturday He smiles wryly, the smile sliding to the very corners of his mouth He certainly had never planned to read the novel He had not set a reservation for the novel nor had he picked up from the shelf Saturday with the intention of reading it He had believed the plain covered book to be a version of Ted Hughes Birthday Letters, compulsory reading for his literature course It seems to him now so ironic that he could have grabbed Saturday without realising that it was not a poetry collection, although it talks enough about that subject Jonathan remembers back as to how he decided, upon realising his mistake, to read the novel He had always intended to read some of Ian McEwan s work, Atonement being a particular novel he had considered, and the fact that the book was on the 1001 books to read before you die list now 1200 books convinced him he should actually read it.And so he had read the book and he had found it entertaining The prose, he considers, had been particularly beautiful in its simplicity Though there had been far too many medical terms dished out by the author as unconstrained information Here , McEwan had said, have neurologist , aneurysm , dopamine and biopsy to keep you company, I don t care whether you understand or care about such terms Jonathan certainly did understand those terms, yet he wonders whether the way they were flung about would detract other thoughtful readers Then there was also the matter as to whether other readers would care enough about a novel set on one single day Would readers want to know about one man s solitary day left separated from the context of a single lifetime Would other readers care enough about the prose and the entertaining aspects of the novel would they care about neurosurgeon Henry Perowne and his family, his squash game, his home invasion Then, Jonathan questions, would they notice the themes of the novel The ideas about how languages connect people The suggestion that poetry could shape the lives about others and as an afterthought the connection between language and music through poetry Would they see an idea about how our past deeds may come back to haunt us and how it is therefore important to question and challenge what we are doing in the moment And would they see the idea of how a single day may be both everything and nothing in an individual s lifetime Jonathan stares at his laptop and then begins to write He writes until he has completed his review He writes until his thoughts are spread out before him like blood pouring from a wound He looks then at what he has written and asks himself one question Have I informed everyone enough about what I think about this novel that I like it and yet do not consider it a masterpiece in order to make others consider at least reading this He pauses for a moment, then he lets out a sigh He has written a decent review he considers, let potential readers make the decision as to whether they will read this literary text He scans his work once and then directs his cursor to the single save button.

  4. says:

    Note SPOILERS ALL OVER THE PLACE This review is for people who have read Saturday or people who will never read Saturday Reading Saturday is like running a weird obstacle race At first it s all manicured lawns and rhododendrons, and then it s hideous piles of donkey droppings, and that s how it goes daffodils, donkey droppings, vistas of beauty, donkey droppings And I m not sure that was the intended effect What a weird novel here we have one of the stupidest plot devices for many years, followed immediately by one of the soapiest and we also have an excruciatingly badly written cardboard villain we have some fantastically overwritten passages which could make you lose your lunch if you re sensitive to pretension and yet, I liked it I thought it couldn t have tried to do something which is worth doing, which is, to pick up the chaotic bundles of stuff left around by the journalists and try to connect them together, and in the middle of the madness of the early 21st century, our madness, to make some kind of sense of some of the lives that can be lived in its midst.THE TWO RIDICULOUS PLOT DEVICES1 Okay, there s a home invasion, like in Clockwork Orange or Death Wish or Funny Games McEwan s villain is called Baxter and he s the standard twitching psycho He has Huntingdon s Chorea, the thing that killed Woody Guthrie He s got SYMBOL stamped all over his cardboard simian features He represents THE LOWER ORDERS who in turn represent ANARCHY AND VIOLENCE The beautiful upper middle class Perowne family represent ORDER, KNOWLEDGE and THE ARTS So Baxter has ordered the pretty 23 year old daughter to disrobe But then he notices a book on the coffee table What s that It s a poetry book I wrote, she says So the psycho villain then asks her to read something out of it She then quotes Dover Beach from memory and he has an epiphany, he howls Oh that s so beautiful , all thoughts of rape flee from his mind Now reallya Either Ian McEwan thinks that could actually happen in which case he s very silly, orb He thinks US READERS would think that could really happen, in which case he thinks WE RE really silly2 Then, the father and the son overwhelm the intruder and hurl him down the antique stairs, so he receives a brain injury In true medical soap tradition British readers will be thinking of HOLBY CITY here , the father who hurled becomes the doctor who will save yes, he dashes to the operating room to perform the delicate operation only he could do to save this wretch s life How morally superior can you possibly get Well, this second slice of soapy pie was finessed pretty well in the end by our author, because, as he explains, By saving his life in the operating theatre, Henry also committed Baxter to his torture from his terrible degenerative disease That may be so, but it don t make this situation any less sudsy.SOME THINGS I REALLY LIKEDReaders have been repulsed by McEwan s fulsome descriptions of the totally perfect Perowne family, the lovely lawyer wife, the lovely poet daughter, the lovely guitar prodigy son, the lovely brain surgeon dad, and the lovely family donkey I made the last one up, there is no Perowne family donkey, but if there was, you may be sure it would be the only donkey with a PhD in Egyptology from Balliol College, Oxford But I don t think all this gush is to be taken at face value at all I think it s a kind of loathe letter to the British upper middle class, the people who have got it all, and whose lives are really quite like this For an American equivalent, see The Privileges by Jonathan Dee This is a book about class and other things , and about the difficult, inconvenient truth in McEwan s eyes, maybe that the upper classes are necessary, however revolting their ineffable perfectness may be As an instance of how I think we re supposed to read this stuff, the son Theo has a guitar talent so because of some string pulling and connections, he gets to jam with some blues greats like Jack Bruce and Eric Clapton Yes, I reached for the sick bag during this passage too, but I believe McEwan wants us to.I loved all the neurosurgery stuff, which some readers found boring Au contraire, I thought it was Ballardian, beautiful and convincing.I liked McEwan s efforts in trying to make us see the macro in the micro the greater political event of the looming invasion of Iraq is set off with the personal event of the home invasion the determinism which Perowne sees will cause the Iraq invasion can be also seen in the descriptions of Baxter s inevitable fate I liked the 18 page description of a game of squash and thought this was a crafty homage to Don DeLillo s Underworld I liked that McEwan is almost the exact British equivalent of Jonathan Franzen yes, McEwan s novels are short affairs and a re produced regularly, but both writers are writing about NOW, THIS VERY MINUTE, and all of our compromised, mortgaged squishy squashy middleclass lives In three words a heroic failure First come the journalists with their long lenses and rough drafts they re fast, they often work in packs and they don t look back They leave the crossing of the t s and the dotting of the I s to others Then walking behind the journalists come lonelier figures, the historians and the novelists.

  5. says:

    2 Saturday, Ian McEwanThe book, published in February 2005 by Jonathan Cape in the United Kingdom and in April in the United States, was critically and commercially successful Critics noted McEwan s elegant prose, careful dissection of daily life, and interwoven themes It won the 2005 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction It has been translated into eight languages.Saturday 2005 is a novel by Ian McEwan set in Fitzrovia, London, on Saturday, 15 February 2003, as a large demonstration is taking place against the United States 2003 invasion of Iraq The protagonist, Henry Perowne, a 48 year old neurosurgeon, has planned a series of chores and pleasures culminating in a family dinner in the evening As he goes about his day, he ponders the meaning of the protest and the problems that inspired it however, the day is disrupted by an encounter with a violent, troubled man To understand his character s world view, McEwan spent time with a neurosurgeon The novel explores one s engagement with the modern world and the meaning of existence in it The main character, though outwardly successful, still struggles to understand meaning in his life, exploring personal satisfaction in the post modern, developed world Though intelligent and well read, Perowne feels he has little influence over political events 2010 1393 390 9786007439043 2003 2003 .

  6. says:

    For me, one star ratings are extremely rare this is, without a doubt, one of the worst books Ever The titular day is a bland array of stupid events that fill up a stupid life The neurosurgeon atop his manse contemplates the plague of humanity living right below him commoners, proletarians, drug addicts all the while believing that his own existence is worthwhile as he parades around all the perks of being rich in a modern day luxurious London I detested this neo bourgeoisie panorama too too much to continue about what a drag it was for a midlife twit to tell me how fabulous his house and wife are, how complete and neat and great he has it, how his over pampered kids are both prodigies, how there s a fear super far away from this narrative in the form of a potential post 911 mass annihilation Everything in P.O.V of Perowne has a sense of simplicity and he tackles the main problems of the narrative with a sense of superior knowledge worse, literary entitlement Asshole It is also very clear that this is a Mrs Dalloway prototype, but unlike Woolf s single day in the life of , this one is all pretension I would hate to meet this man and I am sorry to say that this does not dispel the notion that all medical professionals are lame I am also sorry to admit that for somebody who wrote arguably one of the best love epics ever, Atonement the phenomenal, Mr McEwan should be ashamed of himself for this piece of utter trash.

  7. says:

    This wasn t my favorite Ian McEwan Admittedly there were very valid points in some of the negative reviews But I m partial regarding to McEwan his mesmerizing prose, particularly his superb interpretation of music e.g jazz blues in this book and modern classical in Amsterdam woke up all my senses.

  8. says:

    Short version GOD IT WAS BORING.Long version You know the anecdote that a succesful novelist could publish his shopping list and people would buy it That s the case with Saturday A chronicle of 24 hours from the life of neurosurgeon Henry Perowne, the novel is full of his ruminations, reminiscences, all described in painful, tedious detail McEwan fails to build an actual plot instead you ll be sure to hear every single event, no matter how irrelevant and drawn out there s an 18 page description of a squash game that s boring to death If you liked Remembrance of Things Past this book might appeal to you Henry takes 60 pages to get out of the sheets.The characters are all disgustingly one dimensional starting with Henry Perowne, the most gifted brain surgeon of his generation who plays squash and owns an awesome ride, mercedes of course his wife, Rosalynd, the beautiful lawyer who seems to posess no negative attributes whatsoever the hipster son, a handsome, talented blues musician beautiful daughter who s a published poet Henry s father who bears the incredibly pretentious surname of Grammaticus he s a poet too, of course and Henry s mom, an acclaimed swimmer she s the most likable character in the book maybe because she s suffering from dementia.McEwan is not in any way gentle or subtle in presenting his own beliefs, and as he is an atheist then so is his hero Henry doesn t believe in any supreme force, doesn t like writers who employ the supernatural, is bored with literature in general much like the reader is bored with his ramblings McEwan blandly uses his characters as mouthpieces, and the road to individual insight is forced and devoid of any nuance he ll spend 20 pages describing a squatch game, then go onto his rant about science or the war in Iraq, then go and describe some mundane activities again, return to rants about cultural differences and religion, break it, rinse and repeat It s clumsy, irritating and becomes unbearable pretty quick Did I mention hundreds of pages about neurosurgery Well, maybe not hundreds it feels like thousands Why was it critically acclaimed you might ask It s pretty simple Saturday is exactly what one would expect to read in the so called Literary Novel take in the one day setting and scream of consciousness from Wolf and Joyce, mix in the character study of James, complete with the dulness of Melville and voila Your cocktail is ready and you will learn many new, exquisite things war protesters often lack knowledge about war and are simply protesting, thugs and bullies are bad, science is cool and friends can occasionally be disappointing.Compare it to mixing various alcohols wine, vodka, beer and tequila undoubtedly all work well on their own, but when you mix them all you know what will come out of it Puke That s a good description of Saturday it s verbal puke.There is nothing controversial, thought provoking or challenging in this novel It even has a Hollywood ending the good doctor proves to be a quiet, admirable hero who eventually perserveres with a help of a gigantic deus ex machina , but is as realistic as James Bond in his old days Bond was fun though Saturday is not Saturday is genuine literature because there s absolutely nothing fun in it, nothing clever or in any way fresh It is instead full of tedium, banal social commentary and uninteresting characters that don t posess a particle of humanity There are no plot developments whatsoever I would even argue about the existence of a plot in the first place But it has long panderings about Iraq, science and most important of all squash, so it must be profound , urgent and dazzling Ideal Pulitzer material.

  9. says:

    Warning also contains major spoilers for Night TrainMany of the other reviewers say they re annoyed with Saturday on the grounds that the main character s life is too implausibly perfect a successful neurosurgeon with a beautiful wife, two talented children, a lovely home, etc etc He s even a pretty decent squash player So how can Henry possibly fill the Everyman role he s apparently meant to inhabit Well, it seems to me that McEwan is making a sensible point here Compared to most people in human history, and indeed to most people in the world today, your average educated Westerner e.g your average person who posts on Goodreads is unbelievably privileged Of course, most of us aren t quite as privileged as Henry, but, when you compare against the great mass of humanity, the difference is so small that it s close to technical So, the natural question that arises is how are we making use of our incredible good fortune It occurred to me that Saturday is in some ways a mirror image of Martin Amis s Night Train, another novel that people often slam In the Amis book, we also have an extraordinarily fortunate character Jennifier is young, beautiful, greatly loved and, on top of everything else, a cutting edge research astrophysicist Amis is a big fan of astrophysics And what does she do with all of this amazing luck At the end, it turns out that she s killed herself for no reason at all Given Amis s general preoccupation with our society s self destructive trajectory, I think the intended message is clear We are Jennifer we could have a paradise if we were just the tiniest bit sensible, but instead we re destroying ourselves and the whole world for no reason.In Saturday, I felt that the set up was basically the same, but the final message was positive Some parts of the story are indeed implausible you are unlikely to deter a psychotic rapist by reciting Dover Beach All the same, I liked the ending, where, almost without thinking, Henry uses his surgeon s skills to save the life of the man who, a few hours ago, was trying to kill him This is right this is how one should show appreciation for the gifts that fortune has showered on us.I know, I know Moral parables are unfashionable at the moment, and elegant despair is the cool choice I still thought McEwan was saying something worthwhile here.

  10. says:

    I loved this book This is not a book for you if you re looking for entertainment only, or light reading This is a book full of layers, metaphors, parallels, issues to think about The thing that most reached out grabbed me was the idea of a man going about his daily life whether you find his daily life mundane or overly privileged or whatever , when unexpected events occur change everything That s always sort of a scary theme for me On the surface it s the story of Henry, a successful London neurosurgeon his wife Rosalind, a lawyer their daughter, a soon to be published poet living in Paris their son, a blues musician, also on the brink of success It s a story that takes place over the course of one day Feb 15, 2003, a day just before the start of the Iraq war, when there were huge anti war demonstrations in London around the world That morning, Henry wakes up in the early morning hours goes to look out the window He sees an airplane headed toward Heathrow airport, it appears to be in trouble This encounter with disaster possible terrorism informs affects the rest of Henry s Saturday On this day, he s planned a series of ordinary activities a game of squash with a coworker groceries dinner, etc Unfortunately, a minor traffic accident interrupts his plans, brings his life into collision with Baxter, a what small time crook McEwan never specifically tells us but we know Baxter has some sidekicks who don t hesitate to use violence Henry sees that Baxter has neurological symptoms that he s able to instantly diagnose as a debilitating fatal genetic disease All of that is the surface story Along the way, you get to learn about neurosurgery fascinating I thought the detail about this was really interesting, tho have seen a lot of criticism about its inclusion Really Roll with it, you might learn something You get to learn about the game of squash, literature, poetry, genetic diseases, the aging process, music, cooking all parts of Henry s day or his thinking about his day You get to think about war peace terrorism fear politics how these huge issues affect all of us even as we cope with the details of our lives Maybe you don t want to think about these things in which case, don t read this book Themes to find The need for control in our lives, what things we have control over, what we don t, what happens when unexpected events make us doubt our control The fear of lack of control or losing control Work competitiveness how it affects our relationships Biological determinism to what extent is our destiny controlled by our genes Violence, war, what forces are available to us to counteract violence Seems like a lot of people were disturbed by Henry s family being too perfect Legitimate but here s a theme to look for the four disciplines of medicine, law, literature music how they stack up against forces of chaos violence There s a whole idea to think about that has to do with Henry how the different parts of his personality work for or against him in the particular struggle he faces on this Saturday or do his children represent different parts of him Or parts of a greater whole that he needs to integrate And who is Baxter, really Maybe he s part of Henry too in a sense read the end or part of that greater whole What does his reaction to the poem that Daisy recites, mean to the story Another theme creativity what would it mean to a dying man, to have the ability to create something like a poem, that has a life of its own, an ability to inspire particular feelings longings in others I could go on but this is much too long I thought Saturday was FASCINATING.

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