Book Review: Saturday by Ian McEwan

This book is, quite simply, magnificent.

As I’ve noted, I don’t read much standard fiction. And I’ve never read anything of McEwan’s. The buzz on Saturday, though, led me to pick it up. It is a masterpiece.

The basic premise is a Saturday in the life of a London neurosurgeon. The vulnerability we feel in post-9/11 life and the debate over the soon-to-come Iraq war provide an undercurrent of tension. Yet McEwan layers a sense of elusive foreboding and unease with activities of everyday life — a squash game, a minor car accident, cooking dinner. Moreover, his insight into human emotion and the powers of music and poetry make this so much more than just a novel. It has been years since I read a book that causes me to go back and reread sentences, paragraphs and entire sections because of their simple brilliance and power.

This book is so well written, its insights into various areas of the human experience will be discussed in future posts. Suffice it to say that it is a work that deserves serious consideration for every major literary award.

When there are no consequences, being wrong is simply an interesting diversion.

Saturday, Ian McEwan

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