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Saturday: A Novel

by

Saturday: A Novel Cover

 

Awards

The Rooster 2006 Morning News Tournament of Books Nominee

Staff Pick

Ian McEwan's new novel is generous, contemplative, and moving — and in good company, joining classics like Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses that take place during a single day. McEwan intricately weaves characters and themes towards an eloquent and wrenching finale, and the beauty of his prose propels the plot with poetic momentum. Saturday is a gentle, brilliant, and inspiring work.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

Ian McEwan's new novel is generous, contemplative, and moving — and in good company, joining classics like Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses that take place during a single day. McEwan intricately weaves characters and themes towards an eloquent and wrenching finale, and the beauty of his prose propels the plot with poetic momentum. Saturday is a gentle, brilliant, and inspiring work.
Recommended by Jill Owens, Powells.com

This startling novel examines one very bad day in the life of a smart, happy surgeon. Henry's life looks very different from morning to night in this remarkable character study. McEwan is a genius!
Recommended by Dianah, Powells.com

Review-A-Day

"The man who could staunchly write, as the southern extremity of Manhattan was still awash in fire and stench, that in effect Amor vincit omnia here lucidly shows us that civilization and culture and the life of the mind, fragile as they seemingly are, nonetheless have a resilience that can outlast barbarism." Christopher Hitchens, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)

"There is no secret as to why Ian McEwan has gained such a large, intelligent and devoted readership. In book after book, and now, especially in Saturday, he has gone directly against the grain of fashionable contemporary cynicism and proved that a novel can be topical without being either obvious or dogmatic, that a writer can derive aesthetic sense from confronting the world's concerns." Allen Barra, Salon.com (read the entire Salon.com review)

"The imagination is blessed by its holder, just as the humanities humanize only those who are willing to be humanized. Ian McEwan's imagination is worth cherishing; Mohammed Atta's is not. It is just this tension that surfaces in his fine and affecting new novel, and which is never quite resolved." James Wood, The New Republic (read the entire New Republic review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In his triumphant new novel, Ian McEwan, the bestselling author of Atonement, follows an ordinary man through a Saturday whose high promise gradually turns nightmarish. Henry Perowne — a neurosurgeon, urbane, privileged, deeply in love with his wife and grown-up children — plans to play a game of squash, visit his elderly mother, and cook dinner for his family. But after a minor traffic accident leads to an unsettling confrontation, Perowne must set aside his plans and summon a strength greater than he knew he had in order to preserve the life that is dear to him.

Review:

"In the predawn sky on a Saturday morning, London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne sees a plane with a wing afire streaking toward Heathrow. His first thought is terrorism — especially since this is the day of a public demonstration against the pending Iraq war. Eventually, danger to Perowne and his family will come from another source, but the plane, like the balloon in the first scene of Enduring Love, turns out to be a harbinger of a world forever changed. Meanwhile, the reader follows Perowne through his day, mainly via an interior monologue. His cerebral peregrination records, in turn, the meticulous details of brain surgery, a car accident followed by a confrontation with a hoodlum, a far-from-routine squash game, a visit to Perowne's mother in a nursing home and a family reunion. It is during the latter event, at the end of the day, that the ominous pall that has hovered over the narrative explodes into violence, and Perowne's sense that the world has become 'a commuity of anxiety' plays out in suspense, delusion, heroism and reconciliation. The tension throughout the novel between science (Perowne's surgery) and art (his daughter is a poet; his son a musician) culminates in a synthesis of the two, and a grave, hopeful, meaningful, transcendent ending. If this novel is not as complex a work as McEwan's bestselling Atonement, it is nonetheless a wise and poignant portrait of the way we live now." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"An increasingly mellowed but no less gripping McEwan....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

Review:

"Mr. McEwan has not only produced one of the most powerful pieces of post-9/11 fiction yet published, but also fulfilled that very primal mission of the novel: to show how we — a privileged few of us, anyway — live today." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

Review:

"Saturday is a tightly wound tour de force of several strands — a Hitchcockian thriller, an allegory of the post-9/11 world, the portrait of a very attractive family, and a meditation on the fragility of life and all that we most value." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post

Review:

"Few literary events are today met with as much enthusiasm as the publication of a McEwan novel. Saturday, a brilliant and graceful hymn to the contented contemporary man, will be greeted with cheers." Anita Shreve, The Boston Globe

Review:

"Saturday lives up to its own standards throughout. Its author's scrupulous application of his talent merits real gratitude from its readers. Saturday is distinguished by an intense literary imagination that is fundamentally scientific in its vision and its criteria." Marek Kohn, The Independent

Review:

"One of the most oblique but also most serious contributions to the post-9/11, post-Iraq war literature, [Saturday] succeeds in ridiculing on every page the view of its hero that fiction is useless to the modern world." Mark Lawson, The Guardian

Synopsis:

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.

From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Ian McEwan is the author of nine novels, including Amsterdam, for which he won the Booker Prize in 1998, and Atonement.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

douglas.dale1, January 27, 2010 (view all comments by douglas.dale1)
An fine example of the novel of the urban experience filled with literary in-jokes
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
ajmichaelis, January 3, 2010 (view all comments by ajmichaelis)
This book captures the apprehension and fear that infiltrated post-9/11 society better than any other I've read. McEwan ratchets up the tension in this thriller, which follows Henry, his protagonist, through a 24-hour period that begins with a misunderstanding and ends in a way you could never expect. Saturday is a finely wrought page-turner.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
Bookie Star, January 1, 2010 (view all comments by Bookie Star)
This book grabbed me from the first page and carried me through McEwan's facile tale of storytelling. His characters are always people you learn about but don't necessarily like. You know them so thoroughly by the end of the book that you understand their motivation and behavior. I love that McEwan introduces real life events which most readers can recall vividly and weaves his story with that as a backdrop, in this case the peace march which took place in London (simultaneously in other parts of the world) against the war in Iraq. Mc Ewan''s research is so impeccable that it adds another layer to the saga.
I read this when it first came out and I think back to it so often, since it was such a satisfying and disturbing read, as so many of his books tend to be.
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(3 of 5 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781400076192
Author:
McEwan, Ian
Publisher:
Anchor
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Criminals
Subject:
World politics
Subject:
London (england)
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
fiction;london;novel;british;england;terrorism;family;literature;contemporary;21st century;contemporary fiction;neurosurgery;uk;iraq war;english;literary fiction;2000s;neurosurgeon;crime;british fiction;mcewan;iraq;british literature;poetry;english litera
Copyright:
Edition Number:
Reprint ed.
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
April 11, 2006
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8 x 5.2 x 0.63 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

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Saturday: A Novel Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Anchor Books - English 9781400076192 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Ian McEwan's new novel is generous, contemplative, and moving — and in good company, joining classics like Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses that take place during a single day. McEwan intricately weaves characters and themes towards an eloquent and wrenching finale, and the beauty of his prose propels the plot with poetic momentum. Saturday is a gentle, brilliant, and inspiring work.

"Staff Pick" by ,

Ian McEwan's new novel is generous, contemplative, and moving — and in good company, joining classics like Mrs. Dalloway and Ulysses that take place during a single day. McEwan intricately weaves characters and themes towards an eloquent and wrenching finale, and the beauty of his prose propels the plot with poetic momentum. Saturday is a gentle, brilliant, and inspiring work.

"Staff Pick" by ,

This startling novel examines one very bad day in the life of a smart, happy surgeon. Henry's life looks very different from morning to night in this remarkable character study. McEwan is a genius!

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the predawn sky on a Saturday morning, London neurosurgeon Henry Perowne sees a plane with a wing afire streaking toward Heathrow. His first thought is terrorism — especially since this is the day of a public demonstration against the pending Iraq war. Eventually, danger to Perowne and his family will come from another source, but the plane, like the balloon in the first scene of Enduring Love, turns out to be a harbinger of a world forever changed. Meanwhile, the reader follows Perowne through his day, mainly via an interior monologue. His cerebral peregrination records, in turn, the meticulous details of brain surgery, a car accident followed by a confrontation with a hoodlum, a far-from-routine squash game, a visit to Perowne's mother in a nursing home and a family reunion. It is during the latter event, at the end of the day, that the ominous pall that has hovered over the narrative explodes into violence, and Perowne's sense that the world has become 'a commuity of anxiety' plays out in suspense, delusion, heroism and reconciliation. The tension throughout the novel between science (Perowne's surgery) and art (his daughter is a poet; his son a musician) culminates in a synthesis of the two, and a grave, hopeful, meaningful, transcendent ending. If this novel is not as complex a work as McEwan's bestselling Atonement, it is nonetheless a wise and poignant portrait of the way we live now." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "The man who could staunchly write, as the southern extremity of Manhattan was still awash in fire and stench, that in effect Amor vincit omnia here lucidly shows us that civilization and culture and the life of the mind, fragile as they seemingly are, nonetheless have a resilience that can outlast barbarism." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
"Review A Day" by , "There is no secret as to why Ian McEwan has gained such a large, intelligent and devoted readership. In book after book, and now, especially in Saturday, he has gone directly against the grain of fashionable contemporary cynicism and proved that a novel can be topical without being either obvious or dogmatic, that a writer can derive aesthetic sense from confronting the world's concerns." (read the entire Salon.com review)
"Review A Day" by , "The imagination is blessed by its holder, just as the humanities humanize only those who are willing to be humanized. Ian McEwan's imagination is worth cherishing; Mohammed Atta's is not. It is just this tension that surfaces in his fine and affecting new novel, and which is never quite resolved." (read the entire New Republic review)
"Review" by , "An increasingly mellowed but no less gripping McEwan....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."
"Review" by , "Mr. McEwan has not only produced one of the most powerful pieces of post-9/11 fiction yet published, but also fulfilled that very primal mission of the novel: to show how we — a privileged few of us, anyway — live today."
"Review" by , "Saturday is a tightly wound tour de force of several strands — a Hitchcockian thriller, an allegory of the post-9/11 world, the portrait of a very attractive family, and a meditation on the fragility of life and all that we most value."
"Review" by , "Few literary events are today met with as much enthusiasm as the publication of a McEwan novel. Saturday, a brilliant and graceful hymn to the contented contemporary man, will be greeted with cheers." Anita Shreve
"Review" by , "Saturday lives up to its own standards throughout. Its author's scrupulous application of his talent merits real gratitude from its readers. Saturday is distinguished by an intense literary imagination that is fundamentally scientific in its vision and its criteria." Marek Kohn
"Review" by , "One of the most oblique but also most serious contributions to the post-9/11, post-Iraq war literature, [Saturday] succeeds in ridiculing on every page the view of its hero that fiction is useless to the modern world."
"Synopsis" by , 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.

From the Hardcover edition.

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