Title :: Saturday
Author :: Ian McEwan
Completed :: Apr 09 2008
Challenges :: 888 : 1001 Books
Rating :: 3/5

Please don't let it happen again. But let me see it all the same, as it's happening and from every angle, and let me be among the first to know.

In a London on the brink of joining the US in a war against terror, Henry Perowne wakes early on a Saturday. Unable to get back to sleep he stands at his window and looks out over a still dark London. In the distant sky he can see a plane coming in, as it grows closer Perowne can see that something is wrong with the plane, one of its engines is on fire and his immediate thought is that terrorists are in action. At a loss as to what to do Perowne continues to watch the plane as it descends towards Heathrow. The sight of the plane will haunt the rest of his day as he goes through it desperate to catch news of it on either radio or TV.

But Perowne has plans for his Saturday, make love to his wife before she goes off to prepare for an upcoming court case, hit the gym and play squash with a fellow neurosurgeon, visit the fishmonger to collect various goods from the sea in order to prepare dinner for his daughter an father in-law who are both visiting from France. The landscape of London is troubled however, a massive rally is scheduled to take place in the streets as protesters gather to voice their opinion about Iraq. Navigating through the streets on his way to the gym, Perowne is suddenly involved in a minor car accident. Little damage is done to either car, Perowne is fine, the passengers in the other vehicle are fine, but what about the other driver? He appears to be fine but is he?

Perowne's encounter with Baxter is on the cusp of becoming violent when Perowne suddenly recognizes symptoms of an oncoming disease in Baxter. He is able to use his knowledge to get him out one tight situation but will it save him later when Baxter pays a visit to the Perowne household?

McEwan draws a wordy yet thoughtful portrayal of one man's thought processes throughout an entire day. I didn't like his choice of narration at first but as the novel moved forward I couldn't imagine it any other way. Perowne's thoughts give the reader a mixture of simple pleasures and the conundrum of facing the state of the world today. I liked the bit with Perowne's daughter, Daisy trying to get her father to read more. She feels that he spent so much time going through medical school that he never had the opportunity to read the classics. During the story he is trying to work his way through Lord Jim and Darwin's Origin of the Species.
Though he's been diligent over the years and tries to read almost everything she puts his way, he knows she thinks he's a coarse, unredeemable materialist. She thinks he lacks an imagination. Perhaps it's so, but she hasn't quite given up on him yet. The books are piled at his bedside, and she'll be arriving with more tonight.
Made me think of all the books I've tried to push on my mom. My mom's a reader too, but we both have very different reading tastes and only agree on the occasional book. She surprised me the other day when she said she picked up a copy of Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities - perhaps after having read my review. I was tickled pink, I hope she finishes it though I know she's put it down for awhile.

Other Thoughts ::
: you're next - reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link!

. listening . perfect lie . sheryl crow . wildflower .


posted by Ashleigh @ 12:56,


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    ashleigh (ash'lė) n.
    1: egyptologist; currently living in the uk attempting to obtain a phd in egyptology, hoping in the end there will be a job.
    2: literary; reading to escape reality, to improve conversation, for inspiration.
    3: crafter; crocheting and needlework, creating heirlooms, keeping the world warm.
    4: dreamer; head in the clouds, full of fantasies, wishing to be someone else, somewhere else.
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