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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Review - SATURDAY by IAN McEWAN

The story covers a man's life for one day - the whole of Saturday. It is not an easy task to compile a book which was quite chunky into one day without getting very boring and I was doubtful at the start whether I would finish this book but it turned out to be quite different.

Henry a neurosurgeon starts out his normal day but due to a series of incidents - some violent - his whole world is turned upside down as a result. Even the minute description of his family is brought into the orbit of this ordinary day. It also points out what I just read in another book that the whole story of what if I had waited behind for one minute more to pet the dog, or water the pot plants - would my life have been totally different as I would not have faced whatever dire incident I did. Fate seems to be also part of the scenario.

The day begins with Henry witnessing an airplane crash landing at Heathrow. Envisaging a major disaster he realizes later on it is a cargo plane, the pilot has successfully landed and what he imagined as a human carnage is not to be. This early violent beginning of the day at 4 am is somehow indicative that the day is not going to go in its normal routine.

The whole of the day constitutes Henry's thoughts and actions - and the bizarre events of a demonstration in London has its own effect on Henry and his family. The effect of one action having an effect on the next - a series of consequences is the highlight of the story. At times the description of Henry's thoughts was a tad slow and you really wanted to know what was happening next because you knew that something had to happen. You always knew that the end would be explosive - you just wanted to get to that.

My first read of this author. For anyone who likes introspective literature this is a must read.

3 comments:

Nicola said...

This is an author I've long wanted to read. I enjoyed your review.

Harvee said...

This must be really interesting that so much happens in only one day! Enjoyed your review.

Audra said...

Nice review. I wasn't wild about Atonement so I haven't been in a rush to pick up his other books but your comments have me kind of intrigued now...