Wednesday, July 23, 2008

64. "Saturday" - Ian McEwan

I have a disturbing relationship with Ian McEwan's books. Atonement made me react to a book in a fashion I usually reserve for ex-lovers, with a pile of used tissues to match. But The Comfort of Strangers and On Chesil Beach completely underwhelmed me.

In Saturday, McEwan takes the ordinary life of a London neurosurgeon and applies one of my favorite what-if questions of all: what if you could save someone who hurt you/your family?

The question is planted broadly throughout the short novel with a backdrop of post-9/11 freedom-mongering and thoughtful political analysis. It seems to be a time for hope, a time for doing the right thing, though, as Dr. Perowne says, "We'll know if we did the right thing [involving the Iraq war] in five years." Published in 2003, I think I'm not amiss when I say that we still aren't sure about the right things.

As far as this book, it has the positive enthusiasm that is symbolized by the miasma of Obama supporters in America. Perhaps a book can exceed its expiration date. However, chunks of lead flew as spikes from my eyes as I read the last 30 pages. If this were McEwan's intention, he succeeded.

3.5 out of 5.0 Three Stripes Cocktail.


Stefania said...

Honestly I found 'Saturday' quite boring... But maybe it's because I had to read it in class...

Anonymous said...

What a coincidence to see your post today! My book club just read this book and met last night to discuss. Our reactions were mixed with some thinking the book was boring and others (myself included) loving it.
I think the people who hated it really hadn't thought out the ending and it's implications. I loved the way the ending changed my perception of the main character although thinking back on the book I could see that those keys to his character were always there.

Bibliolatrist said...

I wasn't as big a fan of this one, either.

Anyway, I gave you an excellence in blogging award, which you can read more about on my page, if you're interested.

Hope all is going well!