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.