From someone who can’t get enough of gossipy chick-flick novels, I picked up Saturday by Ian McEwan with some trepidation. For one, I couldn’t understand how someone could make a 279 page book about one single day interesting, rather than tedious. However, as soon as you delve into McEwan’s pages, you realise that this book is one unlike any other.
Saturday tells the story of one day in the life of its protagonist and narrator, Henry Perowne. Perowne is a successful neurosurgeon and is happily married with two grown-up children, yet as the day unfolds, he finds himself tested to the limits. We start in the early hours of the morning, when he looks out of his window to see a burning plane in the sky, and so his Saturday begins.
Not only does this Saturday turn out to be the most eventful Saturday in Perowne’s life, but the tangled web of coincidences detail, to perfection, the fast-moving thought processes that arise from such predicaments.
We are taken through such detailed trails of thought, that it is almost as if the thoughts are your own. McEwan manages to encompass a meticulous knowledge of medical, political and moral themes into his clever novel, enlightening even my Jilly Cooper-minded self.
No matter what your usual genre of book may be, put it aside to read this genuinely mind-blowing piece of writing. I can assure you, Saturday will not disappoint.
Photo sourced from The Guardian.