Saturday is the 2005 novel by Ian McEwan, and if you haven’t noticed, my university course has been riddled with McEwan’s work. So, it is no surprise that Saturday was a novel I was introduced to during my time at university. The novel focuses on the character of Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, and follows his life through a single day in 2003. Henry’s day does not start particularly well, having witnessed a plane ablaze flying past his window during the night. His day continues to be clouded with unease and uncertainty, finding himself amongst crowds of anti-war protesters, in a minor car accident, and having confrontations. So, you could say that this is not an average day in the life of Henry Perowne.
I find McEwan’s work to be very hit and miss, and the idea of a book of this size being set over one day, made me a little apprehensive as to whether I would get on with the novel. Surprisingly though, I enjoyed Saturday. This because I found, as I’d assumed, that the novel being set across just one day did not hinder my enjoyment of it at all. Rather, this approach challenged my previous perception of what a novel should be. I read so many novels that look at big events and choices and learn how these can change people’s lives. So, it was refreshing to experience how small, seemingly insignificant actions and choices can affect somebody just the same.
If you are looking to read a novel in hope of something mesmerizingly entertaining, then definitely avoid Ian McEwan’s Saturday. The same goes if you are looking for a light read before bed or to take away with you on a holiday This is because McEwan’s book is a thought provoking, multi layered piece of fiction, which provides you with a multitude of concepts to think about. Although some might consider this boring when compared to some action-packed thriller novels. I would argue that Saturday offers something interestingly different, something out of the ordinary and is not just going to blend in with the other books on your bookcase.