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Saturday - please buy your copy through us


Bill
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Saturday, February 15, 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind, a newspaper lawyer, and proud father of two grown-up children, one a promising poet, the other a talented blues musician. Unusually, he wakes before dawn, drawn to the window of his bedroom and filled with a growing unease. What troubles him as he looks out at the night sky is the state of the world - the impending war against Iraq, a gathering pessimism since 9/11, and a fear that his city, its openness and diversity, and his happy family life are under threat. Later, Perowne makes his way to his weekly squash game through London streets filled with hundreds of thousands of anti-war protestors. A minor car accident brings him into a confrontation with Baxter, a fidgety, aggressive, young man, on the edge of violence. To Perowne's professional eye, there appears to be something profoundly wrong with him.

Towards the end of a day rich in incident and filled with Perowne's celebrations of life's pleasures - music, food, love, the exhilarations of sport and the satisfactions of exacting work - his family gathers for a reunion. But with the sudden appearance of Baxter, Perowne's earlier fears seem about to be realised.

Ian McEwan's last novel, Atonement, was hailed as a masterpiece all over the world. Saturday shares its confident, graceful prose and its remarkable perceptiveness, but is perhaps even more dramatically compelling, showing how life can change in an instant, for better or for worse. It is the work of a writer at the very height of his powers.

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Is anyone else reading this one? I started it before the poll was finished (but have gotten sidetracked by the hilarious 'Diplomatic Baggage: The Adventures of a Trailing Spouse' by Brigid Keenan) I have ordered The Time Traveler's Wife, also, and could read that when it arrives if no one else is going to do 'Saturday' this time around. :confused:

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The time frame of Saturday is one Saturday in the life of Henry Perowne, neurosurgeon. It begins in the wee small hours, when he wakes from sleep and ends in the small hours of Sunday, by which time Henry has experienced far more in 24 hours than the rest of us experience in many times that long. I admire McEwans' ability to describe the thought processes of Henry as he lived his Saturday: I found that strength of the novel appealed to me greatly. I don't wish to "spoil" the plot for those still reading, and will log on again in a few days to see if the discussion has lifted off at all.

 

Curzon Tussaud

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