Saturday by Ian McEwan

About the book

Saturday, February 15, 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man – a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind and proud father of two grown-up children. 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 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, his family gathers for a reunion. But with the sudden appearance of Baxter, Perowne’s earlier fears seem about to be realised.

Reviewed by King’s Somborne Reading Group:

Interesting political context, well integrated into absorbing plot. Impressive research and detail. Stunning, accomplished, tedious, self indulgent, thrilling, empathetic, gripping, dramatic tension, formulaic. A brilliant writer.

Star rating: ****

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8 thoughts on “Saturday by Ian McEwan”

  1. Review by Liss Reading Group:
    A very interesting day and enjoyed by all but one member could have done without all the medical details.
    Star rating: ***


  2. Review by Friends of Farnborough Library:
    A lively discussion – 2 people didn’t like it at all – remainder scored 3 or 4. Stimulated a good discussion.
    Star rating: ***


  3. Review by The Accidental Reading Group:
    The Group was divided in their opinion about this book. The beauty and intensity of the language were appreciated by those who finished it. Our insight into Henry’s consciousness was as richly rewarding as his fish stew!
    Star rating: ***


  4. Review by New Forest/Waterside U3A:
    This book is everything the critics have said in its praise. For once the book exceeds the blurb. A most compelling three hundred pages; rare example of how a novel can be.
    Star rating: ****


  5. Review by Bookworms Reading Group:
    Sparked a lot of debate and left an indelible mark on most of us. Fourteen page squash match was of particular note!
    Star rating: **+


  6. Review by Shipton Bellinger WI Reading Group:
    We looked forward to reading another Ian McEwan but although this book was as eloquent and complex as expected not one of us liked it. We found the main character self absorbed. No one could empathise with the doubts of this man living a near perfect life. Good though the writing was we did not enjoy the book
    Rating: 2 Stars


  7. Review by Itchen reading group:
    A well written, intelligent novel with believeable characters. A book which brings up several themes so a good choice for a book group.
    Star ratingL ***


  8. Review by Book Buddies
    Difficult read, very detailed. The group was split – some members did not complete, others enjoyed.
    Star rating ** to ***


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