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Friday, February 02, 2007

Book Four: Saturday, by Ian McEwan

For anyone who ever cried at the prospect of reading a painstakingly detailed novel, Ian McEwan's Saturday will not be a great selection. For that matter, none of McEwan's novels would be a good choice, as he immerses himself into the environment about which he is writing and graphically illustrates that world. In Saturday, that world belongs to a neurosurgeon whose Saturday becomes eventful fairly early on when he has a car accident with some thugs.

Frankly, the plot of the book is fairly immaterial to the overall experience of reading Saturday. I know that is strange to say, but I speak the truth. While the plot that interweaves main character Henry Perowne and his thug Baxter is the backbone of the novel, Saturday is really about how we experience all of our days since the events of 9/11. He thoughtfully posits that we will never look at an airplane flying through the sky in the same way again (it's true). There is that constant fear that we will turn on the television to something catastrophic. Even the news channels have adjusted their programming to this notion, with the crawling scrollbars at the bottom of the screen that are ready to announce BREAKING! NEWS! AT! ANY! MOMENT! It's a devastating reality.

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