Saturday, Ian McEwan

by jackerzig

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Following a recent conversation with a friend who praised a passage in McEwan’s Enduring Love (which I haven’t read), I decided to return to the author of The Daydreamer (a story with which I was entranced for most of middle school) and embark on his bestseller Saturday, digging it out from our living room bookshelves in that “I’m-not-well-read-enough” frenzy I seem to get myself into every couple of months.

He truly is a gorgeous writer. Sometimes I look at a page in a book and I just like the way the words look, and with McEwan’s linguistic mastery, every aesthetic pleasure of his prose, from appearance to digestion, tastes insightful and originally composed.

Plus, the beauty and incisiveness of his story-telling sure takes the edge of being quite disdainful/awed/burningly envious of his characters in their vibrant lives of talent and privilege.

I like the way the novel spans just one day (clue: it’s not Tuesday). Infuses a lightness to the reading; you don’t feel as pressured to draw conclusions as you would with a differently structured book, and find softly constructed opinions floating down gently into your lap anyway.

A real nice condensation of world crisis into the contained life of a middle-class dude; the Saturday in question here is 15th February 2003, the gigantic global anti-Iraq war protest. Safety and security is brought into question, and protagonist Perowne’s pensive thoughts will most certainly get you thinking.

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