Book Review: Saturday by Ian McEwan

Saturday by Ian McEwan is an excellent novel by one of Britain’s leading writers. It tracks one full day in the life of the protagonist, Henry. The brilliance of the book, then, comes when Henry reflects, analyzes, and deals with the events of the day. It’s also timely, as the Iraq war is a subject of father-daughter strife.

There’s something Joycean about Saturday — both because it’s a condensed amount of time (Ulysses) and because it opens and closes with Henry at the window looking out. Saturday closes with Henry looking out a window noting the "falling" of the night, redolent of Joyce’s Dubliners which concludes with "The Dead" and the wonderful line, "His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead."

Saturday continues my quest to read more fiction by the best living writers (Roth, Wolfe, so far, and certainly McEwan). Highly recommended — the audiobook version, which I listened to, is a good recording.

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