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Saturday by Ian McEwan Paperback / softback book


By Ian McEwan

  • ISBN: 9780099469681
  • Published: 2006-01-02
  • Binding: Paperback / softback

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Book Description:

The bestselling novel by one of Britain's finest writers now in paperback.

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.

Reading Group Book Questions

  1. At the end of Saturday's first paragraph, as Henry wakes too early, McEwan writes, 'And he's entirely himself, he is certain of it, and he knows that sleep is behind him: to know the difference between it and waking, to know the boundaries, is the essence of sanity.' To what else does Henry awaken as the novel progresses?
  2. Discuss the irony of the novel's title. Henry intended to spend the day relaxing; does the modern world allow for any true respite from worry?
  3. In your opinion, what accounts for the bliss between Henry and his wife? When he met her, did her vulnerability (through illness) feed their attraction or was it merely a means for then to find one another? What accounts for Henry's uneasy relationship with his father-in-law?
  4. In researching Saturday, Ian McEwan spent months observing brain surgery. What parallels exist between a writer's craft and a surgeon's? What is the effect of McEwan's decision to cast Henry in the specialty of neurosurgery (as opposed to thoracic or orthopaedic surgery, for example)?
About The Author

Ian McEwan's last novel, Amsterdam, won the 1998 Booker Prize. He lives in Oxford.

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By Ian McEwan Paperback / softback
#1 $16.39
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