Saturday, February 17, 2007


Some hours before dawn Henry Perowne, a neurosurgeon, wakes to find himself already in motion, pushing back the covers from a sitting position, and then rising to his feet.

-from Ian McEwan's Saturday

Ian McEwan's Atonement is one of my favorite novels, so when Saturday made it to the top of my reading pile this week I was eager to dive in.

His writing is elegant and controlled, with beautiful, flowing language, and yet very clear and concise.

His novel Saturday takes place in one day, which means he digs deeply into each scene, allowing Henry Perowne to do a lot of thinking and pondering. I love this kind of intimate, internally-driven writing.

I sometimes wonder if the European "audience" - when it comes to novels - is more accepting of this style of writing, which is not plot but character-driven.

I had not realized until I noticed on the bookjacket that McEwan wrote The Comfort of Strangers, which was made into a movie back in the '90's. That title is now on my reading list.

Reading Saturday is also triggering memories of Saul Bellow's Herzog and Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, both novels I own but have not read in many years ... perhaps I will connect the dots and read off on a tangent!

No comments: