Oh, do I wish some other authors could write like McEwan; I’ve read so many books with poorly executed plots or glimmers of a good idea rendered inert by flat prose. I often joke of my favorite authors that I’d read the phone book if it had their name on the cover, but I didn’t expect to be taken up on it the way McEwan does with Saturday.
So, that’s perhaps unfair; things DO happen in the book. It outlines the beginning of the weekend for a prominent British neurosurgeon, and the ways in which his benevolent arrogance affects his family and a group of street toughs in post 9/11 England. It’s very much a product of its time and references to terrorism and Iraq pervade; one could even read the doctor’s interactions with the street gang as a metaphor for US involvement in the Middle East, but this might be my imposing a greater theme on a book that stubbornly seems not to have one.
That said, it’s hard to be too upset by this when McEwan is such a good writer, aside from a slow start reading the book, his prose is so lovely and the transitions so seamless that I forgot to care that the book didn’t seem to have all that much to say.