- Audio Download
- Listening Length: 9 hours and 37 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: AudioGO Ltd.
- Audible.co.uk Release Date: 6 Dec. 2005
- Language: English
- ASIN: B002SQDB3C
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Saturday Audio Download – Unabridged
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|Audio Download, Unabridged, 6 Dec 2005||
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Top Customer Reviews
I found the meditations on the state of society and current affairs of 2003 particularly satisfying. One of the best sections was the argument between Daisy and Henry about the rationale for the Iraq war, youthful moral absolutism on the one hand and sloppy pragmatic consequentialism on the other. (My own position on this issue has oscillated between the two over the last six years.) There were some gripping moments (I won't spoil things by going into detail) and, perhaps, some clever allegorical points being made - invasive brain surgery being contrasted with invasive military action, for example. And I'm pretty sure that learning how Henry thinks has, in a small way, changed how I think, for the better.
On the other hand, it was equally surprising to find serious critics absolutely bowled over by this novel; words like "dazzling" and "stunning" seem to crop up a lot in reviews. They all seem to ignore the novel's most obvious flaw: a family of uniformly high achievers will not only be not particularly likeable, but, when the achievements are *this* impressive, almost certain not to exist.Read more ›
For the first 30 pages I was absolutely captivated by this book, a simple description of Henry waking up in the middle of the night to a state of uncanny alertness and feeling a compulsion to walk to the window, only to see a burning jet making an emergency landing into Heathrow was simply magical.
The rest of the book follows suit well, but doesn't recapture the initial hypnosis. McEwan's writing style makes the hairs stand up on the back of my neck sometimes. The characters are well fleshed out as often trivial events in Henry's life trigger a spiral into introspective asides detailing his past and his feelings towards the components of his existence. As a result you get to understand the inner workings of Henry's mind, what propels, feeds and most importantly, drives him. The book is set in 2003's London, on the day of the anti-Iraq-war protests and the vivid descriptions of his meanderings around Charlotte, Gower & University Street are true to life, a great touch to an already great book if you know the area.
It is after we have gained a very comprehensive grasp of who Henry is that he is thrown into turmoil and you read with baited breath waiting to see whether he will live upto your expectations of the character. Simply electric reading, I struggled to put this book down. If you are new to Ian McEwan this is as good a place to start as any, I am hooked and would recommend this book to anyone!!
McEwan, and contemporary literary fiction generally, isn't big on plot at the moment. If you're looking for that, you'll be disappointed. What McEwan does do well is in the detail, and he does it brilliantly in Saturday, opening up the brain of his neurosurgeon protagonist, and letting his thoughts pour out. When you read this novel, you aren't being told a story, you are simply imbibing the thoughts of one man, one Saturday.
Plotless, the novel isn't though. Enough happens on this Saturday, from the early morning plane on fire, to the minor car crash and the final knife-wielding consequences (which reminded me a lot of Enduring Love), to keep the reader moving. Our protagonist's own sense of unease gently piles on the pressure, with brief respites for jazz and cooking. Interesting that the climax of the nameless foreboding that hangs around this self-consciously post 9-11 novel, with the bursting of Al Qaeda, Saddam Hussein and terrorism into our cultural consciousness, eventually materialises in the opportunist Baxter and his sidekick.
Those who lambaste the pages devoted to the squash game have missed the point. This whole section is a study of the competitive nature of an individual - the tension so palpable that I found my own heartbeat pounding with empathy.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Cover 4/5 Nice match for the contents. I have a copy with the Post Office Tower and a balcony.
Contents. Phew - what one man can do in a day bordered on the improbable. Read more
If you like Ian McEwan then this is a book for you. This was chosen by our Book Club and it is not for me.Published 4 months ago by Jean
An excellent story that was full of surprises that made the book difficult to put downPublished 4 months ago by fuse
A really beautifully written novel. Not a fast moving plot but a reflective look at life through the eyes of one man.Published 4 months ago by Over60
Interesting, but a bit self-conscious and rather dated now.Published 4 months ago by imaginarydogowner
I couldn't put this book down, it was so interesting and made me think. I particularly liked the main character's description of having to clear out his late mother's house with... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Christina Holloway
I do like the way Ian McEwan writes; he seems to make the mundane almost interesting, and it's exactly what he's done in his book, Saturday. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mr. M. Richardson