4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A re-write, maybe?,
This review is from: Saturday (Paperback)
Saturday is a day in the life of neurologist Henry Perowne, starting with his early morning wakeup and ending with him going late to bed. A lot is squeezed into Henry's eventful day, starting with him seeing a burning aeroplane flying across the sky of London to ...well, I won't ruin the rest of the story for you.
The book is like a mountain range: it has its highs and lows. There is a lot in this novel that is good. Throughout the novel, background information is dropped in about his work colleagues and family, most of whom make an appearance, and some of the character descriptions, especially those of his father-in-law and daughter, are well delineated. However, the medical descriptions read like a medical text book and the ending - where a thug's heart is melted by the reading of Matthew Arnold's Dover Beach - is just ridiculous. London is observed as a series of street names, which, as a Londoner, I enjoyed; but which a non-Londoner would find lazy and boring.
While not badly written, it is hardly a page turner. If I was his editor, I would have sent the manuscript back with the following note.
Thank you for the following mss. Some lovely writing and there is much in here that I like. However, may I make the following suggestions?
1. Get rid of the medical jargon. It disrupts the flow of the narrative as surely as a car crash disrupts the flow of traffic.
2. The ending, although intriguing, didn't quite ring true and may raise the eyebrow of many a reader. Change it.
3. Maybe you could cut it down to under 200 pages, or would you like me to do that for you?
4. Too many London street names.
Apart from that, the novel is a delight. I especially enjoyed your observations on religion. It had me and my editorial staff in stitches.