The "day in the life" format of Saturday, and the way the protagonist, Perowne, wanders around his home city, provoke comparisons with Ulysees, by James Joyce. Both novels are self-consciously literary; and nothing much happens in either, but in an elegant way. For me, the book comes close to greatness when McEwan focuses on Perowne as a study of an educated western man's state of mind early in the 21st century. But other characters, and events surrounding the criminal, Baxter, are less convincing. Upside: intriguing study of a thoughtful modern Brit. Downside: don't read this if you like a good story or get irritated by pretentious fiction.