Friday, May 06, 2005
Saturday by Ian McEwan
I’m a big fan of Mrs. Dalloway, which seems to have been the blueprint for Saturday, and I’m a big fan of Atonement, McEwan’s previous novel, and this dual fandom probably made it difficult for me to fall for this novel. But the book does represent some smart decisions—for example, making your narrator expert in something (in this case, neuroscience) gives him an interesting way of seeing the world, and giving him a poet-daughter who is trying to educate him on literature allows him to talk about art in a way that the stereotypical neurosurgeon would not—but ultimately those smart decisions left me cold when the novel’s climactic event brought the two together in a way that seemed far too convenient for the writer. Much to admire here though.