How ironic that I should be posting this on an actual Saturday.
My first read of 2012 was “Saturday” by Ian McEwan.
I had never read anything written by Ian McEwan before, and went in with no expectations. I had randomly added it to my Amazon wishlist, promptly forgot about it or even how I came to be interested in the book in the first place, and wasn’t even clear on those details when I opened it up on Christmas morning. I remember vaguely being interested in the story line, but that’s about it. Mr. McEwan’s credibility as an author was completely unkown to me. Reading the back of the book, I could see how I became intrigued initially, and looked forward to making it my first 2012 read.
Sometimes having no expectations is the best thing because I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the book. I loved McEwan’s writing style, and he really swept me away by his creative use of words and phrases to paint not only physical scenes but emotional landscapes. Who knew that reading about a squash game could be so interesting and invoke so much emotion, while revealing the depths of a character’s, well, character?
Taking place over the course of one Saturday, we follow a great neurosurgeon through his early morning start, errands, squash playing, traffic accident, dinner preparation and family gathering. It has the sounds of being dull and tedious when laid out in list form, but as I said earlier, McEwan is such a master of his craft that he makes complicated or mundane tasks reveal insights into the character, or makes them just plain entertaining to read. From cooking to neurosurgery to squash to the sad state of his mother – no situation is too blase for McEwan to string out so the beauty of the character within is revealed.
A thought provoking look into the humanity of today, what justice really is, and the way we come to really appreciate what we have in life, in family, in love even in spite of the quarrels.