Saturday Barely Alive

If you have heard me raving about this many many times in the last week I am sorry but really Ian McEwan's Saturday! It is maddening. I will leave you to read the plot somewhere else.

McEwan has been criticised for putting the anti-war movement in the background like so much pretty foliage. Perowne, the protagonist who is a neurosurgeon has his mixed opinions about the war but mostly is for the war since he believes his Iraqi patients suffered in the Saddam Hussein regime. one does not need Perowne to be a flag-waving leftie. One does not need him to be a flag-waving rightie. One does not need him to have magically charged or changed opinions by the end of the book. It does not work quite that way and its not an author's job to preach homilies. And to quote Annie, one cannot teach people anything.

But dude, what the hell happens to these characters? The perfect beauty of some McEwan sentences does not disguise the lack of tension in the damn plot. Beginning of story: Rich man, pretty children, lovely house, successful, loving wife End of story: Rich man, pretty children, lovely house, successful,loving wife. Not that I wanted him to lose a limb. Not that I wanted the characters to be unhappy. I am all for plotless charm and good cheer in fiction. I don't even imagine that the Perownes should be any less than the smug white people they are. Angsty Perownes would have been annoying. I don't need to like them. I just need to care, even mildly, about what happens to them. Oh what a overrated bore this has been. And Mr McEwan in re: the young Ms Perowne's poetry... it is similiarly dull. Britain's Bad Boy is now being read by PM wannabes...I guess we now know why.

The Guardian digested its digested read of Saturday thus:

McNasty serves up a McHappy Meal.


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