Book Reviews,  Europe,  FICTION,  Psychology

Saturday by Ian McEwan ** (of 4)

Both of my parents, and the critics, raved about this book, so take my review cautiously. The story revolves around the meticulously described single day of a neurosurgeon in London as he wrestles the inner demons we all face — self doubt, fatigue, the challenge of ageing, parenting — and the external terroristic demons of the post 9/11 world. The author provides exceptional insight into the protagonist’s state of mind while playing off a turbulent backdrop of an anti-Iraq-war protest in London. A squash game covers a dozen pages and is described so accurately you can hear the ball pop off the front wall. In fact, you’ll be breathless and perspiring by the fourth of five games. On the upside, too, the main characters are all nice people. The neurosurgeon’s family, in contrast to the depressing majority of recent publications, is entirely functional. Perhaps, it was my mood, however, but all the detail left me impatient for action. At least for the first half of the book, the part I read, not much of consequence happens. It’s just one long day, Saturday, in the life of a doctor. Obviously, if you’re in the right mood, this book could be a winner. July 2005.