I can't imagine this book being read any better
I have listened to hundreds of audio books. This is my favorite of all and the only novel I've ever listened twice. Capturing the various thoughts of a person's everyday thoughts, feelings and ideas so well and yet so subtlety was very impressive and is what makes this book a masterpiece, in my opinion. My favorite audio book and possibly my favorite of any book I have ever read.
I was reading the book for a class on 21st Century British Lit. Had I not been reading this for a class, I may not have made it to the end. It took a very long time for anything at all to happen and when it finally did... Well, you will see... if you make it that far. There's a dragging quality, lots of day dreaming and set up for later occurrences. Not as much a question of time well spent as just the fact that it takes a really long time to finally feel like you are into the plot.
There are lots of changes I would have made to make it a little more believable. However, I would be giving away the story and since there's not much that happens I would like to leave a little suspense for future readers.
The narration is very slow and has lots of pauses. I had downloaded on my Mac and for some reason this recording would not allow me to speed up the narration.
I really see no need for a follow up book.
I really enjoyed this book! All of the action takes place in 24 hours and the prose is quite beautiful.
I have read some critical reviews of this novel -- it's slow, it's boring, and so on. Maybe it's because I like literary novels and enjoy careful thought and the philosophy that can be found in the mundane, but I did not find this book boring at all. Sure, if you have been raised on thrillers and mysteries, this may not be the book for you, but if you like to actually think about your characters, about the politics of your world, then this will be a meaningful book for you.
Okay, so I know I can't actually marry a book, but I truly felt like I was involved in a lurid tryst with this novel, sneaking off to enjoy bits and pieces, pausing the book more often than usual to think about it, or just prolong the experience, because I knew when the book's time ran out, the love affair did as well.
The novel follows Henry Perowne through one Saturday of his life. It turns the usually female domestic novel on its head -- instead, Henry is the one picking up food for dinner that night; he is the one worrying about the children. It is not solely a domestic novel, though; it is set squarely in its political time, i.e., right before we invaded Iraq. The ambivalence and confusion of that time, the unknowns and the possible future, are perfectly captured. As he is British, Henry is just far enough removed that he can comment intelligently on the situation but can do nothing further than that. Protests in London show Great Britain's frustration but these were ultimately futile.
Henry gets into an altercation with a working class Englishman and the confrontation between their two worlds is revelatory. The climactic scene pools all of the sources for Henry's anxieties into one situation he is forced to confront.
It is astounding how well one can feel they know the characters in a novel like this, just by glimpsing one day of their lives. It makes one wonder how much would be revealed of ourselves in one day, if closely analyzed.
The writing is wonderful. How anyone could spend so much time writing about one day is beyond me. I didn't find the story that compelling but the writing was very good so perhaps it was worth it.
After listening to 'Solar' (my first Audible book) and being completely 'rapt', I found 'Saturday' not quite up to the high benchmark previously set. The scene between Henry and daughter Daisy was long, tedious and unconvincing in their dialogue, and the fact that Henry is allowed back to the hospital after a fairly heavy drinking session isn't up to McEwan's usual standards of getting the details just right. It also lacked the dry, wry,black humour in both the writing and the narration found in 'Solar' that I enjoyed so immensely. However all that said, 'Saturday' is still a well written and an enjoyable listening experience.
This book works especially well as an audiobook because it is a first person rendering - the thoughts of a happy, successful doctor as he lives through a series of very unsettling events. Literary fiction can be tough to follow in audio, but in this case the insights and descriptive passages came clearly through the voice of the key character.
I thought this novel was strong were it should have been understated while it was understated where it should have been strong.
The central story of the bad man who comes into the life of the protagonist sometimes seems a little thin, whereas the smallest detail of this day in the life story can be laid on a little thick.
The subplot of the Iraq War protests are very interesting seen from our current point of view.
This book bored me to tears, but I listened to the very end, hoping for something interesting to happen. It didn't. I failed to identify with any of the characters, and had no interest at all in their fates.
This audiobook is distinguished for its superb narration. It is difficult to imagine that a reading of the book would have produced as enjoyable an experience, because author McEwen crafts sentences that reveal both the attitude and interior character of a single person, one almost engaged in a monologue. The narrator expertly conveys the attitude along with the words.
The attitude is that of one who is completely content in his world and accustomed to possessing complete control over it-- until 9/11 shatters that sense (illusion?) of control. Perown strives to regain mastery of his world in a single Saturday that confounds his efforts to do so at every turn. In the end, Perown seems to concede that his efforts are a failure-- his world will remain ever unpredictable-- but what he has cobbled together is a serenity that he (and McEwen) shares with the reader. For the reader, and especially for the listener, it is an unanticipated pleasure to go along for the ride with the character, author and narrator.