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.
It's fascinating that the reviews for this book are either raves or rants. I agree with the first reviewer: If I could give this zero stars I would. 1.5 of the 10.5 hours were of some interest to me, which leaves 9 hours for such stimulating events as, what would probably amount to 10 pages, on a squash match, or a very in depth description of Henry's mother's dimentia. How this book lands on any respected list of books of the year is more intriguing than any part of the book. Listen to "The History of Love" or "The Secret Life of Bees" not this overhyped book.
My God what a waste of effort trying to get through this piece of useless boring dribble. I have never written a book review before because I have never been so moved to do so. If I could have rated this a "0" or even less I would have. I kept waiting and waitning and waiting for something to happen........... it never did - only the long drawn out thoughts of the main character, or long and boring descriptions of the landscape. Take my word for it - DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME ON THIS ONE when there are so many wonderful alternatives !!!
"Seinfeld" was called the sitcom about nothing. This is a novel about nothing. Sherlock Holmes could not find a plot in this awful hodgepodge.
I finished this novel while hoping that there was something redemptive on the way. It was not to be. If you enjoy watching paint dry, then this is a book for you.
If there is a story amoung all the discriptive phrases I have not found it. Long boring discriptions of the characters every thought. If you need a very strong sleep aid this is it. CAUTION!! DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS BOOK WHILE DRIVING.
Saturday is a total disaster for anyone looking for good literature. While the audiobook production is first rate, the substance isn't there: the narrative is just that, the author flashing a fancy vocabulary while describing characters and their actions. As a result, the characters are totally one dimensional - I think it is almost an hour in before there is even dialogue. Characters come alive by their actions, words and thoughts (e.g., Lonesome Dove, Vernon God Little), not by pure description.
It seemed as though the work was trying to imitate "To the Lighthouse" and the introspection of the author, but the character here is a boring middle-aged man with no particular insights of any significance. DON'T waste your money.
Disappointing... kept waiting for the story to begin.... guess this is a day in the life... but did not bring the reader in enough to care for the characters that were described in an interesting fashion...
Usually love McEwan...not this time!