Saturday, February 15, 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon, the devoted husband of Rosalind and proud father of two grown-up children. Unusually, he wakes before dawn, drawn to the window of his bedroom and filled with a growing unease. What troubles him as he looks out at the night sky is the state of the world - the impending war against Iraq, a gathering pessimism since 9/11, and a fear that his city and his happy family life are under threat.
Later, Perowne makes his way to his weekly squash game through London streets filled with hundreds of thousands of anti-war protestors. A minor car accident brings him into a confrontation with Baxter, a fidgety, aggressive, young man, on the edge of violence. To Perowne's professional eye, there appears to be something profoundly wrong with him.
Towards the end of a day rich in incident and filled with Perowne's celebrations of life's pleasures, his family gathers for a reunion. But with the sudden appearance of Baxter, Perowne's earlier fears seem about to be realised.
Dazzling. Profound and urgent
The supreme novelist of his generation
He remains at the top of his game - assured, accomplished and ambitious
Richly laden. McEwan pulls out all the stops. A rich book, sensuous and thoughtful. McEwan has found in Saturday the right form to showcase his dazzling talents
A book of great moral maturity, beautifully alive to the fragility of happiness and all forms of violence... Everyone should read Saturday... Artistically, morally and politically, he excels
The author to follow Machines Like Me with a ‘political satire in the old tradition’ this month.
From alternative realities to machine learning, Ian McEwan discusses the questions raised in Machines Like Me and how the dytopian novel is really about the present.