Saturday. Ah, Saturday. So ruddy clever, choosing the title ‘Saturday’. Because you can work out what that Ian McEwan chap has done there, can’t you? He’s taken the most enjoyable part of the week and, through a worthy expatiation on Iraq set on a single day in London, turned it into a really tedious novel. Or perhaps the fun part is trying to work out how a Mercedes-driving superhero surgeon, who has sired a talented blues musician and an accomplished poet with his attractive high-flying lawyer wife, is somehow unable to have a single thought in his head that isn’t artificially placed there by the dullard narrator. (“The one thing Perowne thinks he knows about this war is that it’s going to happen. With or without the UN. The troops are in place, they’ll have to fight…” Not exactly Mrs Dalloway, is it?)
Bad novels reap good reviews all the time, but I haven’t read any other book where the gap between critical veneration and readers’ displeasure has been quite as large. Have a look at the comments here and decide for yourself.