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Saturday - Ian McEwan Ian McEwan is my favorite author I have to hate. when I was 17-19, I despised most of all "weak tea" poets and writers: people whose dealt with middle-age, old-age, their dog, their cat. since then, I have grown to understand there are gradations within this sort of work, but McEwan always feels "right on the verge" of being great. the ending of Atonement, the bold themes merely hinted at but never developed in Saturday.

isn't this the weakness of this great, great stylist? think, Atonement, topic matter: the British upper class. but no insight into the actual dynamics, just a little speculation on upstairs-downstairs relationships. Saturday: topic is neurosurgery, terrorism, street crime. but it's not Terminal Man, it's not Good Terrorist, it's not Children of Men.

aughhhh... somebody strap a pair of Royal Marine boots on this guy and throw him out of an airplane. a little exposure to the rough and gritty world of war will give this writer the ability to Write About Great Things.

but okay, I'm being a little harsh. for what is attempted, clearly a jump ahead of Anita Brookner. for stylistic "mood approach," McEwan is even and elegiacal. 3/5, but pushing 4.