zondag 31 januari 2010

A Day In The Life

For me, the joy of reading is that I can experience a different world, a different time, new perspectives, emotions and thoughts. It expands my world so much and sometimes makes me feel like I am able to live more than one life. That’s why I enjoyed reading “Saturday”, from Ian McEwan. It gave me the chance to experience the word of a well-to-do, English male, living in London. He’s 48-years old, just like Mark. That gave it an extra dimension.

Ever since I saw the movie Atonement I’ve been interested to read something from McEwan. I picked up a book from him in the library, a few weeks ago, but since it handled about the kidnap of a young child I didn’t dare reading it. Last time they had ‘Saturday” on the shelf, and I took it with me. I liked it. It’s an account of a Saturday in 2003 in the life of brain surgeon Henry Perowne. I saw Henry perform his surgeries, as a skilled technician. I felt him being moved by his son’s music, but not by his daughter’s poets. I read about his worries of a terrorist attack and his thoughts about the war against Iraq. The war may free the oppressed people there. I felt Henry’s love for his wife, but couldn’t identify with his will to win a squash game. Henry’s a bit bland, being more of an analytic type of person, but likable. Especially in the way he deals with his mother, who has dementia, and in the compassion he has for a villain who enters his life and house.
I know McEwan is regarded as a great contemporary writer, but he hasn’t stricken me, yet. I couldn’t find multiple layers in this work, or feel the built up tension other readers describe. The account of the aggression he encounters didn’t frighten me. The way he wrote that part made me stay on the outside. But I will try another work of McEwan (in Dutch, because the English would be to complicated) and see if I can find the greatness there.
For now, reading this book was just very pleasant.

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