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Winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize

'An exemplary novel, engrossing and sustained. It is undoubtedly McEwan's best.'
Anita Brookner

'McEwan writing on absolute top form.'
Daily Mail
Click cover to order a copy of the UK edition

Saturday is a novel set within a single day -- 15 February 2003. Henry Perowne is a contented man - a successful neurosurgeon, happily married to a newspaper lawyer, and enjoying good relations with his children, who are young adults. What troubles him is the state of the world - the impending war against Iraq, and a general darkening and gathering pessimism since the New York and Washington attacks two years before. On this particular Saturday morning, Perowne makes his way to his usual squash game with his anaesthetist, trying to avoid the hundreds of thousand of marchers filling the streets of London, protesting against the war. A minor accident in his car brings him into a confrontation with a small-time thug called Baxter. To Perowne's professional eye, something appears to be profoundly wrong with this young man. Baxter, in his turn, believes the surgeon has humiliated him, and visits the opulent Perowne home that evening, during a family reunion - with savage consequences that will lead Henry Perowne to deploy all his skills to keep this doomed figure alive.

Purchase this and other Ian McEwan books online.

London: Jonathan Cape, 2005. 279 p. (ISBN: 0224072994).

[Limited, signed edition] London: Jonathan Cape, 2005. 279 p. (ISBN: 0224076876).

New York: Nan A. Talese, 2005. 289 p. (ISBN: 0385511809).

Toronto: Random House Canada, 2005. 279 p. (ISBN: 0676977618).

New York: Random House Large Print, 2005. 418 p. (ISBN: 0375435328).

Zaterdag. (trans. by Rien Verhoef). Amsterdam: De Harmonie, 2005. 327 p. (ISBN: 9061697476). [Dutch].

Shabat. (trans. by Semadar Milo). Tel Aviv: `Am `oved, 2005. 324 p. (ISBN: 9651318090). [Hebrew].

Sábado. (trans. by Jaime Zulaika). Barcelona: Anagrama, 2005. 328 p. (ISBN: 8433970763). [Spanish].

Sobota. (trans. by Andrzej Szulc). Warszawa: A.A. Kurylowicz, 2005. 319 p. (ISBN: 837359275X). [Polish].

Saturday. (trans. by Bernhard Robben). Zurich: Diogenes, 2005. 386 p. (ISBN: 3257064942). [German].

London: Vintage, 2006. 279 p. (ISBN: 0099469685).

Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2006. 279 p. (ISBN: 0676977626).

New York: Anchor Books, 2006. 289 p. (ISBN: 1400076196).

Doyoobi (trans. by Taichi Koyama). Tokyo: Shincho-sha, 2007. 351 p. (ISBN-10: 4105900633 - softcover).

Click cover to order a copy of the American editionHenry Perowne's Fish Stew

Try your hand at preparing the dish featured in McEwan's best-selling novel Saturday. Presented in recipe format with slight revisions by McEwan.


'The Diagnosis', The New Yorker, 80:40, 20 & 27 December 2004: 116-129.

'Lily', Granta, 88, Winter 2004: 123-137.

'Collateral Damage', The Guardian, 15 January 2005: 4.

'Chapter One', NPR Weekend Edition, 19 March 2005.

'Chapter One', New York Times Book Review, 20 March 2005.

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide for Saturday can be found on the Random House Saturday Website.

Literary Criticism

Fischer, Pascal. 'Literature and Medicine in Ian McEwan's Saturday' The Writing Cure: Literature and Medicine in Context. Eds. Alexandra Lembert-Heidenreich and Jarmila Mildorf. Münster: LIT, 2013, 95-111.

Reviews & Interviews

Weich, Dave. 'Ian McEwan, Reinventing Himself Still', Powells.com, 1 April 2004. (Novel in progress at the time.)

Graham-Harrison, Emma. 'McEwan Takes Scalpel to Anxiety in New Novel', Reuters, 11 April 2004. (Novel in progress at the time.)

Caminada, Carlos. 'Ian McEwan, Finishing New Novel, Ponders World After Sept. 11', Bloomberg.com, 16 July 2004. (Novel in progress at the time.)

Page, Benedicte. 'A Happy Man in Wartime', The Bookseller, 25 November 2004.

Cowell, Alan. 'Ian McEwan Hints at a Coming Novel', New York Times, 6 December 2004: E3. [Free registration required.]

'Saturday', Kirkus Reviews, 15 January 2005.

Cavendish, Lucy. 'Absent Parents, an Angry Ex, and a Curious Obsession with Dead Bodies', Evening Standard, 17 January 2005: 23. [Interview].

Lawson, Mark. 'Against the Flow', The Guardian, 22 January 2005: 9.

Freeman, John. 'Deft Knife Twist of Literary Anxiety', Toronto Star, 22 January 2005: H13 [Profile / Interview; Reprinted as 'Pleasure and Pain', Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), 5 February 2005: D15; reprinted as 'Collateral Damage', Ottawa Citizen, 13 February 2005: C8; reprinted as 'Collateral Damage', The Calgary Herald (Alberta), 26 February 2005: G3; reprinted as 'McEwan Explores Anxiety's Hold on Pleasure', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 March 2005: C4; reprinted as 'Conscious Matter', Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 20 March 2005: Books 1; reprinted as 'Getting Inside a Man's Head', Hartford Courant (Connecticut), 20 March 2005: G2; reprinted as 'Talking with Ian McEwan', Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), 20 March 2005: E6; reprinted as 'Novelist Juxtaposes Anxiety, Pleasure', Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 21 March 2005: D1].

Gerard, Jasper. 'The Conversion of Mr Macabre', The Sunday Times, 23 January 2005: Review 5 [Interview].

McCrum, Robert. 'The Story of His Life', The Observer, 23 January 2005: Review 5 [Profile].

Harrison, Sophie. 'Happy Families', New Statesman, 24 January 2005: 48-49.

Sexton, David. 'One Saturday after 9/11', Evening Standard, 24 January 2005: 69.

O'Connell, John. 'Brain Storm', Time Out, 26 January 2005: 12-14.

Hennessy, Val. 'The Enemy on Our Doorstep', Daily Mail (London), 28 January 2005: 55.

Tonkin, Boyd. 'The Difference a Day Makes', The Independent (London), 28 January 2005: 24-25; expanded version published as 'A Saturday in February', Belfast Telegraph, 5 February 2005 [Interview].

Brookner, Anita. 'A Day in the Life of a Surgeon', The Spectator, 29 January 2005: 38.

Fray, Peter. 'The Enduring Talent of Ian McEwan', The Age, 29 January 2005; also published in The Sydney Morning Herald.

Hefner, Robert. 'Have Mercy: Subtle Study of Moral Sympathies', Canberra Times (Australia), 29 January 2005: A12.

Hitchings, Henry. 'What a Difference a Day Makes', Financial Times (London), 29 January 2005: 29.

Jones, Lewis. 'London, 15-02-03 (Novel of the Week)', Daily Telegraph (London), 29 January 2005: 9.

Scurr, Ruth. 'Happiness on a Knife-edge', Times (London), 29 January 2005: Review 13.

Sorensen, Rosemary. 'From a Position of Trust', Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia), 29 January 2005: M6.

Adams, Tim. 'When Saturday Comes', The Observer (London), 30 January 2005.

Brown, Craig. 'The Thriller That's a Real Brainteaser', Mail on Sunday, 30 January 2005: 73.

Deveney, Catherine. 'First Love, Last Writes', Scotland on Sunday, 30 January 2005: 16 [Profile / Interview].

Kemp, Peter. 'Master of the Mind Game', Sunday Times (London), 30 January 2005: 41.

Moore, Caroline. 'A Brutal Invasion of Privacy', Sunday Telegraph (London), 30 January 2005: 12.

Sharp, Iain. 'Saturday's All Right for Fighting', Sunday Star-Times (Auckland, New Zealand), 30 January 2005: 8.

Urquhart, James. 'The Brain Inside the Skull Beneath the Skin', Independent on Sunday (London), 30 January 2005: 30.

'PW Forcasts: Fiction', Publishers Weekly, 31 January 2005: 48.

Kohn, Marek. 'Grandeur of the Mind Over Matter', Independent (London), 4 February 2005: 28.

'March of the Day', Ham & High, 4 February 2005.

Martin, Andrew. 'Day-in-the-Life Format Is a Fine Piece of Work', The Express, 4 February 2005: 54.

Sutton, Henry. 'When Saturday Comes', The Mirror, 4 February 2005: 10.

'The Thinker', The Economist, 5 February 2005.

Adair, Tom. 'Anyone for Menace?' Scotsman, 5 February 2005: 12.

Battersby, Eileen. 'A Life in a Day', Irish Times, 5 February 2005: 12.

Brice, Chris. 'A Day in the Life', The Advertiser, 5 February 2005: W09.

Dening, Penelope. 'The Master of Literary Menace', Irish Times, 5 February 2005: 11 [Interview].

'You Really Must Read...', Sunday Times (London), 6 February 2005: 55.

Cribb, Tim. 'Saturday', South China Morning Post, 6 February 2005: 8.

Crumey, Andrew. 'Perils of Seizing the Day', Scotland on Sunday, 6 February 2005: 8.

Taylor, Alan. 'What a Difference a Day Makes', Sunday Herald, 6 February 2005 [Includes interview].

Tait, Theo. 'Ian McEwan's Longest Day', Times Literary Supplement, 9 February 2005.

Bradley, James. 'A Detailed Life in the Day', The Age, 12 February 2005.

Gordon, Maxine. 'Saturday', This is York, 12 February 2005.

Chong, Kevin. 'One Fine Day', Ottawa Citizen, 13 February 2005: C8.

Marchand, Philip. 'One Day in the Life of Henry', Toronto Star, 13 February 2005.

Crompton, Sarah. 'Will Anyone Ever Say Anything Bad about Ian McEwan's Novel? ', Daily Telegraph (London), 16 February 2005: 23.

Dohy, Leanne. 'Consciousness Examined: Novelist Puts One Day under a Sharp Lens ', The Calgary Herald (Alberta), 19 February 2005: G4.

Helwig, David. 'An Eventful Day', The Gazette (Montreal), 19 February 2005: H1.

Hollingshead, Greg. 'A Day Off, and Life Intrudes', National Post (Canada), 19 February 2005: WP12.

Fysh, Eloise. 'Saturday: Ian McEwan', This is Wiltshire, 23 February 2005; reprinted in This is Hampshire, 26 February 2005.

Wostear, Sam. 'Saturday', The Sun, 25 February 2005.

'Splendid Page Turner', Herald Express (Torquay), 26 February 2005: 24.

Bethune, Brian. 'Mind Over Matter', Maclean's (Canada), 28 February 2005: 47.

Rosenheim, Andrew. 'The Voice of Modern British Fiction', Publishers Weekly, 28 February 2005: S16 [Interview].

Kirsch, Adam. 'A Thoughtful Novel for a Panicky Time', The Sun (New York), 2 March 2005: 15.

Tayler, Christopher. 'A Knife at the Throat', London Review of Books, 27:5, 3 March 2005: 31+.

Bhowmick, Samyukta. 'A Day in the Life', Business Standard, 4 March 2005.

Simpson, Stuart. 'Walking among the Lonely Crowd ', Spiked, 4 March 2005.

'McEwan Aiming for "Documentary Sense"', Globe and Mail, 5 March 2005 [Interview].

McKay, John. 'Saturday: Ian McEwan', Canada.com, 8 March 2005.

Schiefer, Nancy. 'Superb Prose Drives Compelling Tale of 24 Hours in Surgeon's Life', Edmonton Journal (Alberta), 6 March 2005: D11 [Reprinted as 'Some Days Are Just Like That', London Free Press (Ontario), 12 March 2005: D8].

Sands, Sarah. 'How Dare a Novelist Love His Wife?', Telegraph, 12 March 2005.

Morris, Paula. 'A Day in the Life', New Zealand Listener, 12-18 March 2005.

Fertile, Candace. 'McEwan Shows Brilliance in Plot, Characters and Dazzling Prose', Times Colonist (Victoria, British Columbia), 13 March 2005: D11.

Gorra, Michael. 'Mind over Gray Matter', Los Angeles Times Book Review, 13 March 2005: 7.

Schiff, James. 'A "Mrs. Dalloway" for Post-9/11 World', The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina), 13 March 2005: G5.

Signor, Randy Michael. 'One Day in February: Metaphor for a Life ', Chicago Sun-Times, 13 March 2005: 13.

Hoffert, Barbara. 'Saturday', Library Journal Reviews, 15 March 2005: 68.

Lim, Dennis. 'The Life of Brain', Village Voice, 15 March 2005.

Kakutani, Michiko. 'A Hero With 9/11 Peripheral Vision', New York Times, 18 March 2005: 37.

Sen, Aveek. 'My City Square: Happiness Is a Hard Nut to Crack', The Telegraph (Calcutta, India), 18 March 2005.

Simon, Scott. 'Interview with Ian McEwan', NPR Weekend Edition, 19 March 2005 [Listen to the interview online via the NPR Website].

McKay, John. 'Spend a Lovely Saturday in London', Ottawa Sun, 19 March 2005: 45.

Charbonneua, Jean. 'A Doomsday Scenario', Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Wisconsin), 20 March 2005: E6.

Dirda, Michael. 'Shattered', Washington Post Book World, 20 March 2005: T1, 15.

Heller, Zoe. 'One Day in the Life', New York Times Book Review, 20 March 2005: 1.

Hoover, Bob. 'A Clockwork Novel', Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 20 March 2005: C4.

Levasseur, Jennifer. 'One Fine Day', Times-Picayune (New Orleans), 20 March 2005: Books 6.

McCarthy, Sean L. 'Mind Over Matters Is Brit Doc's Mantra', Boston Herald, 20 March 2005: 46.

McGee, Celia. 'Time's Arrow', Daily News (New York), 20 March 2005: 18.

Miller, Gregory. 'Saturday, Bloody Saturday', San Diego Union-Tribune, 20 March 2005: Books 1.

Shreve, Anita. 'Day Tripper', Boston Globe, 20 March 2005: D6.

Wakefield, Richard. 'A Day Like No Other Ticks Away', The Seattle Times, 20 March 2005: K8.

Wiegand, David. 'Nowhere Man', San Francisco Chronicle, 20 March 2005: E1.

Gates, David. 'Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting', Newsweek, 21 March 2005: 60.

Lacayo, Richard. 'A Day In The Life', Time Magazine, 21 March 2005: 70.

Zipp, Yvonne. 'One Wild Day in a Doctor's Life', Christian Science Monitor, 22 March 2005: 15.

Donahue, Deirdre. 'Sleepy Saturday Is No Sunday Picnic', USA Today, 24 March 2005: 5D.

Bateman, Geoffrey. 'Exquisite Post-9/11 Tale', Rocky Mountain News (Denver), 25 March 2005: 24.

Bernhard, Brendan. '24', LA Weekly, 25 March 2005: 42.

Dubail, Jean. 'A Long Trip to a Happy Finish Stifles Saturday', Plain Dealer (Cleveland), 25 March 2005: E1.

'McEwan's Saturday: One Heck of a Start to the Weekend', Chattanooga Times Free Press (Tennessee), 27 March 2005: F6.

Baker, Jeff. 'Woke Up, Fel Out of Bed, Saw a Plane', Sunday Oregonian (Portland, Oregon), 27 March 2005: D6.

Barra, Allen. 'Living through Saturday', Houston Chronicle, 27 March 2005: 19.

Freeman, John. 'Mystery, Terror Coexist in Provocative Novel of Consciousness', St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 27 March 2005: E8.

Herman, Carol. 'When Love and Terror Meet', Washington Times, 27 March 2005: B6.

Littwin, Mike. 'Dread Clock', Baltimore Sun, 27 March 2005: 8.

Phillips, Jeb. 'Saturday: Novel Continues Impressive Streak', Columbus Dispatch (Ohio), 27 March 2005: 7.

Begley, Adam. 'Sage of Anxiety', New York Observer, 28 March 2005: 1.

McGrath, Charles. 'A Literary Star Who Finds Art in Happiness, Not Pain', New York Times, 31 March 2005: E1.

Hitchens, Christopher. 'Civilization and Its Malcontents', Atlantic Monthly, April 2005.

Beale, Lewis. 'Ian McEwan Still a Virtuoso in Playing on Readers' Fears', Los Angeles Times, 1 April 2005: E1.

Cox, Christopher. 'Homeland Insecurity', Boston Herald, 1 April 2005: E29.

Sibree, Bron. 'Stretching the Luck', Courier Mail (Queensland, Australia), 2 April 2005: M6.

Lythgoe, Dennis. 'McEwan at His Best in Saturday', Deseret Morning News (Salt Lake City), 3 April 2005.

Muchnick, Laure. 'The Age of Anxiety', Newsday (New York), 3 April 2005: C27.

Murray, Steve. 'Post-9/11 Fiction: Family's Bliss Survives Threat of Violence', Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3 April 2005: 8.


Click cover to order a copy of the Canadian edition

'McEwan has found in Saturday the right form
to showcase his dazzling talents.'
Caroline Moore, Sunday Telegraph

'...a model of the novelist's art.'
Andrew Martin, The Express

Novels:    The Cement Garden    The Comfort of Strangers    The Child in Time    The Innocent    Black Dogs       
Enduring Love    Amsterdam    Atonement    Saturday    On Chesil Beach   Solar   Sweet Tooth
The Children Act
Stories:    First Love, Last Rites    In Between the Sheets   
  Children's Fiction:    Rose Blanche    The Daydreamer   
Screenplays:    The Imitation Game & Other Plays    The Ploughman's Lunch    Soursweet  
Oratorio / Libretto:    Or Shall We Die?      For You

Last update: 14 December 2014
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