LEO TOLSTOY IN THE opening line of his great work, Anna Karenina, claims “All happy families are alike.” So why write about them? Readers have always had a fascination with families wrought with pain, revenge, betrayal, strife, murder, infidelity and the like. On the other hand, Ian McEwan creates a protagonist, Henry Perowne, whose happiness and contented family life is envious, while still leaving the fascination of the story intact. So what happens when everything in your private family life is so perfect and intact? Saturday more than attempts to answer this question.
Henry Perowne is a successful neurosurgeon, a modern man of science. He’s a reductionist, so human beings and the wonders of the mind like morality and love are derived from matter in the brain. The complex system of human beings is nothing but the sum of its parts. Perowne loathes literature, poetry and religion. He feels literature is disconnected from what is “real” life and sums everything up too neatly, and religion unhinges psychosis and cruelty as people live for the afterlife rather than the present.
My mind is absolutely scrambled. I am currently reading Saturday by Ian McEwan for the second time. I finished reading if for the first time about a day ago. You know when you read a book and you think you have it all figured out but then something in the book completely throws your line of thinking off? Well this is what I am currently experiencing with Saturday. Ian McEwan definitely did not spare the details with this book and I am once again treading through his words to either support or debunk where I think he is going or has gone. So far this book has garnered all of my attention in more ways than I wish to admit. Interestingly, its not the story nor the characters that grab me. It’s the words and the way they are laid across the page, it’s his premise that you think you have grabbed and hold firmly to, but in the end feel it slipping away out of your grasp. So once again I find myself rummaging through his words, hoping that on the second round I have a more firm grip.
THE BEFORE AND THEN the after. Two distinct realities experienced by Miles Halter (nicknamed “Pudge”), the protagonist, in Looking for Alaska. It is also the way that John Green has broken up the novel, starting off with Before and midway through the novel continuing with After. This can’t be explained further without spoiling the story.
Miles Halter is a loner and lives a pretty mundane and uneventful life in Florida with his parents and has an obsession with the last words of famous people. In fact, It is the last words of a poet Francois Rabelais “I go to seek a Great Perhaps” that propels Miles’ desire to experience something new that is not as predictable and mundane as his current life.
In pursuit of The Great Perhaps, Miles attends a boarding school away from home in Alabama and he meets his roommate “The Colonel” (Chip Martin) who is a short, fearless, math genius who
LET ME FIRST BEGIN by saying that I am a completely unadulterated John Green reader, as this is the first John Green book that I have ever read.
I absolutely loved this book! Somehow I found myself stopping, dropping, rolling and roaring with laughter when reading Paper Towns. This book is definitely on fire with humour.
The book starts off with a prologue about a man named Dr. Jefferson Jefferson who you think is a doctor. However, It turns out that he is an orange juice salesman who made Jefferson his middle name and changed his first name to Dr.
This sort of highlights one of the major themes of the book; that is, people are not really what we make them out to be.
Further along; we meet the gorgeous, unattainable, adventurous, outgoing dream girl Margo Roth Spiegelman and the nerdy, subdued, less impulsive Quentin Jacobsen who live next door to each other in an Orlando subdivision. Quentin is totally enamored with Margo and describes her as,”The most fantastical gorgeous creature that God had ever created.”
At the age of nine they find a dead man name Robert Joyner slumped against the trunk of an oak tree. This discovery and Margo’s investigation into his mysterious death is the starting point of their journey of self discovery and revelation.