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Pickle Me This

September 21, 2006

Saturday

I would sum up Saturday by Ian Mcewan with the word “devastating”. Numerous times, I could not bear the tension and had to flip ahead just to make sure things worked out (and this is not my usual practice). The climax was incredibly awful (in a marvelously written way) and it was not until the book was just about over that I realized I had hardly breathed for most of the end of it. And when I was finished, I felt spent, as though I’d been crying for an hour. Not that I was upset or even sad, but just so swept up in the narrative and it made me want to crawl up onto my rooftop and shout something. And so devastating, but incredible. There is beauty in this text, and as I finished reading this on my front porch under blue skies, I couldn’t help but see it everywhere. I found particularly interesting what a bearing history has had on this book. It takes place in 2003, and it’s sort of amazing to think of how different it would read if the world had gone another way. Which makes me think of how this works with so many works. How history keeps on reworking texts for us, developing new approaches and meanings. The multudinous possibilities.

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