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Books, Journals, New Media
September 14, 2005


JAMA. 2005;294(10):1279-1280. doi:10.1001/jama.294.10.1279

Dr Henry Perowne, a London neurosurgeon, awakens in the middle of the night, strolls to his bedroom window, and sees a burning plane hurtling toward Heathrow Airport. He might take the occurrence as a harbinger of the momentously unsettling day to come. But Perowne is not a man inclined to believe in portents.

Would that he were.

Fear of terrorism hangs in the background of Saturday, Ian McEwan’s latest novel, like an evil apparition, first conjured by the flaming aircraft and later made explicit by Perowne’s musings: “There are people around the planet, well-connected and organized, who would like to kill him and his family to make a point.” Toward the end of Saturday Perowne’s reflections hover—haunting—eerily prescient: