1. Come now, Ed, Saturday has plenty of merits. Now, if Allio lost out to Michael Crichton, *that* would be jumping the shark.

  2. I hate to say it, but for the first time in a veeeerrrrrrry long time, I’m beginning to feel as if I’m not entirely crazy. While I loved Allio’s gorgeous sentences, I felt exactly the same way while reading Garner. I, just like Whitney Pastorek, have been sure that it denotes a grand failing on my part. But, geez, it feels nice to not be the only one who doesn’t like a book that everyone I respect adores.

    I know. I’m probably missing something.

  3. Saturday is a interesting if flawed novel that deals with one of the most hackneyed themes in contemporary fiction: an affluent middle-aged man undergoing a personal crisis. Now granted, it’s McEwan who’s running with this theme. And a lesser McEwan is better than most writers.

    But Garner, by contrast, is more interesting in style and theme, and it also deals with a very unusual range of perspectives. Plus, as Scott says, it’s about as lean and tight a novel as one could possibly read. In fact, if anything, Garner‘s precision is reminiscent of McEwan at his best.

    As to Garner being universally praised, did it really get the amount of coverage that Saturday did? Did we really see Garner covered in every Sunday literary supplement from here to Des Moines? Hardly.

  4. Entertainment Weekly has some of the best book reviews around. Minimal wank and often informative on who the book is likely to appeal to and why. Stop being such a snob Eddie. Plus, Ms. Pastorek also edits (or at least edited) a well thought of journal, Pindeldyboz.

  5. I agree the review was weird, but can’t second the trashing of EW — which I often like and agree with. I think Garner is one of those books that you either get sucked into the reading experience and the lushness of it, or you don’t. I loved it, but I can see how some people would be left cold.

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