I've just finished reading Ian McEwan's novel Saturday, a book I picked up because I had loved his Atonement. Saturday is a different sort of book. Halfway through, I was getting impatient because it seemed that not much had happened, and such events as had occurred, seemed random and not tied together. And this even though I have a high tolerance for slow pacing.
But then about three-quarters of the way through, McEwan began to weave his tale more tightly, and by the end, it was brilliant. Everything fit. This is a book about, essentially, life itself. Henry Perowne is a neurosurgeon who has it all: sterling professional reputation, strong marriage, riches, wonderful kids. But he lives in London in 2003, and the membrane is thin between his life and violence: street violence, the violence brewing in Iraq, the violence built into mis-copied genes. Henry slides temporarily through that membrane, and it deepens his sense of the fragility of all the good things in his life, not in a Pollyanna-ish way but in a richly complicated manner. One reviewer called this "a mature look at our world," and it is.
Read this book. And thank you, Craig, for recommending it.