Ellis chooses his Christmas books. Here he is (not for the first time) on Ian McEwan's Saturday:
A scandal far greater than the Dreyfus case, a betrayal more historic than that of Judas – the failure of the Booker Prize judges to award the prize to what is quite simply the most outstanding novel of the decade was (and I do not say this lightly) the single most shocking and tragic event of 2005.
No one has ever captured the joy of Mercedes ownership quite so movingly before - or the Greek epic dimensions of a game of squash. No one understands the problems of the modern world more acutely than McEwan, or the sinister destructive forces that threaten a quiet Saturday – namely, the working class, many of whom are in the grip of an uncontrollable disease which makes them belligerent and violent; a ghastly rabble of selfish, stupid anti-war marchers; incomprehensible Muslims, some of whom are quite literally mad.
Ian McEwan brilliantly reminds us that there are small-minded people and fanatics everywhere, full of resentment toward those of us for whom the only word is civilised.