On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a London crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday had been Molly’s lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence: Clive is Britain’s most successful modern composer, and Vernon is a newspaper editor. In the days that follow Molly’s funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences that neither could have foreseen..Basically a story about middle age men coming to terms with their lives – their work, their legacy, their meaning, their morality. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but then I think that’s the point.
Amsterdam is well written and witty. Some people don’t get it or like it – but I think McEwan’s stories are brilliant. The courage and conviction for the absurdity is one of the main reasons I like him as an author.
“He would work through the night and sleep until lunch. There wasn’t really much else to do. Make something, and die.”
“In a language as idiomatically stressed as English, opportunities for misreadings are bound to arise. By a mere backward movement of stress, a verb can become a noun, an act a thing. To refuse, to insist on saying no to what you believe is wrong, becomes at a stroke refuse, an insurmountable pile of garbage.”
MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
AWARDS: Man Booker 1998 Winner
NEXT UP: Nutshell, also by Ian McEwan.