Amsterdam – Ian McEwan

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.

“He would work through the night and sleep until lunch. There wasn’t really much else to do. Make something, and die.” 

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.

Amsterdam: A Novel

MY RATING: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

PUBLISHED: 1998

GENRE: Literary

PAGES: 208

AWARDS: Man Booker 1998 Winner

ALSO BY: Nutshell, The Innocent

“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.”

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