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Amsterdamby Ian McEwan
Winner of the 1998 Booker Prize
A Globe and Mail Notable Book of 1998
Synopses & Reviews
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 editor of the newspaper The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had other lovers, too, notably Julian Garmony, Foreign Secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister.
In the days that follow Molly's funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences that neither could have foreseen. Each will make a disastrous moral decision, their friendship will be tested to its limits, and Julian Garmony will be fighting for his political life. A sharp contemporary morality tale, cleverly disguised as a comic novel, Amsterdam is "as sheerly enjoyable a book as one is likely to pick up this year" (The Washington Post Book World).
"By far his best work to date...an energizing tightrope between feeling and lack of feeling, between humanity's capacity to support and save and its equally ubiquitous penchant for detachment and cruelty." The San Diego Union-Tribune
"Ian McEwan has proven himself to be one of Britain's most distinct voices and one of its most versatile talents....Chilling and darkly comic." Chicago Tribune
"Beautifully spare prose, wicked observation, and dark comic brio." The Boston Globe
"A well-oiled machine....Ruthless and amusing." The New York Times Book Review
"A dark tour de force...perfectly fashioned." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"McEwan writes the sort of witty repartee and scathing retort we wished we thought of in the heat of battle. On a broader scale, McEwan's portrayal of the mutually parasitic relationship between politicians and journalists is as damning as it is comic." The Christian Science Monitor
"[A] smartly written tale that devolves slowly into tricks and soapy vapors....Middle-brow fiction British style, strong on the surface, vapid at the center." Kirkus Reviews
"[McEwan's] ingenious conte cruel possesses the lightness of touch and split-second plotting of an operetta....There is no huffing and puffing, no waste, no mess. Every sentence carries the fugue-like plot forward to the final catastrophe." Michael Dirda, The Washington Post Book World
"[M]ordantly clever — but ultimately too clever for its own good....
"Like other...McEwan novels, Amsterdam is a good thing in a small package: pungent, philosophical and beautifully written." Ben Greenman, Time Out New York
"Mr. McEwan writes a distinctively unadorned prose that speeds the reader along, but slows every so often for a layered, luxuriant image." Daphne Merkin, The New Yorker
"A study of the fragility of life — with its capacity for joy, genius, loss and betrayal...a captivating pleasure." The Wall Street Journal
The wickedly comic Booker Prize winner. On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a crematorium to pay their last respects to the woman who had been a lover to both of them. In the days that follow the funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact that will have consequences that neither man could have foreseen.
About the Author
Ian McEwan has written two collections of short stories — First Love, Last Rites and In Between the Sheets — as well as seven novels: The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, The Child in Time, The Innocent, Black Dogs, The Daydreamer, and most recently, Enduring Love.
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