McEwan, Ian Amsterdam

ISBN 13: 9780099289579

Amsterdam

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9780099289579: Amsterdam

On a chilly February day two old friends meet in the throng outside a 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 as Britain's most successful modern composer, Vernon as editor of the quality broadsheet, The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had 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 that will have consequences neither has 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.

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Review:

When good-time, fortysomething Molly Lane dies of an unspecified degenerative illness, her many friends and numerous lovers are led to think about their own mortality. Vernon Halliday, editor of the up-market newspaper The Judge, persuades his old friend Clive Linley, a self-indulgent composer of some reputation, to enter into a euthanasia pact with him. Should either of them succumb to such an illness, the other will effect his death. From this point onwards we are in little doubt as to the novel's outcome--it's only a matter of who will kill whom. In the meantime, compromising photographs of Molly's most distinguished lover, foreign secretary Julian Garmony, have found their way into the hands of the press, and as rumours circulate he teeters on the edge of disgrace. However, this is McEwan, so it is no surprise to find that the rather unsavoury Garmony comes out on top. McEwan is master of the writer's craft, and while this is the sort of novel that wins prizes, his characters remain curiously soulless amidst the twists and turns of plot. --Lisa Jardine

Review:

" Amsterdam is brilliantly engineered and marvellously entertaining" ( Evening Standard)

"Full of gusto, straightforward and delivers blows to the gut..shocking" (A.S. Byatt Literary Review)

"The novel twists and turns unexpectedly... McEwan has a master's control over his instrument" ( Sunday Times)

"A psychologically brilliant study of heartlessness...superbly done...gripping" ( Sunday Telegraph)

"Easily his most enjoyable book.. McEwan writes here with unobstrusive panache" ( Daily Telegraph)

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McEwan, Ian
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ISBN 10: 0099289571 ISBN 13: 9780099289579
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McEwan, Ian
Published by Doubleday (1999)
ISBN 10: 0099289571 ISBN 13: 9780099289579
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