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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply elegant
The link between all the characters is Molly, yet this story starts with her funeral. Her ghostly presence is forever present through the memories of the characters. Vernon Halliday is the editor of The Judge, Clive Linley the famous composer, Julian Garmony the Foreign Secretary and George the grieving husband. They all have intimate knowledge of her, which makes their...
Published 13 months ago by Tracey Madeley

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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cold in Amsterdam
Ian McEwan is, without a doubt, one of the greatest writers of dark fiction today. But his novella "Amsterdam" is something of a misfire, reading more like the sluggishly-filled-out outline for a novel rather than a novel itself. While it has the seeds of genius, his usual introspection and depth is both missing and sorely missed.

Molly Lane is dead, her mind...
Published on 25 Feb. 2007 by EA Solinas


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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Good Story, Good Twist, but missing something?, 17 Sept. 2001
This review is from: Amsterdam (Hardcover)
Amsterdam has a great story, with a great twist, and would make excellent Sunday night TV. Unfortunately, as a book, it lacks depth and therefore is too confusing and the story is spoilt. Enduring Love is a much better read.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shockingly bad, 18 Dec. 2011
By 
Lyn (SHEFFIELD, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
I always thought I should like Ian McEwan as he is so lauded and so much part of the literary establishment. I found Saturday dubious, I couldn't finish Atonement-but Amsterdam is one of the worst books I have ever read. There is casual racism (the grateful father of a black child giving the surgeon pineapples), repeated moments of bathos (Clive comparing himself to Beethoven as he packs his 'grated cheese sandwiches'), moments of nonsense- the repeated references to the English Table tennis team- and McEwan's insistence that the incredibly rich and over indulged are somehow worthy of minute and lovingly detailed attention. All this desperation to show his research- the endless rambling about musical composition was just as tedious as all the stuff about squash (not of the orange variety unfortunately) and surgery in Saturday. I could go on. This is the emperor's new clothes- like Salman Rushdie (also unreadable) and Martin Amis (barking)- why are these people so revered, when there are so many novelists out there that are clearly much more talented and thoughtful such as Scarlett Thomas, Michelle Paver, Zadie Smith...oh yes, because they are white, upper middle class men who went to all the right schools and know all the right people, I would suggest.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nice video, shame about the song..., 19 May 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
Transparent characters against a lightweight plot? You better believe it. McEwan excellent prose style may carry the story (and the reader) through to the end but we've all lost interest in the characters and story by then. An improbable bunch of shiftless Thatcherites tied together with a ridiculous deus ex machina equals an unhappy end for reader and novel alike.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun, but not his best, 22 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
While entirely readable, I agree with all those other reviewers who found it hard to see what all the fuss was about. I too don't see how it won the Booker Prize. However, don't be put off Ian McEwan by this; try one of the earlier ones (e.g. The cement garden, or The comfort of strangers), or best of all, "Enduring love".
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7 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So What, 9 Sept. 2002
By 
Matthew Gifford (Hitchin, Hertfordshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
They say "All's Well That Ends Well" Unfortunately, this book doesn't end well. In fact my seven year old daughter writes stories with better endings than this - I have never read such a ridiculous conclusion!
This was my first Ian McEwan and I can't say that it won't be my last. This is not my usual type of book, it was lent to me by a friend.
The writing is ok, very easy reading, and it did hold my interest in the main. But what about the characters? I couldn't careless about them - totally flat.
I closed this book and my only thought, once I'd got over just how bad the ending was, "so what?"
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars McEwan creates a novel filled with surprises., 4 Dec. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
Using his typical writing style, Ian McEwan presents surprises and a twisted plot that will keep literary audiences wanting to read more. He cleverly establishes and develops all characters through moving action and flashbacks. It is obvious that the storyline is well planned and his characters and locations are well researched; he makes everything from Clive's composing career to the description of the Lake District very believable. His themes are universal truths that one can easily relate to, which make it attractive to a variety of people to read. This book covers a broad spectrum that ranges from friendship to revenge. McEwan drives these themes home in a strong delivery that never lets up until the novel is finished. Amsterdam's references to sex, such as Vernon masturbating on his bed, and its vulgar language are, at times, unnecessary. In comparison to other McEwan books, however, this is tame. Others include much more sex and violence; they are apart of his shocking style. Because this does not affect the overall flow of the novel, it can be overlooked. The book's other terrific attributes definitey make up for it.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I may be in the sixth form but I know this is a good book!, 1 Dec. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
I read this book in two days, I couldnt put it down. Mcewan's writing style in Amsterdam is reminiscent of Camus' outsider. He cunningly weaves an intricate plot giving you just enough time to get to know the character without it becoming boring. The really mastery of the book becomes apparent as it ends. He leaves one confused as to our feelings towards the characters. By slowly revealing the bad character traits of otherwise amiable characters he questions the nature of the human character. He shows us that our feelings are fickle and can easily be swayed by money pride an love.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Did this win prizes?, 18 Sept. 2007
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
One of the most tedious and one-dimensional books I have ever had the misfortune to read, this was the first Ian McEwan I've actually tackled. I'm not inspired to try any more. He writes in the most self-conscious "trying-to-be-literary" fashion and it makes it a very dull read. I wasn't interested in any of the characters or the story-line. Dull dull dull.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a perfectly crafted lightweight read, 13 Jan. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
After reading all of the poor reviews of this book online and remembering the controversy at the booker ,I felt the balance needed redressing . It's major triumph is in its completeness and levity ,so many books are almost great or have great openings or sections but let you down with a poor ending or a feeling of dissatisfaction .In contrast to this Amsterdam sets its stall out as a humourous beguiling and essentially lightweight book with no great pretensions and more than acheives this.It may not leave you pondering any grea issues but it certainly works as a complete reading experience.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Super read, 2 Nov. 2003
By 
Mr. A. F. Warren (Loughborough, Leics United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Amsterdam (Paperback)
Proves that it is possible to write a novel that is both accessible and meaningful. Some super language and metaphor, shrewd character assessment and really funny.
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Amsterdam
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan (Paperback - 2005)
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