BKMT READING GUIDES

Amsterdam: A Novel
by Ian McEwan

Published: 1999-11-02
Paperback : 208 pages
5 members reading this now
5 clubs reading this now
2 members have read this book
Recommended to book clubs by 1 of 1 members
The Booker Prize-winning contemporary morality tale—cleverly disguised as a comic novel—from the acclaimed author of Atonement.

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 ...
Add to Club Selections
Add to Possible Club Selections
Add to My Personal Queue
Jump to

Introduction

The Booker Prize-winning contemporary morality tale—cleverly disguised as a comic novel—from the acclaimed author of Atonement.

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. 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…

Editorial 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 upmarket 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 be stricken with such an illness, the other will bring about his death. From this point onward we are in little doubt as to Amsterdam'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 rumors circulate he teeters on the edge of disgrace. However, this is McEwan, so it is no surprise to find that the rather unsavory Garmony comes out on top. Ian 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

Excerpt

No Excerpt Currently Available

Discussion Questions

No discussion questions at this time.

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

No notes at this time.

Book Club Recommendations

Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
  "Sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for!"by thewanderingjew (see profile) 03/22/14

Reading this, I was reminded of P. F. Sloan’s song, Eve of Destruction, for that was the outlook of Vernon Halliday, editor of a failing newspaper, The Judge, charged with the responsibili... (read more)

 
  "A predictable ending that wasn't moving"by angiekisling (see profile) 01/17/08

I was pretty disappointed in the end of the book. I could see it coming probably 30 pages before it ended. I thought that it had a lot of potential at the beginning and was a fast read, however.

 
  "A suicide pact between friends twists and turns."by Frazzle (see profile) 07/17/07

This book is about a neat plot. The main characters are unlovely which makes the plot fun rather than tragic. Some members found that they weren't able to attach to the plot because they weren't able... (read more)

Rate this book
MEMBER LOGIN
Remember me
BECOME A MEMBER it's free

Join the leading website for book clubs with over 35,000 clubs and 20,000 reading guides.

SEARCH OUR READING GUIDES Search
Search




FEATURED EVENTS
PAST AUTHOR CHATS
JOIN OUR MAILING LIST

Get free weekly updates on top club picks, book giveaways, author events and more
Please wait...