Cloggie: booklog 2002: Amsterdam
Ian McEwan
178 pages
published in 1998

I only got this from the library because of the title. It's bound to be interesting to see the city you live in depicted in fiction. Sadly, this depiction turned out to be a disappointment, as little of the story actually takes place in Amsterdam and the little that is depicted is cliched.

To be honest, the entire story is an disppoinment, though it started promising. In the end the plot was predictable, the main characters were borish and the climax of the story annoyed me, because it revolved around the stereotype of the too liberal Netherlands being taken to breaking point.

The plot revolves around three ex-lovers of the just died Molly Lane: Julian Garmony, the powerful Foreign Secretary, Clive Linley, a conservative but very popular composer of classical music and Vernon Halliday, the latest editor of The Judge a quality newspaper in trouble. On the sidelines there's also Molly's widower, George. The plot proper starts when Vernon gets his hands on pcitures, taken by Molly before her death showing the Foreign Secretary in a compromising situation. He wants to run them in his newspaper, boosting its readership; his friend Clive thinks it would be morally wrong. The question drives a wedge between the two friends, which ends in tragedy...

According to the praise on the back of Amsterdam this plot is supposed to be "full of gusto" and "shocking" --so proclaimed by no less an authority than A. S. Byatt. Personally, I found the plot to be predictable, the characters less then sympathetic, fairly stupid even and the climax did not convince me either. Instead of shock, I just felt eh. At least it was short.

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Webpage created 14-12-2002, last updated 14-12-2002
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