Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Amsterdam - Ian McEwan

Amsterdam was a frankly weird story of moral boundaries. It begins with the funeral of Molly Lane and then revolves around three of her former lovers and her husband in the fortnight that follows.

A bit of dynamic is added when you learn that two of the lovers are close friends, and the third they despise, while the husband wants them all out of the way. All four of them hold positions of power in some form or another. 

You have the despised lover, Julian Garmony who is the foreign minister and subsequently a senior politician. His life becomes a little unstuck when George, Molly's husband, finds some interesting pictures of him that belonged to his wife. 

You have Clive, the greatest composer in the UK, who lives alone and is working on a symphony for the millennium,  which is to have a preview in Amsterdam at the end of the book. 

You have Vernon, editor of flailing newspaper, The Judge. A bit of a general failure himself.

George offers the photos to Vernon's newspaper, Vernon buys the photos, Clive tries to dissuade Vernon from running the photos and subsequently 'shitting on Molly's grave', Vernon runs the photo's and they have a big bust-up. Clive escapes to the Lake District in order to find some peace and write the end of his symphony, just as he reaches an epiphany he sees a man and a woman arguing and the man treating the woman with some force. Vernon puts two and two together and realises this is the Lakes Rapist. He informs the police jeopardising the symphony for good. 

Both fake apologies and sell each others lives to a rogue Dutch medical company which will bump off your elderly relatives for a small sum and their signature. 

I'm not quite sure why it's supposed to be a very good book, it held little appeal for me and it's moral messages loomed false. I think the only reason I felt comfortable reading it was that it was only 178 pages.


Clarissa's Review

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