- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 4 hours and 42 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Recorded Books
- Audible.com Release Date: December 7, 2011
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B006J9WHJI
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Amsterdam Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Who knows why it won the Booker Prize? Surely The Comfort of Strangers or The Innocent deserved it more. Other reviewers have suggested variously that the committee felt guilty about ignoring McEwan's previous work, or because the book featured an interplay between theme and character brilliant enough to justify the award. I interpret that to mean that the judges thought it clever that the novel's characters were shallow, and that the newspaper Vernon Halliday edited was shallow, and that the symphony Clive Linley wrote was derivative and fatally unvaried, and that ultimately the book itself was shallow, too, and so decided Amsterdam was a brilliantly self-referential piece of---I don't know, meta-fiction or something.
Maybe so, but some of the social commentary in the book reads like a magazine article rather than a novel, like a 2,000-word piece in a weekend supplement, and I expect more from McEwan: strong characters and images and themes that resonate in your head like a fascinating bad dream.
Amsterdam is light entertainment, a finely written but forgettable tale by a brilliant author who's capable of producing much, much better work.
There they meet George Lane, Molly's husband and another former lover Julian Garmony, the Foreign Secretary, who's despised by Molly's former lovers.
The novel traces the lives of the four men after Molly's funeral when they all face pinnacle moments in both their private and professional lives.
Amsterdam is a book without heroes. The characters fail to grab your sympathy, but this adds to the reader's curiosity as you try to unravel their true worth and nature. It's not a book about how the strong and ruthless survive but rather how obsession with work can turn into self-obsession and ultimately destruction as the books characters take personal desire over public responsibility.
The book's 196 pages make it more of a novella than a novel and some would argue that more time should have been given over to plot and character development. However an expansion of the books length could have faltered the quick tempo, that McEwan's rich language lends to the book, and the vagueness of the characters leads us to question rather than condemn them at the end, allowing for the books effect to linger long after the final page has been read.
This books quality has been questioned in comparison to other Booker winners but Amsterdam, a book so rich in dramatic irony should be judged on its own merits. This socio-political satire manages to examine such a thorny issue as human morality in a humorous and entertaining fashion and is a recommended read.
The main characters, a composer and a newspaper editor, become embroiled in a political scandal that relates to the affair each has had with a recently deceased woman. Their friendship becomes strained, and the miscommunication that develops drives the story. The story moves quickly, and I disagree with those who dislike the ending -- it does work, at least for me.
I also think this book works as a good introduction to McEwan. Its spare style is indicative of his work. When you've finished this book, move on to Atonement or Enduring Love: both are excellent books.
A few general words about Ian McEwan. He pays great attention to the word choice in each sentence, but unlike some other post modern types, he has a real story with a real conflict. Among modern writers, there seems to be some dislike of plotting, but McEwan shows that you can write about interesting ideas and have a good story as well.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
More exciting in first part of book; curious in middle; anti-climactic at end.
Later books were better.
I was disappointed that this wasn't more engaging. The story line was all right, but it seemed to move slowly and was confusing.Published 12 days ago by J. A. Cook
Thought "Amsterdam" had the potential for a great novel. Sadly disappointed. Molly could have held them all in her grip beyond the grave but this never happened. Read morePublished 3 months ago by denise forbes
Amsterdam is only the second book of McEwan's that I have read, but it won't be the last. He is funny, insiteful, and a fine writer.Published 4 months ago by Barbara D. Wilcox
I found that the plot was underdeveloped.Not Ian McEwan's best.Published 4 months ago by andrea_ant
Well written, easy to read, happily only some of the end was predictable. This is my third McEwan and like those two, the ending is neither obvious nor completely clear. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Judy Bokor