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Amsterdam (1998)

de Ian McEwan

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6,7191781,066 (3.37)445
In the affairs of his dead wife, a British publisher discovers compromising pictures of the foreign secretary who was her lover. An opportunity for revenge on both the political and personal level.
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Anglès (163)  Castellà (4)  Suec (2)  Neerlandès (2)  Italià (2)  Noruec (1)  Francès (1)  Danès (1)  Portuguès (Portugal) (1)  Hebreu (1)  Totes les llengües (178)
Es mostren 1-5 de 178 (següent | mostra-les totes)
The best way I can describe my feeling towards this book is 'meh'. Its just as well its a short book as I think I would have discarded it before the end otherwise. I picked it up because of some of the reviews I had read and whilst it wont put me off McEwan's work I just wasn't feeling it. I didn't really engage with any of the characters and apart from being horrified that Clive stood by whilst a woman was attacked it didnt move me at all. The ending came as a little surprising but not enough to cause me to change my opinions on it. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 13, 2021 |
Hmm, I have a tough time with this one. One the one hand, I love McEwan and the writing was fantastic. But the plot itself left a lot to be desired. And even then, I was more interested in one half of the plot. In the end, I was glad this was a short read and wasn't sad to see it end. I really don't understand why this won the Booker Prize. ( )
  JustZelma | Dec 20, 2020 |
I'm reading all the Booker Prize winners of the past 50 years. www.methodtohermadness.com

Ian McEwan is one of those fabulous writers, like Ann Patchett, whose books are each unique. He writes with convincing authority about realms as divergent as music composition, underworld thugs, and wartime nursing. I have been looking forward to reading a new Ian McEwan book since the beginning of this project, and I was not disappointed.

Weighing in at just under two hundred pages, Amsterdam is a lightweight of a novel, but it could stand up to anything by O. Henry in a championship fight. It is brilliantly plotted, bitingly witty, and breathtakingly ironic.

Amsterdam is the story of two men whose friendship reaches a new level after the death of a woman they both loved. It is a meditation on friendship and selfishness, hypocrisy and ethics, success and revenge. I wouldn't spoil a page of it for you, but just to whet your appetite, you will find an editor double-crossing, a politician cross-dressing, and...oh, just read it. ( )
  stephkaye | Dec 14, 2020 |
Tidy little gripper - can't see it justifying a big prize, but there you go.
  ivanfranko | Nov 18, 2020 |
[This is a review I wrote in 2012]

** Surprise Booker winner in 1998**

Having seen a number of critical reviews of 'Amsterdam', as the surprise winner of the 1998 Booker Prize, I decided it was time for me to give this short novel a go.

I've read a handful of other (and in my personal opinion better) McEwan novels and although this one is similar in one sense - the tackling of a controversial thought-provoking theme, it differs in all other ways.

The premise for the plot and sub-plots is interesting: decline during terminal illness, euthanasia, moral turpitude, cross-dressing and self-important middle class career driven men. Some big themes.

But, and there is a big but, the overall novel felt like the sketch for a bigger piece. Characters, albeit unsavoury ones, would have benefitted from more characterisation, the satire could (in my view) have been better sketched, less focus on the technical aspects of music and more plot development would have helped, and the euthanasia could have been better drawn (though here I concede I may be looking at this with the benefit of an additional 14 years of law and politics regarding euthanasia from when the book was published). It felt to me like an unfinished novel.

Redeemed by some eloquent (over the top, but apt) prose, interesting themes, and almost, I felt, the novel's ability to laugh at itself, I'm pleased to have read it and, especially as it's such a short read, would recommend it to others - if only for the purpose of forming your own critique. ( )
  ArdizzoneFan | Nov 12, 2020 |
Es mostren 1-5 de 178 (següent | mostra-les totes)
Because Booker prize deliberations go on behind closed doors, we'll never really know what led the judging panel to Ian McEwan's Amsterdam. Naturally, that makes it all the more tempting and intriguing to speculate. What discussions were there? What compromises were made? Who stuck the knife into poor old Beryl Bainbridge? Were there displays of taste and erudition from Douglas Hurd and Nigella Lawson? How was the case made for Amsterdam? Were there compromises, or just a fuzzy consensus? Did anyone dissent? Did anyone actually try to suggest that this isn't a very good book?
On the latter question, we must assume that the answer was "no" – or that the person making the case against the book was roundly ignored. As I shall now attempt to show, a point-by-point debunk of the novel can be carried out in around five minutes – even less time than it takes to read the thing.
afegit per KayCliff | editaThe Guardian, Sam Jordison (Dec 6, 2011)
 
Amsterdam is an intricate satirical jeu d'esprit and topical to the point of Tom Wolfeishness. It is also funnier than anything McEwan has written before, though just as lethal.
afegit per jburlinson | editaNew York Review of Books, Gabriele Annan (Web de pagament) (Jan 14, 1999)
 
''Amsterdam'' is very British and, despite its title, takes place mainly in London and the Lake District. On the scale of nastiness, it gets high grades as well. But it is less unsettling than McEwan's earlier solemn-gory fables since its humorous dimension is everywhere apparent -- granted that the humor is distinctly black. Its tone overall, as well as part of its theme, reminded me more than once of the excellent 1990 Masterpiece Theater production ''House of Cards,'' in which Ian Richardson plays a sinister Tory cabinet minister.

What readers tend to remember from McEwan's fiction is its penchant for contriving scenes of awful catastrophe: human dismemberment in ''The Comfort of Strangers''; a confrontation between a woman and two deadly wild dogs in ''Black Dogs''; the tour de force balloon disaster that brilliantly opens ''Enduring Love.'' Nothing in ''Amsterdam'' quite measures up to these events. Instead, the tribulations of its two main figures -- a composer, Clive Linley, and a newspaper editor, Vernon Halliday -- are treated in a cooler, more ironic manner, even as they move toward disaster. This chilliness is an extension of McEwan's habitual practice of damping down the sensational aspects of his imagined encounters by narrating them in a precise, thoughtful, unsensational way. It may, in fact, make the violence, when it occurs, seem that much more natural and inescapable.
 

» Afegeix-hi altres autors (27 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
McEwan, Ianautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Caulfield, MaxNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Verhoef, RienTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zulaika Goicoechea, JesúsTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Zulaika, JesúsTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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"The friends who met here and embraced are gone,
Each to his own mistake;"
~ W.H. Auden "The Crossroads"
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There was something seriously wrong with the world for which neither God nor his absence could be blamed.
(as irony): V.T. did that famous front page. Pushed all the copy onto page two and let the piture tell the story .
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In the affairs of his dead wife, a British publisher discovers compromising pictures of the foreign secretary who was her lover. An opportunity for revenge on both the political and personal level.

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Mitjana: (3.37)
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2 204
2.5 59
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4 590
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5 155

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