July 28, 2008

Review: Amsterdam

by Ian McEwan

I am once again in one of those flouncy moods where i don't want to read anything that I ought to or that I've committed to so I went to the shelf and picked up the first book that looked really interesting. McEwan can do no wrong by me so I figured I was in good hands.

After the death of a mutual lover, two friends make a pact. Each of these friends makes a moral sacrifice for his work that has consequences that neither could foretell and that will effect their friendship and bring new meaning to their pact.

McEwan is a master of character development and plot twists. Some books deal with how innocent mistakes can ruin people. Some books deal with how not doing something can affect a life adversely. This one is a study in the ends justifying the means, or not, as the case may be. The two protagonists are very different, one with more noble and lofty goals than the other, yet they end up making the same mistakes for the same reasons. What happens in Amsterdam (the city and the book) is just plain irony.


Trish said...

I have this one on my shelf and you've definitely made me look forward to it. I'll have to bump it up on the list (if I can ever stop joining those silly challenges!!)

Carrie K said...

This is the best reason I've ever read for picking up a McEwan novel.

C. B. James said...

Have you read Saturday? I just read it and liked it up to the ending. Is Amsterdam a better book?

Petunia said...

Trish-it's a little bit of a slow start but it picks up speed as it goes, like Atonement.

Carrie-I haven't been disappointed in McEwan yet.

CB-not yet. Amsterdam's ending is a little far fetched but it makes a point so it's forgivable.

Kate said...

I loved this book - and it was such a quick read too! I've just started On Chesil Beach and hope it's as good.