Reader reviews and comments on Amsterdam, plus links to write your own review.

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Amsterdam

by Ian McEwan

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan X
Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
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  • First Published:
    Dec 1998, 193 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 1999, 193 pages

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jpj

For some reason I can say I've read everything by McEwan and this book, although it won a Booker Prize, is not his best. At least to me. The ending is down right stupid and loses the entire tone of the novel. And if McEwan meant it that way, than he kind of insults his readers. The Child in Time, Black Dogs, The Comfort of Strangers, Atonement, all of them are better than this one. Still, he writes well, and I'll read everything he writes...perhaps in Amsterdam I missed something? p.s. don't read this book if you're looking to get a feel of Amsterdam...
Ewa

I'm a Polish student and had to read that book for an English competition. I've chosen it mainly because it had so many good opinions and was rewarded a prize. Contrary to what the 'pundits' may say, I found that book a bit boring. And that Amsterdam-thing I mean the fact that one couldn't connect the title with the plot till the last chapter wasn't really a good idea. But after all, I've read it in less than one day so it wasn't that bad.
kansas_bookie

Most recently I re-read this novel for a class discussion...and predictably I found further meaning in the characters.

First time through, however, it was a bit unsettling, stretched myself frequently to attach substance to twists and turns.

Leaping that far down into the emptiness of two unfortunate, politically driven characters was a learning experience.

I don't doubt the validity and truth behind McEwan's purpose, I just didn't realize at first how reptillian it could get. :)
Ruthanne

A great manipulator: Ian McEwan is a brilliant author but this book almost put me off reading his more recent and masterful work, ATONEMENT.

The plot is dark and the characters not well drawn in AMSTERDAM. It begins with a funeral and two men who are star-crossed lovers of the dead woman. It ends with the two men sealing their fates together in the city of Amsterdam...to say more would give the plot away.

I could not relate to either male character or to their angst over a lost love. The characters lacked the type of emotion one would expect them to feel and did not inspire any kind of empathy.
Rachel

A bland concept
For such a short book and an avid reader, I struggled to finish this book. The pace is slow and monotonous, sentences far longer than necessary that lose focus on both the character and their surroundings. A rush to include detail but leave it as a short novel, leaves you feeling underwhelmed, bored and at a loss to appreciate the characters. A futile attempt.
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