Books, Fiction, Reviews

BOOK REVIEW: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

AmsterdamAmsterdam by Ian McEwan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Man Booker Prize Winner Amsterdam is a short work by Ian McEwan, a book fewer than 200 pages and the whole book could be read in one sitting. But that is not advisable from me, for this book.

The plot revolves around two character or in better words, “character studies” of two friends– a composer, Clive and a newspaper editor, Vernon and there shared dead lover, Molly. Actually, Molly is just a starting point that bounds them to the third character, Julian Garmony, a right-wing politician tipped to become the next prime minister, who also share mutual ex-lover as of them. It’s a sharp contemporary piece which cleverly tries to emphasize on humor but somewhat fails to do so.
Though the plot might seem interesting and simple but the construction of the plot is a bit absurd. As the plot advances, it is clear that the author seems confused between studying a character or telling a tale morality. If he’s trying to do both, neither of them goes hand-in-hand with his words. The plot becomes unfocused and boring to a reader in that state, and Ian McEwan leaves a reader with a fast-twisted ending, some thought to be given about one’s own morality and a below par plot.

I am not satisfied with this particular work but that does not mean I am going to give up on his other works. I have heard a lot about his other work such as Atonement and I am thinking of giving it a try. What about you? Have you read any work of Ian McEwan?  

View all my reviews on


19 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan”

  1. I have tried to read this twice and failed, not sure if it was boring or confusing or both but just didn’t get it. Good to know someone else didn’t get it either. I have read Atonement, which i loved and Enduring Love which was odd but fascinated me too and kept me reading to the end.


  2. I’d not suggest Atonement myself. McEwan is a very capable writer, but he was better in his late 20s when he didn’t know if people were listening to him.

    In my opinion he’s trying too hard now. He took far more risks in The Cement Garden, and I think it paid off; I’d go with that one instead.


  3. Hi Aman
    Quite a coincidence that you’ve just recommended one of my posts (thank you) and I’ve just finished reading Amsterdam. I always find it a bit of a chore to write a book review, so well done to you, and I agree with what you have to say. McEwan is a very accomplished writer but there are often plotlines or characters in his books which are just not plausible. This could certainly be said of On Chesil Beach, although I would still recommend it because the central scene is beautifully written


Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s