I didn't have a lot of time to devote to reading over the past weekend so I was on the look out for a sharp, quick read that would hold my interest and satisfy my lust for a good story.
Amsterdam was the perfect choice! The only other book by McEwan I have read is Atonement - which I think is a wonderful book in so many ways but for some reason I have never read another novel of his up until now (maybe I was afraid another book would ruin the image of almost perfection I had for his writing??).
Amsterdam starts off with two old friends, Clive and Vernon, attending the funeral of another one of their long time friends - and lover to both of the men at various stages in their lives - Molly.
The funeral scene enables McEwan to set up the history of the friendships and the relationships between these three characters and others who have been a part of their history and present.
Clive is a composer about to finalise a symphony he is writing to celebrate the upcoming millennium and Vernon is a newspaper editor - both men are successful in their careers and clearly see their professional roles as a defining part of who they are.
Throughout the novel both Clive and Vernon's careers - and their dedication to them - will come into question as they are both placed in the position of making two very different moral decisions that will impact on their careers, and subsequently, their lives.
I found this book gripping - I think McEwan has a fantastic ability to write the inner minds of characters in such a way as to make you feel you are in their space with them. Reading other reviews of this book it seems that many readers were not happy or convinced by the ending of this book - and if I was being completely honest I would probably have to agree with most of them but the way that McEwan draws you in to this story made it virtually impossible for me not to stay with him right until the very end. That's the sign of a brilliant story teller for me.
I'm definitely on the look out for more McEwan reading now - can you tell me where you think I should look next?