|Pages:|| Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
Is it just me or do other people "shy away" from books that look a little too intellectual for them? I read because I enjoy it. I am at an age where I don't need to read to impress. I like a good book (and I hate a bad book) and will read anything that interests me. I am shallow enough to pick a book up because I like the picture on the front or I like the title. I occasionally read books that others have recommended but I have to know what the other person likes. Too often I have started books that people tell me are "absolutely brilliant" to get halfway through and wonder what the hell I am doing. At this point I should mention I hated The Da Vinci Code with a passion however I will defend it with a greater passion. You see, the other thing I hate is book snobs. People who start off with the line: "Oh I never read any book on the best seller list - they are too populist!" In an anti-snob way I have a tendency to avoid any book that says "Winner of the Booker/Pulitzer Prize", more fool me! I worry that the book is going to be full of "big words" and "purple patches" - sometimes studying English Literature at school can kill any desire to read a "literary must read". I love my Neil Gaiman/Nick Hornby/Mil Millington. And then I read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay and enjoyed it. It was only afterwards that I noticed the big sticker on the front "Winner of the Pulitzer Prize" - hey, maybe all intellectual books aren't that scary :^)
Amsterdam is the winner of The Booker Prize. It is a small, dull looking book. It tells the story of three men, linked by being ex-lovers, and what happens after the love of their lives dies. The three men are "the greatest living composer", the editor of an intellectual newspaper, the foreign secretary. It just sounds dull, dull, dull. It sounds like a book that I would pass up reading every single time I finish one book and return to the bookshelf trying to find another book to read.
Picked it off the shelf yesterday morning at just past ten, lived a fairly active "doing" day and yet, before ten at night, I had finished the book. I realised, as I closed it, that I had been secretly (or not so secretly) going back to it at every possible chance: sitting on the balcony for a cigarette - read; waiting for a scan of Dani's drawing to upload - read; watching the Yorkshire puddings rise in the oven - read; sit watching Spirited Away with the kids - read.
A very enjoyable book and not as dull as it pretends to be :^)
Com Amsterdam, Ian McEwan passou a ser reconhecido como um dos grandes nomes da literatura inglesa contemporânea. O livro, premiado com o Booker Prize em 1998, o mais importante prêmio recebido pelo autor, marca seu aprofundamento naquilo que é sua marca registrada: thrillers em que as escolhas dos personagens revelam seu verdadeiro caráter e constroem uma crítica social.
A trama consiste de uma fábula moral sobre dois amigos: Clive Linley, compositor de música erudita, e Vernon Halliday, jornalista. Ambos estão em momentos cruciais de suas vidas. Clive precisa concluir uma sinfonia para a virada do milênio que, espera, irá consagrá-lo. Vernon é editor do importante, mas decadente, jornal The Judge. Após o funeral de Molly Lane, ex-amante de ambos que sofreu longo e humilhante declínio mental antes de morrer, os dois fazem um pacto: caso um deles venha a padecer da mesma agonia, o outro deve libertá-lo, facilitando a eutanásia.
São muitos os temas polêmicos aqui presentes, como o aquecimento global e o papel da Inglaterra na Europa. Sem Amsterdam, já revelou McEwan, não haveria Reparação, seu consagrado romance seguinte. Em um complexo exercício criativo, o autor denuncia a vaidade e a busca pela fama a qualquer preço.
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I have become a full-fledged devotee of Ian McEwan. Along with Zadie Smith, he's currently my favorite writer.