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5.0 von 5 Sternen Clever Suspense
McEwan's novel "Amsterdam" ist definetely one of my favorites. It
is an easy pleasant reading written in a funny style, altough the McEwan deals with serious problems as ethical failure, the problem of the incongruity of private and public personae and finally, a self-reflexive account on the production of art and the Romantic idea of the poet, which is not...
Am 18. Januar 2002 veröffentlicht

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Der schlechteste Roman Ian McEwans
Ian McEwan gehört zu einem der renommiertesten Autoren Englands. Seine Romane überzeugen und begeistern die Leser mit sprachlicher Brillanz und inhaltlicher Dichte. Mit zu den bekanntsten Büchern McEwans gehören Atonement sowie seine beiden neuesten Veröffentlichungen Saturday und On Chesil Beach. Mit großen Erwartungen habe ich mir daher...
Veröffentlicht am 10. Februar 2009 von Michael Dienstbier


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2.0 von 5 Sternen Der schlechteste Roman Ian McEwans, 10. Februar 2009
Von 
Michael Dienstbier "Privatrezensent ohne fina... (Bochum) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Ian McEwan gehört zu einem der renommiertesten Autoren Englands. Seine Romane überzeugen und begeistern die Leser mit sprachlicher Brillanz und inhaltlicher Dichte. Mit zu den bekanntsten Büchern McEwans gehören Atonement sowie seine beiden neuesten Veröffentlichungen Saturday und On Chesil Beach. Mit großen Erwartungen habe ich mir daher den Roman "Amsterdam" zugelegt, für den der Autor im Jahr 1998 den angesehenen Booker Prize zugesprochen bekam. Doch meiner Ansicht nach gehört "Amsterdam" zu McEwans schwächsten Romanen, so dass sich die Frage stellt, warum er ausgerechnet hierfür ausgezeichnet worden ist.

Clive Linley und Vernon Halliday haben es beide zu etwas gebracht. Clive ist einer der bekanntesten Komponisten Großbritanniens und Vernon ist Chefredakteur einer großen Zeitung. Auf der Beerdigung von Molly Lane, einst die gemeinsame Geliebte der beiden Freunde, treffen sie auf Julian Garmony, einem rechtskonservativen Politiker, dem Chancen auf den Posten des Premierministers eingeräumt werden. Kurz darauf werden Vernon drei Fotos zugespielt, die Garmonys politische Karriere zerstören könnten. Dies und ein weiteres Ereignis stellen die Freundschaft zwischen Clive und Vernon auf eine harte Probe, bevor es zum großen Finale in Amsterdam kommt.

McEwans Stärke ist es eigentlich, die Erzählstruktur seiner Romane klar und überzeugend zu gestalten und dabei eine genaue Charakterisierung seiner Hauptpersonen vorzunehmen. Dies alles gelingt hier nicht. Die Geschichte wirk konstruiert und teilweise an den Haaren herbeigezogen. Auch das Ende überzeugt nicht und hinterlässt beim Leser die eine oder andere offene Frage.

Fazit: Sprachlich befindet sich "Amsterdam" auf dem gewohnt hohen Niveau Ian McEwans. Bezüglich des Inhalts sowie der Struktur enttäuscht der Roman jedoch auf ganzer Linie. Warum ausgerechnet dieses Buch mit dem Booker Prize ausgezeichnet worden ist, bleibt mir ein Rätsel. Daher sei dem McEwan-Einsteiger einer der drei oben genannten Romane empfohlen.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Clever Suspense, 18. Januar 2002
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
McEwan's novel "Amsterdam" ist definetely one of my favorites. It
is an easy pleasant reading written in a funny style, altough the McEwan deals with serious problems as ethical failure, the problem of the incongruity of private and public personae and finally, a self-reflexive account on the production of art and the Romantic idea of the poet, which is not compatible with the post-modern world. We deal with persons, who do not only misread their relationship but themselves. the novel is also an comment on the successful babyboomer's in England who actually fail in their ethical responsibilities and therefore are not fit for survival.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen für einen McEwan enttäuschend, 15. Oktober 2004
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Roman) (Taschenbuch)
Ich habe Bücher von Ian McEwan wie "Enduring Love", "Cement garden" und das großartige "Atonement" mit wachsender Begeisterung gelesen und dachte einen Autor entdeckt zu haben, der die Erwartungen seiner Leser jedes Mal aufs neue übetrifft, doch meiner Meinung nach ist ihm das mit seinem Roman "Amsterdam" nicht gelungen.
Das Buch handelt von einer Männerfreundschaft zwischen Vernon und Clive, die sich bereits seit vielen Jahrzenten kennen und sich eine gemeinsame verflossene Liebe namens Molly teilen. Vernon ist Verleger einer seriösen Tageszeitung, die sich jedoch auf absteigendem Ast befindet, Clive ist ein bekannter Komponist klassischer Musik, der an dem Auftrag eine Millenium-Hymne zu komponieren arbeitet. Durch mehrere unvorsehbare Vorfälle wird diese Freundschaft auf die Probe gestellt. Die Kluft zwischen Vernon und Clive, die dem Buch seine Wendung gibt, ist nicht überzeugend hergeleitet und erfolgt viel zu abrupt. Es bedarf mehr Tiefblick, um das Bröckeln einer fast lebenslangen Freundschaft überzeugend darzustellen. Ich hatte fast das Gefühl als wenn McEwan die Lust am eigenen Roman verlassen hat und er zu einem schnellen Ende kommen wollte.
Gut gefallen haben mir hingegen die Passagen in denen Clives kreativer Schaffungsprozess beschrieben wird. Ich finde es immer wieder faszinierend wie gut sich McEwan in die Interessengebiete seiner Protagonisten einarbeitet und diese so glaubhaft wiedergibt als wäre er selbst ein Komponist oder Verleger. Streckenweise beschlich mich das Gefühl, daß zwischen der Frustration des Komponisten über sein Werk und McEwans Frustration in Bezug auf seine eigene Arbeit starke Parallelen herrschen. Der Konflikt um die Millenium Hymne war packender als der eigentliche Konflikt der zwei Freunde. Clives Charakter wirkte auf mich viel lebendiger und echter als Vernon oder der Außenminister und ich hatte hinterher den Eindruck, dass die Geschichte nicht ausgewogen genug war. Der innere Konflikt des Künstlers um sein letztes Meisterwerk hat dem eigentlichen Hauptplot des Buches den Rang abgerungen und das konnte auch das dramatische, schroffe Ende nicht mehr rausreissen.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen A great disappointment, 18. Januar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam: A Novel (Taschenbuch)
It took me weeks to read this interminably short novel. I'd previously found McEwan's short stories and "Enduring Love" to be enthralling, in both language and subject; but "Amsterdam"'s prose and subject are the stuff of pure tabloid, all sour character and sullen, bitter description. There are none of the astonishing, sudden sympathies or recognitions that seduce me in his previous work; McEwan's trademark cruelties here are patent and obvious. A pretty book jacket, tho.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautiful and Engaging, 3. Januar 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam: A Novel (Taschenbuch)
This very quick read about amorality at the end of the millenium flows like Clive's symphony. Is it no wonder that when the characters seem to disintegrate, the symphony does as well? Completely unemotional characters so blindly following their emotions of loss. If you love the interplay of character and theme, you will see that what the author has done here is not easily accomplished - that is why he was honored with the Booker Prize.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Compressed Quaility, 25. Mai 2000
Von 
Mr. Sm Fay (Dublin, Ireland) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam: A Novel (Taschenbuch)
McEwan's booker prize-winning novel traces the consequencesof a Machiavellian attitude towards work. Clive Linly a composer withan established reputation and Vernon Hailliday, editor of the struggle daily paper, The Judge, renew their former friendship at the funeral of their former lover, the larger than life forty-something year old Molly Lane.
There they meet George Lane, Molly's husband and another former lover Julian Garmony, the Foreign Secretary, who's despised by Molly's former lovers.
The novel traces the lives of the four men after Molly's funeral when they all face pinnacle moments in both their private and professional lives.
Amsterdam is a book without heroes. The characters fail to grab your sympathy, but this adds to the reader's curiosity as you try to unravel their true worth and nature. It's not a book about how the strong and ruthless survive but rather how obsession with work can turn into self-obsession and ultimately destruction as the books characters take personal desire over public responsibility.
The book's 196 pages make it more of a novella than a novel and some would argue that more time should have been given over to plot and character development. However an expansion of the books length could have faltered the quick tempo, that McEwan's rich language lends to the book, and the vagueness of the characters leads us to question rather than condemn them at the end, allowing for the books effect to linger long after the final page has been read.
This books quality has been questioned in comparison to other Booker winners but Amsterdam, a book so rich in dramatic irony should be judged on its own merits. This socio-political satire manages to examine such a thorny issue as human morality in a humorous and entertaining fashion and is a recommended read.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The kind of book you just don't find anymore..., 22. September 1999
Von 
Paul M. Gunther (Los Angeles, CA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
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Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Gebundene Ausgabe)
In 1974, a screenplay by Robert Towne found its way to the screen which bore a title that had nothing to do with the subject matter of the film itself; it was simply the location of the finale. It ended with the now classic line: "Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown."
25 years later, we are treated to the literary equivalent of that classic film.
McEwan's "Amsterdam" has taken a lot of hits by readers and press alike since it won the Booker Prize, which is, apparently, the Holy Grail of the literary world, as far as some are concerned. The standards by which they call into question McEwan's victory in the contest leaves something to be desired.
This was my first McEwan. I make no bones of that. Perhaps that is why my judgement of it remains unclouded. It was intentional as well, for specifically that precaution. I did not want to find myself muttering to myself upon finishing the book, "Not bad, but it's no 'Enduring Love'". And it may not be. I admit, I don't know yet. But that is secondary, irrelevant. It may not be as good as "Enduring Love". That does not mean that "Amsterdam" is any less than a great book in its own right.
This is the sort of novel that Evelyn Waugh or Ernest Hemingway might have written were they still among us. It is a socio-political satire, filled with character and political assassinations and moral suicides. There are no heros or villians, and the people we are led to believe we should feel sympathetic towards are irrevocably and irretrievably cast as villians eventually.
Coming off a heavy diet of William Golding, Penelope Fitzgerald, Evelyn Waugh and Iris Murdoch, I, for one, found this book wonderful, fascinating, and I did not want to put it down, short as it was. I originally bought the paperback from amazon.co.uk, but I'm buying the hardcover to put into my permanent collection.
The next time someone asks of me "What is dramatic irony?", I will point towards this book. It is utterly captivating, and one of the best new works of literature I've come across in this decade.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Think again?, 28. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Like many other readers, initially I was extremely disappointed with the ending that seemed both contrived and a much too simple end to the development of the character's amorality. After a lively discussion with fellow readers, I have a few comments to make in attempt to add to what has already been published in these reviews:
Within the literary world of those judging for the Booker Award, I am sure many saw themselves, or their contemporaries, in the creative endeavours of Clive. Having been employed by a famous author/journalist for a summer, I saw an exact replica of that man in the fictional composer. Self-absorbed, chasing another piece of "genius" and in the end coming up with only an incompetent regurgitation of a master (or less). So sad, after emerging from all those days locked up with his muse. Yet, it is just the daily crafting of the writing and the real-life pressure of deadlines which may offer an explaintion for the ending of Amsterdam. As if the ending was foreshadowed by the events leading up to Clive's "unfinished" symphony I was left to wonder - was McEwen's ending rushed to get Amsterdam to the publisher? (A good manipulation if we buy it, but not commonly a mark of great fiction...?)
McEwen's comments on the morality issues as signs of the times may ultimately be the saving grace of the book. The male characters were true "men's men", woman and family were peripheral to their careers and their lives. George Lane almost survived symbolic of a man who would stick by his lover to the end rather than "put her out of her misery" as her old lovers had discussed. Yet, in the last few sentences he exposes himself to be of the same genre as the other men. And, as typical of the their era, the women stuck by their men in spite of their foibles. Yet, even though not a well-developed character, Molly Lane appears as a contemporary woman in that she lived much as the men did. A myriad of lovers, as if purposefully collecting an odd bunch of famous characters as lovers, then discarding them. Of course, why would she have kept any of them?!
There was also commentary on the problems caused by the media and the "fact" that the public will not tolerate the violation of privacy any longer. So true, yet a suggestion that more of the same will be coming from the younger journalists moving up the ranks, but in their case publishing with less depth and purpose.With recent events in the US and the problems caused by the media, I think the whole Garmony episode is fair commentary on the times.
So, due to the strengths of the character development that did take place and its social commentary on that generation, I believe the book will become more meaningful if it is re-analyzed. If the time is taken to see why it is a prize-winner, this little book is seen to have much more "potential" depth than first meets the eye. An economy of words and plot work when further thought and analysis are spurred in a discussion of the material presented. Of course,this may be pushing some readers beyond their interest level and this type of mental gyration will only appeal to a few - it probably did to those who awarded the Booker.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Clinical and cool, literate and funny, 16. Januar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Gebundene Ausgabe)
Amsterdam begins with two old pals, Vernon Halliday and Clive Linley, at the cremation of a valued mutual friend, Molly Lane. Molly was cut down in her prime: a slow, lingering death, with no dignity at the end. Depressed by her demise, Vernon and Clive are determined it won't happen to them, and each agrees to dispatch the other should they degenerate humiliatingly like Molly. As Clive puts it in his stiff English way: "...just supposing I did get ill in a major way, like Molly, and I started to go downhill and make terrible mistakes, you know...I'm asking you to help me if it ever got to the point where you could see it was the right thing..." Vernon agrees, only on the condition that Clive do the same for him. A big mistake, and Amsterdam is really a delightful shaggy-dog tale to see which friend does in the other first. What makes this most recent winner of the Booker Prize even more delicious is that Vernon and Clive are famous. Vernon is the editor of The Judge, declining national broadsheet, and Clive is Britain's most eminent composer, charged with writing a symphony for the new millennium. They are seriously famous, in fact: another of Molly's friends is Julian Garmony, right-wing Foreign Secretary, and Molly had taken photos of Garmony indulging in his penchant for cross-dressing. Although both characters are morally questionable, they are not entirely unlikable - this has much to do with McEwen's playful sense of humour. He is particularly adept at depicting the frantic, clamorous working day of a newspaper editor. There's a hilarious passage early where Vernon presides over a daily editorial meeting, debating the newsworthy merits of Turkish pottery and Siamese twins refusing to talk with each other. At the end, we learn why there was no memorial service for Molly, in an agreeably chill twist of the tale. Vernon and Clive fail to learn anything of importance from their friendships with her, and duly pay the price. This is perhaps McEwen's best book to date, and a deserving winner of the Booker in any year: brilliantly written, profound and probing, with a tone that is unmistakably McEwen - clinical and cool, literate and funny. Fans of this author will wonder if the druggy denouement in Amsterdam is a sly self-reference to one of his earliest fictions, 'Pornography', which appeared in his second volume of short stories, published in 1978.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Darkly humorous indictment of contemporary morality.., 28. Juni 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Amsterdam (Gebundene Ausgabe)
In response to the prior reviewer, a book about "silly, conceited people" is not necessarily a silly and conceited book; consider The Great Gatsby. Amsterdam is a clever book that reveals the conflicts of people who have either found or placed themselves in moral dilemmas. The central characters share the common denominator of having been lovers of Molly Lane who has recently died. They are brought together at her funeral, and as the story unfolds she seems to have been the only true and trustworthy moral compass among them. The book causes the reader to contemplate our contemporary values. What have our morals and ethics become at the end of the 20th century? Consider the "integrity" of our political "leaders"; the media's right to know vs. an individual's right to privacy; the value of human life vs. modern medical science. The characters in Amsterdam come across as opportunistic, self-centered, and morally indecisive. Do we feel more sympathy for Vernon,the editor who must publish something scandalous to keep his paper afloat or for Julian, the politician whose private indiscretion is made public? Do we feel any sympathy at all? Even Clive the successful composer is corrupted and looks away because he believes his musical genius is more important than another human being. (echoes of Wilhelm Furtwangler?) Is it more important to save the Mona Lisa, a timeless work of art, or a transient human life? Today's politicians take polls first to determine which decision or action will most likely keep them in power. Amsterdam considers all of these issues in less than 200 pages and concludes in a deliciously wicked ending.
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