Title: AMSTERDAM - Scarce Fine Copy of The First ...
Publisher: New York City, NY: Doubleday, 1999
Book Condition: Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Fine
Signed: Signed by Author
Edition: 1st Edition.
1st Printing. Signed. 193 pages. Published in 1999. The author's seventh novel. Now considered a contemporary classic. The first appearance of the title in the United States. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Ian McEwan's "Amsterdam". A masterly, "compressed" novel, flawlessly written, not a single word wasted, not a single note wrong, a work of writerly virtuosity even by McEwan's lapidary standards. "Amsterdam" takes place in the claustrophobic world of ruling-class London, except for the final chapter, which happens, if that is the right word, in the eponymous city, one of the most evocative endings in late-20th century British literature. It is the "set-piece" counterpoint to McEwan's equally dazzling opening chapter in "Enduring Love". In both instances, the novel's characters, themes, aura of anguish and terror, and true meaning are woven together seamlessly in prose of breathtaking descriptive power. McEwan is often presented with his contemporaries, Julian Barnes and Martin Amis, as comprising the United Kingdom's reigning trio of best living "native" writers (the others being bunched together as exceptional "immigrant" overachievers). For the crystalline purity and sheer beauty of his style as well as the unmistakable, pitch-perfect "sound" of his writing voice, McEwan is in a class of his own. "McEwan is one of the finest literary storytellers alive. He implants in the memory a living, flaming presence" (The New Republic). An absolute "must-have" title for Ian McEwan collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen on the title page by Ian McEwan. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a great book. This is one of few such signed copies of the First American Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A scarce signed copy thus. Winner of the Somerset Maugham Award in 1976 for "First Love, Last Rites". Winner of the Booker Prize in 1998 for "Amsterdam". Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in 2002 for "Atonement". One of the greatest writers of our time. A fine copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER IAN MCEWAN TITLES IN OUR CATALOG) ISBN 0385494238. Bookseller Inventory # 13293
Synopsis: On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday had been Molly's lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence. Clive is Britain's most successful modern composer; Vernon is editor of the quality broadsheet The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had had other lovers, too, notably Julian Garmony, foreign secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister.
In the days that follow Molly's funeral, Clive and Vernon will make a pact with consequences neither has foreseen. Each will make a disastrous moral decision, their friendship will be tested to its limits, and Julian Garmony will be fighting for his political life.
In Amsterdam, a contemporary morality tale that is as profound as it is witty, we have Ian McEwan at his wisest and most wickedly disarming. And why Amsterdam? What happens there to Clive and Vernon is the most delicious climax of a novel brimming with surprises.
Review: When good-time, fortysomething Molly Lane dies of an unspecified degenerative illness, her many friends and numerous lovers are led to think about their own mortality. Vernon Halliday, editor of the upmarket newspaper the Judge, persuades his old friend Clive Linley, a self-indulgent composer of some reputation, to enter into a euthanasia pact with him. Should either of them be stricken with such an illness, the other will bring about his death. From this point onward we are in little doubt as to Amsterdam's outcome--it's only a matter of who will kill whom. In the meantime, compromising photographs of Molly's most distinguished lover, foreign secretary Julian Garmony, have found their way into the hands of the press, and as rumors circulate he teeters on the edge of disgrace. However, this is McEwan, so it is no surprise to find that the rather unsavory Garmony comes out on top. Ian McEwan is master of the writer's craft, and while this is the sort of novel that wins prizes, his characters remain curiously soulless amidst the twists and turns of plot. --Lisa Jardine
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