Short summary - Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

Summary of the work - Sykalo Eugen 2023

Short summary - Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

The novel "Amsterdam" by Ian McEwan tells the story of two old friends, Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday. Clive is a composer, while Vernon is a newspaper editor. The two have a complicated relationship that is tested when they both become involved with the same woman, Molly Lane, who is a former lover of Clive's.

The book is divided into four parts, each with its own distinct plot developments and themes.

Part One: "The Beginning of the End"

Part One introduces the main characters and sets the stage for the rest of the novel. Clive is struggling to compose a new piece for the Millennium Symphony, while Vernon is dealing with the death of his mentor and the future of his newspaper. The two men attend the funeral of Molly Lane, and Clive becomes obsessed with her beauty and her tragic end. Meanwhile, Vernon sees an opportunity to boost his newspaper's circulation by publishing a damning story about Molly's personal life.

Part Two: "The Main Event"

In Part Two, Clive and Vernon travel to Amsterdam to attend the unveiling of a monument dedicated to the memory of Molly Lane. There, they meet Julian Garmony, a politician with a controversial past and present. Clive and Vernon's relationship becomes strained as they argue about the morality of publishing the story about Molly's personal life, and as they both become more involved with Garmony's political ambitions.

Part Three: "The Reckoning"

Part Three sees the consequences of the events in Amsterdam. Clive's new piece for the Millennium Symphony is widely panned, and his career takes a hit. Vernon's newspaper's circulation is boosted by the story about Molly, but he faces criticism for his decision to publish it. Garmony's political career is threatened by a scandal, and he turns to Vernon for help. Clive and Vernon's friendship becomes irreparably damaged.

Part Four: "The End of the End"

In the final part of the novel, the consequences of the characters' actions come to a head. Vernon is faced with a difficult ethical decision, and Clive is forced to confront the consequences of his obsession with Molly. The novel ends on a note of ambiguity and uncertainty, as the characters' fates are left open to interpretation.

Overall, "Amsterdam" is a novel about friendship, ambition, morality, and the consequences of our actions. It is a complex and thought-provoking work that raises important questions about the nature of art, journalism, and politics. The novel's key themes are explored through a series of well-drawn characters and a tightly structured plot that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end.