(1998), though it won the Booker Prize, is undoubtedly one of McEwan's lesser novels. The book has been called a fable, a psychological thriller, and a morality tale, but it only begins to cohere when it is seen as McEwan's first sustained foray into comedy. Divided into five sections, or acts, it has the rhythm of a play and the feel of a filmscript in the making. The novel takes its epigraph from Auden's “The Crossroads”: “The friends who met here and embraced are gone, Each to his own mistake”. The meeting this alludes to is that between four men at the funeral of Molly Lane, who was died after a long illness: the composer Clive Linley, the newspaper editor Vernon Halliday, the Foreign Secretary Julian Garmony, and Molly's overprotective husband George. The four have…

991 words

Citation: Childs, Peter. "Amsterdam". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 21 March 2002 [, accessed 21 June 2024.]

6716 Amsterdam 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here

Leave Feedback

The Literary Encyclopedia is a living community of scholars. We welcome comments which will help us improve.