A British Mellowed Drama

Bruce Von Stiers

Ian McEwan has written the award winning novel Enduring Love. He followed it with his current Booker Prize winner, Amsterdam. The Publishing Mills recently released an audio version of Amsterdam. The reader of the story is Maxwell Caulfield, an actor known for his work in Grease 2 and The Colby's.

Molly Lane had been quite the round-heeler. Even though she was married to George, Molly took a series of lovers over the years. Finally a disease took down Molly (not AIDS, but some other nasty one like MS). At Molly's funeral two old friends, Clive Linley and Vernon Holliday, reminisce about being Molly's lovers.

Both Clive and Vernon had been Molly's lover at one point in their lives. Clive has a musician, writing scores for symphonies and British films. Vernon was the editor of an upscale London newspaper. The men were friends and had their love of Molly that further tied them together.

Shortly after Molly's death, her husband George uncovered some interesting photographs. These pictures featured another lover of Molly's, Foreign Secretary Julian Garmony. The photos of Garmony were embarrassing and compromising. George offers up the photos to Vernon.

The story criss-crosses around these four men in Molly's life. Clive is appalled that Vernon would run the photos of Garmony in his newspaper. Molly wouldn't want one of her lovers ruined. Even it might be Garmony's own fault, allowing himself to be photographed like that. Vernon needs a big win for his newspaper or he might be out the door. And what about George? What's his motivation in releasing the photos of Garmony?

The story goes back and forth between Clive and Vernon. As Clive prepares for a big symphony performance in Amsterdam, he takes a hiking holiday. There he uncovers a violent act and doesn't report it to anyone but Vernon. Clive refuses to go to the police. And Vernon, early in the story about to be fired, is now on top of his game with the soon to be released photos of Garmony.

In the end, the friendship turns bitter and each turns the tables on the other.

I would like to say that Amsterdam was enjoyable. But I can't. Actually, I found it really boring. The only thing I found interesting was the ending. Ian McEwan threw a real twist into the plot at the end of the book.

If you really must have it, Amsterdam can be found in the Audio Book section of your favorite bookstore.

You can check out this or other The Publishing Mills titles at their web site, www.pubmills.com. Or just call The Publishing Mills at 800 72-AUDIO.


Copyright © 2000 Bruce E. Von Stiers