In my opinion : boring style of writing, boring characters, boring scenario boring end that should have been a shock...
When we finish this novel, we have a sensation of surprise: everything has an unexpected development emphasized by the rhythm, the syntax, the mutation of tone and the channels of narration.
"Amsterdam" is a short novel that concentrates most essential moments of the main characters' life and the deepest aspects of human kind: the right to be what you want, the right to the privacy, to information, the right to choose how and when to die.
Everything seems to rotate around Molly Lane, a restaurant critic, who dies of an unspecified degenerative illness.
We know her through the eyes of her lovers and her husband.
We understand that Molly was a free woman, sure of herself and able to drive men without being driven by them.
At her funeral, her lovers and her husband gather at a crematorium in London to pay her their last respects.
Molly allows the reader to know every characters' reactions through various facets.
One of her lover, is Clive Linley, a banal musician, always in love with himself.
He believes to be a genius, but he is only a mediocre musician. He is at the final stages of finishing a symphony and for this reason, he ignores a woman's voice calling for his help: he chooses his music, even if he know it is a mistake.
He often thinks the way Molly died, the speed of it, her helplessness, how she wouldn't have wanted it that way.
So, he asks to his friend and Molly's lover, Vernon Halliday, to help him to die, especially
if he got to the point he couldn't make the decision for himself, or act on it.
Vernon experiences for the first time the proper impact of Molly's death, the plain fact of her absence and he agrees to do help Clive to die, if he does the same for him.
Vernon is a journalist who is infinitely diluted; he is simply the sum of all the people who has listened to him, and when he is alone, he is nothing at all. When he reaches, in solitude, for a thought, there is no one there to think it. But despite this, Vernon is able to ruin Molly's most distinguished lover Julian Garmony, publishing some compromising photographs.
Garmony is a famous politician and his ambition is to become Prime minister.
The photos depict him dressed in women's clothing.
At the beginning of the novel Garmony, seems a negative man, but during the story, thanks to his wife's point of view, he reveals his weakness and his human aspect.
In this novel everyone has his glorious moment, everyone plays his role when the narrative sequence brings the omniscient narrator to move his attention towards another character and toward another question, such as " .... why Amsterdam? What happens there to Clive and Vernon is the most delicious climax of a novel brimming with surprise".
Like in musical crescendo, the end of the novel is the highest and perfect note of this story: we join it through tension, astonishment and a sort of presentiment.
“In his corner of West London, and in his self-preoccupied daily round, it was easy for Clive to think of civilization as the sum of all the arts, along with design, cuisine, good wine, and the like. But now it appeared that this was what it really was- square miles of meager modern houses whose principal purpose was the support of TV aerials and dishes; factories producing worthless junk to be advertised on the televisions and, in dismal lots, lorries queuing to distribute it, and everywhere else, roads and the tyranny of traffic.”...Continua
Confesso che mi ha attirato il titolo visto che ero di ritorno da un viaggio in olanda e avevo freschi in memoria i luoghi visitati. Potrebbe essere ambientato ovunque perche' a parte un brevissimo passaggio non c'e' mai riferimento a un luogo, quindi mi chiedo a che pro scegliere questo titolo. Forse perche' e' possibile l'eutanasia? Ma non e' il vero argomento del libro.
Bello l'incipit e curiosa la storia, guerre fra ex amanti e cinismo a palate, finale un po' forzato e poco convincente. Conoscendo l'autore mi aspettavo di meglio.