Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Finished: Ian McEwan's 'Amsterdam' (WOW!)

I posted last week about Ted Bell's mention of Amsterdam. As luck would have it, I was browsing through a used bookstore in downtown Rapid City on Saturday and stumbled across it. Wasn't even looking for it. It was just there. Cool.

Obviously, somebody somewhere (probably Lindsay Lohan) wanted me to read this book. And I'm glad. It's one of the best books I've ever read. I read it in two nights.

The 200-page novel is 15 years old and won the 1998 Booker Prize. I should've read it sooner, but, hey, I've been busy.

As Mr. Wiki explains:
Amsterdam is the story of a strange euthanasia pact between two friends, a composer and a newspaper editor, whose relationship spins into disaster.
I read it in two nights and then spent the third night thinking about it more and trying to decide what kind of rating to give it. I ended up going with a 9, putting it in the top five in Haugen history. The only higher ranking book is The Taking by Dean Koontz. I had dreams about that for weeks afterwards. That's a sign that a book hit home, or that you're going insane dreaming about a book; but I'll opt for the former.

In Amsterdam, Ian McEwan not only takes a clever plot, ties the twists from beginning to end to keep the surprises coming; but he also writes a prose that is smooth as Tennessee whiskey. He mixes music, politics and newspapering, so that stuff was right up my alley.

It is a new standard for the type of book I hope to write someday. (Here's the Goodreads link). Don't be frightened away from it because it might seem a little hoity toity, or intellectual (one of those books critics like but nobody reads). Because if you know me, you know that I'm not hoity or toity, nor intellectual (I've simply gotten through life on good looks and charming personality).

Just read the book. It was stunningly good.

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