Monday, April 21, 2008


I rarely read fiction. That said, when I consider my all-time favorite books, many of them are fiction. There is something about this genre that has the potential to make a big impact on me. Amsterdam, by Ian McEwan, does not make that list, but it was pretty good.

McEwan's story is largely character development. The plot, although intriguing, serves primarily to shape his characters. The setting is modern London and centers on upper-class writers and artists. And while I could not relate to the lifestyle of the characters, I enjoyed exploring their complex and darkly humorous minds.

I would consider Amsterdam to be literature and not general fiction. I suppose I make that distinction when the author is attempting to do more than entertain. The idea of reading as mindless entertainment--you know, the small paperback books with obnoxious covers--actually seems bizarre to me. Why not watch a movie and save yourself the trouble?

1 comment:

TBlaze said...

I have read Amsterdam as well as Saturday and Atonement by McEwan. I find him to be an excellent writer, especially considering the current state of writing. I would recommend that you read Saturday, which is a very simple story in its own right but is written in such a way that it sticks with for a long time.

It is interesting that you posted this now as I just finished Atonement. I liked it. It actually got me fired up about the beauty of the English language. I do not think it would have made the same impact if I hadn't been surrounded by German speakers for 10 hours a day while I was working at the bank in Frankfurt.