"Amsterdam" is a novel written by the English author Ian McEwan. The book was published in 1998.
Clive and Vernon live the yearning of having definitely lost one of those women who have only been allowed to graze, chimerical creatures born to leave behind a long trail of bittersweet regrets.
The story begins during the celebration of the funeral of Molly where, among a myriad of known lovers, presumed or never even suspected, the two friends swear to assist each other and to give themselves sweet death in case they happen to be invaded by a bad evil and darkening like the one he had confused in reason, before he was killed in the body, his beloved Molly.
Of this novel, apparently with crepuscular tones, a desecrating and sulphurous spirit soon took possession, which enjoyed putting the two protagonists in front of moral dilemmas that would foster their moral integrity.
Is it ethically correct that newspaper editor Vernon contravenes his professional ethics and uses private photos to end the career of a despicable prime minister, xenophobic and reactionary candidate?
And what to think about the rescue omission of which the composer Clive becomes protagonist, who, to preserve a moment of creative inspiration, renounces to defend a woman physically threatened by a mysterious man?
Their choices will be dictated by a selfishness that is more evident as it is justified with noble ideals. Blind about their responsibilities but very careful not to forgive anything else, the two friends turn into ruthless judges, whose final choices can not be more unpredictable, the result of the radical inability to understand and sympathize with others.
The novel, written with sharpened and dry pen as it is appropriate to satire, thus represents in an ironic key the "moral desert" of which we speak from the end of the twentieth century, and what else is nothing but the triumph of the most banal selfishness pusillanime never seen on the stage of history, since the full triumph of the capitalist system imposes a single model of man, economy, society and culture.