<i>Amsterdam</i>: McEwan's ‘spoiler’

Dominic Head

in Ian McEwan

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780719066566
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781701027 | DOI:
Amsterdam: McEwan's ‘spoiler’

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  • Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)


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This chapter examines Ian McEwan's ‘Amsterdam’, a Booker Prize-winning novella. It explains that this novel was considered as an inferior Booker winner and reappraises it as an accomplished satirical novella. This social satire is conducted through the portraits of the characters of newspaper editor Vernon Halliday and composer Clive Linley, projected as representative of the professional achievers of the Thatcher-Major era. This satire is not consistent in its comic effects and it bleeds out into the contemporary world of literary culture, the culture of which this smartly composed novella is a self-conscious product.

Keywords: Amsterdam; Ian McEwan; Booker winner; satirical novella; Thatcher-Major era; literary culture; Vernon Halliday; Clive Linley

Chapter.  4872 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (20th Century onwards)

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