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Thread: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

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    MENACING Courtney's Avatar
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    Default Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    This is the thread in which we discuss Amsterdam by Ian McEwan for the Coachella Message Board Book Club: January 2011 Edition.

    We will officially start discussion on Monday, February 21. Those of you who wish to discuss the book while reading may discuss it in this thread immediately. Those of you who do not wish to read spoilers should just avoid opening this thread until February 21. On the week of February 21, our official discussion will be begin and Patrick (SoulDischarge) or I will post one question each day as a jumping off point to facilitate discussion. Of course, anyone is welcome to discuss the book in any way and at any time in this thread.

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    he totally stole that melody.
    Quote Originally Posted by efrain44 View Post
    Anyone know who the guy in the Cardinals jersey is? I've seen him in pictures on the board and I thought I saw him this year.

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    ankle biter guedita's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Fuck. This reminds me that I left my library copy at Safeway on Tuesday. And lost and found doesn't have it.

    8/16: Anthony Naples, Maxmillion Dunbar @ f8
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    old school RageAgainstTheAoki's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Hmmm. I might join this. A friend loaned me Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago and I'm almost done with Catch 22 and looking for my next read. Have to say, though, I found McEwan's Atonement really disappointing.

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    The Encyclopedia bmack86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I've read the first two large chapters. It's entertaining so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

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    Coachella Junkie algunz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I'm with you all, just FYI.

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    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I just bought my book yesterday, so I'm officially in.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    MENACING Courtney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Just bumping this as a reminder. I've only just read the first 27 pages, because I'm a procrastinator to the extreme. Good thing we still have two weeks to go.

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    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I've read the first two chapters.

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    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I am mostly through chapter 3. This is a short book though, so it shouldn't take long.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    Coachella Junkie fatbastard's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Just ran across this thread. I'll thumb thru it at the library on the next trip.
    Whiskey Sour

    2 oz blended whiskey
    Juice of 1/2 lemon
    1/2 tsp powdered sugar
    1 cherry
    1/2 slice lemon

    Shake blended whiskey, juice of lemon, and powdered sugar with ice and strain into a whiskey sour glass. Decorate with the half-slice of lemon, top with the cherry, and serve.

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    Lurker HighViolet's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Ian McEwan is a genius. I'm in.

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    MENACING Courtney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Bump. One week left until the official discussion begins.

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    MENACING Courtney's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Ok! Who finished? Overall impressions?

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    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I'm done. I found it hard to sympathize with the characters because they all seemed like pompous assholes, but McEwan probably did that on purpose, considering the end.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    One gets the impression over the course of reading a selection of McEwan novels that all he knows are pompous assholes.
    Quote Originally Posted by efrain44 View Post
    Anyone know who the guy in the Cardinals jersey is? I've seen him in pictures on the board and I thought I saw him this year.

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    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Perhaps he enjoys making fun of them.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    Peaceful Oasis TomAz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    No, I think he feels a kinship.
    Quote Originally Posted by efrain44 View Post
    Anyone know who the guy in the Cardinals jersey is? I've seen him in pictures on the board and I thought I saw him this year.

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    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Amy, I agree. It was hard to sympathize, yet they still drew you into their self centered world. Clive was interesting to me. The lonely artist, working on his craft, believing in every positive thing that was said or written about him and letting it feed his bloated ego. I found it hilarious that he did actually steal from Ode to Joy in the end.

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    The Encyclopedia bmack86's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Blame Pot, because I instead got immersed in The Unconsoled
    Quote Originally Posted by canexplain View Post
    Remember Hitler? I don't but here we are again .. cr****

  21. #21

    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I got bored reading about rich people and their "problems"... I liked the character development on molly tho.
    Last edited by Starraven; 02-23-2011 at 01:31 PM.

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    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I felt that way at first, but I think the story moved things along nicely, and I am glad I kept reading. I liked that Molly was an unbelievable slob and had a long string of lovers.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    For that, Molly was the most "real" character, in that she was who she was always. Can't say that about Clive or Vernon. They kept trying to present themselves differently to others, and suppressing things. Hence what helped lead to their simultaneous ends.

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    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    Also, based on the lack of comments...did most not enjoy the book?

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    Bambi menikmati's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    These Coachella book clubs never work out from what I can tell.

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    Coachella Junkie humanoid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    the only book club worth a damn is Oprah's!!!


    joking...if this continues, I'd like to be involved in the next one...I was distracted this time around.
    '99-'11...

  27. #27
    zeezus amyzzz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    This one has had the poorest response. I remember more discussion for White Noise and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. Maybe this one was too short to discuss?

    Did anyone like the ending, or was it too easy to figure out ahead of time?
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Because fucking millenials that's what

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    old school downingthief's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    I liked it. I knew something like that had to happen, but I still think it was done in such a way to keep it interesting.

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    Coachella Junkie SoulDischarge's Avatar
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    Default Re: Coachella Message Board Book Club: Discussion of Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

    While looking for stuff to read at the used book store at the local library, I ended up running across Amsterdam and read it over the past few days whenever I found time. Here's the review I wrote for it on Good Reads.

    Amsterdam concerns the compromised ethics of four successful, wealthy men in modern London who are all connected through their former sexual relations with a free spirited woman whose funeral opens the book. One each comes from the professional worlds of the arts, the media, politics, and business, but they all fall victim to the same human weaknesses: self absorption, jealousy, deceitfulness, and an ambition that comes at the expense of others' well-being. The novel is ostensibly a darkly comic morality play that seems to be poised as a biting satire on the notion of success in British society, but the entire thing is so underdeveloped, it lacks the intended bite. It's a brief and easy read, falling just short of 200 pages and being written in a serviceable but not entirely remarkable prose, yet the slightness of the material makes it feel far shorter. The characters never feel completely fleshed out, more ideas of people used to prove a point than fully realized personalities. More often than not, McEwan tells us about their defining characteristics instead of showing us. A lack of action in general is a real problem, as the most basic elements of character and plot are laid out and then put into action in order to get to the predictable twist ending (although it's debatable whether it's actually intended as a twist considering how obvious it is from the time the first seed of its development is planted). Additionally, the pieces of the plot are moved about in such a contrived manner that you pretty much always can tell where things are going. This lack of surprises makes the rote shocks of the story seem dull and familiar instead of horrifying. In slavishly attending to the central theme, McEwan forgets to create anything truly memorable to make the impact of its ramifications felt. If there was one thing I really did enjoy about this book, it was the insight into Clive's process of composing his symphony. In fact, it seemed as though a disproportionate amount of time was given over to this in relation to every other element of character and plot building. Overall, it's a light and easy read disguising itself as literature; not particularly offensive while reading it, but ultimately inconsequential.
    Quote Originally Posted by guedita View Post
    Thanks for giving us the opportunity to not give a fuck again.

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