Amsterdam
McEwan’s ‘spoiler’
in Ian McEwan
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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.

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