Amsterdam is a 1998 novel by British writer Ian McEwan, for which he was awarded the 1998 Booker Prize.
Amsterdam is the story of a euthanasia pact between two friends, a composer and a newspaper editor, whose relationship spins into disaster.
The book begins with the funeral of artist Molly Lane. Guests at the funeral include British Foreign Secretary Julian Garmony, newspaper editor Vernon Halliday, and composer Clive Linley. The three share certain attributes: each has a very high opinion of himself, each was at some time Molly's lover, and each regards the dead woman's husband, George, with a mixture of amusement and contempt.
Clive and Vernon muse upon Molly's death. It seems she had some kind of rapid-onset brain disease (not specified) that left her helpless and mad. Neither man can understand her attraction to Julian Garmony, the right-wing Foreign Secretary who is about to challenge his party's leadership.
Clive returns home to continue work on a symphony he has been commissioned to write for the forthcoming millennium. Much of the work is complete, save the crucial signature melody. He resolves to go walking in the Lake District, as this tends to inspire him.