Category Archives: character sketch

First book of 2012: Amsterdam by Ian McEwan

(Finished January 4, 2012)

This short novel was dark and twisted. And I liked it.

The novel follows two former lovers of a woman named Molly Lane. It begins as the former lovers attend Molly’s funeral, thrown by her then-husband, George. One man, a newspaper editor, the other, a composer.

The two (now) friends reach a compromise after the funeral. Molly had died not herself — she’d gone crazy, hadn’t recognized her family, her friends, or even herself. Both men think Molly would have preferred to go out on top by committing suicide when she was still herself. They make a pact: should either man become afflicted with a similar condition, the other would find a way to kill the afflicted man before he becomes someone foreign to himself.

Well, a little bit down the road, both men go through a tough time. The editor wants to publish scandalous photos of a man running for Prime Minister. The other has to finish a very important piece of music, and he just can’t get it right.


In the end, the men go to Amsterdam to get away and hear the composer’s music played. Unbeknownst to one another, they have each arranged to kill the other. And bam, end of story.


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The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman

(Finished December 6, 2011)

I received this book as a gift from my aunt and uncle, and I’m so glad I did! I had been wanting to read it, but who knows when I would have gotten around to it.

I really enjoyed this book. A collection of intertwining stories, it follows the staff of an international newspaper in Rome. From the lowly, lonely copyeditor to the newspaper owner’s rich, spoiled, yet insecure son — every story was unique. Some were funny, some mundane, and others heart-wrenching. Oh journalists.

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