Between the 2 Ians and the 2 Amsterdams

Dutch Word of the Day
stem: vote
Stem voor een boek.
Vote for a book.

For the sake of continued Dutch- themed ridiculousness, I’ve decided that I will read either A Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Baruma or Amsterdam by Ian McEwan. The fact that these two are both named Ian is completely coincidental, but it adds to the fun. I just want some feedback on which one. Here are the descriptions from

A Murder in Amsterdam by Ian Baruma
Returning to his homeland of the Netherlands, acclaimed author Ian Buruma brings readers the enigmatic story of the death of Theo van Gogh. Great-grandnephew of the famed artist and a European film provocateur, Theo would be murdered by an angry young Muslim man striking out against the director’s latest political documentary. A vocal proponent of free speech, van Gogh would make many enemies, but his death would send a shock wave across Europe’s artistic and political community. Ian Buruma investigates the event in this ‘true crime’ narrative that explores the crime and its larger context in the cultural battle with the secular West.

Amsterdam by Ian McEwan
On a chilly February day, two old friends meet in the throng outside a London crematorium to pay their last respects to Molly Lane. Both had been her lovers in the days before they reached their current eminence: Clive Linley is Britain’s most successful modern composer, and Vernon Halliday is editor of the newspaper, The Judge. Gorgeous, feisty Molly had had other lovers, too, notably, Julian Garmony, Foreign Secretary, a notorious right-winger tipped to be the next prime minister. In the days that follow Molly’s funeral, Clive and Vernon make a pact with consequences that neither could have forseen. Winner of the Booker Prize.

As you can see, these are completely different options. One is non-fiction, the other’s fiction. One’s written by a Dutchman, the other by an Englishman. One has everything to do with Amsterdam, the other definitely does not. You can give an opinion based on the reviews or if you’ve read them before. I’ll have the results later this week. Happy voting!

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July 2007
The Hype Machine mp3 blogs Questions? Comments? Post suggestions? Leave a comment or mail me at: amherstdam....(at)

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