After the funeral of their friend and former lover Molly Lane, two men, Vernon Halliday, an editor and Clive Linley, a composer, make a pact that if either of them should start to deteriorate in health, the other would arrange for an assisted suicide. Amsterdam quickly becomes a morality tale, as a scandal arises involving a politician that divides the two friends. They become enemies, but neither forgets the pact. The disagreement between the two former friends is what leads to their downfall while the politician finds success.

Summary of Amsterdam by Ian (Russell) McEwan

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