Beverly's Reviews > Time's Arrow

Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
804601
's review
Jan 21, 2008

it was amazing
Recommended for: People who don't care for Martin Amis's other books

It continues to amaze me how those who claim to be fans of Martin Amis haven't heard of or read Time's Arrow. This book is a masterpiece in experimental fiction. He literally, methodically, writes the story backwards as his character experiences time going backwards. I don't know of any other author who has attempted and succeeded in doing this. It's been a while since I read it, but what I remember was the uncanny sense that I was experiencing time backwards as I read it. I began questioning what was happening to the event of reading, to me!, through this process of a narrative that runs itself backwards. It was requiring that I begin to read the narrative differently, facts collected themselves on the pages chronologically backwards, cause and effect were reversed, action and responses were twisted, requiring the reader to think differently, to read differently. It's quite fascinating, and quite an amazing accomplishment for a writer. I am looking forward to finding the time to read it again soon. (note: I have tried his other books and never could get interested in them like I did this one. Tells me that if you don't usually like Martin Amis's books, you would probably like this one.)

20 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Time's Arrow.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

William There is that short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald 'Benjamin Buttons' that was made into a movie a couple of years ago.


William And then there is Being Dead by Jim Crace.


P.A. Baines I am 80% through and am finding the whole experience a little bit disorienting. I am listening to the audiobook version while I cycle to work and I have found myself almost cycling into things--such was the effect on my poor brain.


William P.A.Baines wrote: "I am 80% through and am finding the whole experience a little bit disorienting. I am listening to the audiobook version while I cycle to work and I have found myself almost cycling into things--suc..."

I don't think this particularly book lends itself to audio reading. I would have been way too confused to enjoy it.


P.A. Baines William wrote: "P.A.Baines wrote: "I am 80% through and am finding the whole experience a little bit disorienting. I am listening to the audiobook version while I cycle to work and I have found myself almost cycli..."

I finished it this morning. I didn't find it confusing, but then the person reading it was excellent. Really clear and just the right amount of "performance".


message 6: by Lit (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lit Chick I adored Martin Amis UNTIL I got to this book. I was introduced to him through the late Christopher Hitchens. I correctly assumed a genius on Hitchens's level would have a lot of smart writer friends who would be worth reading.

I read London Fields, then the two Money books. I started into "Time's Arrow" understanding his choice to present all of life and everyone in it as going backwards. BUT it soon became wearing to keep moving that way mentally.

I too made an effort to read the words backwards and was not astonished it worked as Amis is so damn brilliant. But the trick wears out; I am worn out. Tod's hideous nature and pathology as revealed towards what promises to be a hideous core is exhausting.

I am almost ready to stop reading it; shelve it completely. I have never not finished a book so this is difficult. I will most likely come back to it in a few years. Maybe then I will have more literary maturity to tackle it anew. I'm disappointed as I was looking forward to more of M. Amis's work when I found Time's Arrow.

The edition I bought through Thriftbooks (a UK bookstore with free US shipping) is solid; printed on extra thick heavyweight stock. Just turning the pages is a sensual experience; one keeps thinking one has turned two or more pages, not one. Another good reason to keep it; quality like this rarely exists any more in publishing.


back to top