Michael's Reviews > Time's Arrow

Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
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May 19, 07

Read in January, 1991

I can't say enough about this novel, though a quick glance at my friends' reviews reveals that they liked it but were not quite as blown away by it. I loved how Amis took a conceit (running the world backwards and witnessing it from a naive viewpoint that must make sense of backwards-living) and used it to make new something that had grown shopworn and overfamiliar: Literature about the Holocaust. The novel is howlingly funny, and just when you want it to gain in seriousness and gravity, it does--the book deepens and becomes about the human condition, and about the nature of the soul and sin. In fact, between the galleys of the book and the final printing, Amis removed two words from the final line: "And I, [the soul] within, who came along too late or too early to make a difference." (I am writing this from memory, so if it is a misquote, my apologies. The book is in a box somewhere.) An awesome novel, in the truest sense of "awesome."
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