Katherine Furman's Reviews > Time's Arrow

Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
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Jul 31, 07

Read in July, 2007

What a truly unique story. It starts at death and runs backwards through birth, but even that has a twist. The narrator of the story is a separate voice inside the main character, who is unaware of this omnipresent observer. The voice is impotent and incapable of controlling the body or thoughts of the main character in anyway, it can't even alert the main character to its presence, but yet it persists as an watcher who does not realize the world is running backwards. It just thinks that life makes very little sense.

The backwards sequence of events begins as novelty, with things like the reverse intake of food and conversations that run from end to start, but the combination of the time's course and the narrator's ignorant observance serves to change the entire meaning of the main character's life. From birth to death he's one man, from death to birth he's quite another. Events don't change, but time's arrow changes their meaning.

Overall, this was a beautiful book. It was a challenge to follow because of the nature of the story, but that's part of what makes it gratifying. Occasionally some pieces of the plot wore a little thin or were even a bit holey, and sometimes the author got caught up in poetics, but this is most definitely a book worth slugging through. You'll finish it and think, 'holy shit, that was amazing' and then think about all the subtle implications you didn't pick up as you were reading and your appreciation for it will continue to grow.
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message 1: by Kimz (new)

Kimz Zahour Wonderful review! Now I am curious to read it. ;)


Caryn I read this a long time ago but I enjoyed your explanation of it. Very clear and concise!


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