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Time’s Arrow

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  11,940 ratings  ·  968 reviews
In Martin Amis's Time's Arrow, the reader experiences the life of one Tod Friendly in reverse. Starting with his death, he leaves the hospital, grows healthier and younger, returns to his work as a doctor, begins his relationships and affairs with stormy breakups, and ends them with gradual seductions. Narrated by a separately conscious voice within Friendly's mind who w ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published August 13th 2003 by Vintage (first published September 26th 1991)
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Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“They're always looking forward to going places they're just coming back from, or regretting doing things they haven't yet done. They say hello when they mean goodbye.”
― Martin Amis, Time's Arrow


I liked the prose and liked the execution, but there was still something a bit off. A tooth is missing in time's reverse cog making this Amis story rock rather than roll in reverse. I enjoyed the narrative told backward; extracting the real meaning while reading the meaning back to front is a funky brai
Mohammed Arabey
-يمكنك ان تبدأ بالسطر الأخير اولا لتحصل علي نفس المراجعة بشكل مختلف نوعا ما-
محمد العربي
الي 25 ابريل 2016
من 24 ابريل 2016

.ويظل الغلاف لعبد الرحمن الصواف لتلك الطبعة العربية هو أفضل ما حدث بهذه النسخة العربية

.لكن لم استمتع علي الاطلاق بأسلوب المؤلف الثقيل في الحكي وليس الترجمة واسلوب المترجم فحسب

.برغم من ان الفكرة ممتازة جدا...فالبطل ،أوديلو ايا كان اسمه يري ان العالم يسير الان بلا منطق، يري الدنيا ماشية بظهرها..وبعيدا عن سخطه الدائم الثقيل فإنك يجب أن تعترف انه محق

Dec 21, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: backwards-minded types
She can't help it if her best isn't very good, but she's done it. She's ploddingly typed out her half-assedly apropos review, then clicked on the stars -- three of them, yellow and cartoony, her blithe summation of an author's painstakingly wrought offering to twentieth-century literature. He'll probably spend years writing then researching this thing, which she's already rated like it's an eBay-seller transaction, and reviewed with all the thoughtfulness and care of an Adderall-snorting thirtee ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
The non-U USP
A short book that is one long gimmick: clever as a writing exercise, but not worth publishing or reading. Once the novelty of a backwards story has worn off, there is little point to it and I lost interest (though I did finish it). And it's not even that original: Kurt Vonnegut had the same idea as a brief scene in "Slaughterhouse Five" (see my review here) as did Borges in the short story A Weary Man’s Utopia, which is in "The Book of Sand" (see my review here), and probably Fitzge
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
We can never change our past.

No matter how bad we were, no matter how good we were -- time, the man-made structure that decides what we do in our lives, how often we celebrate occasions, when we are born, when we die, what people think about us after we die, does not discriminate.

The concept behind Amis's 'Time's Arrow' is gimmicky at its core, but works only by the intelligence and craftiness of its author.

When reading this, you see the outlook from a man with a possible multiple personality s
English Standard Version (©2001)
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

“What is it with them, the human beings? I suppose they remember what they want to remember.”
-Time’s Arrow

This is what I want to remember: that I bought this off a wheeled cart for two quarters. That in a bad economy, this was a great investment. Amis is genius in this book. Pure genius. His structure starts with the last rattling
Feb 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
As science fiction concepts go this was interesting, but in the hands of a respectable sf writer this could have been so much more. While the odd idea breaks, through such as the child who is able to crawl forward for a few seconds is intriguing he never takes it further.
The usual amusment with reverse poo is there and why not
Not a good starting point for my first Amis (or for anyone really) but will try again.
Jan 10, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: uk, fantascienza
?otnevni im asoc atlov amissorp al E

Martin Amis racconta, tramite un narratore che parla in terza persona, la vita di una persona. Una vita che si svolge... al contrario! Una vera e propria narrazione a ritroso, come un film visto dalla fine all'inizio. Il narratore non ha coscienza delle esperienze fatte, non sa quello che è successo prima e nemmeno quello che succederà dopo. Si limita a giudicare e a commentare i fatti, tentando di assegnare loro un significato che però ovviamente gli sfugge.
Jan 07, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
After reading the first page of this book and realising that Amis was actually going to write a novel with time moving backwards I thought he must have some brilliant notion that required and would more than excuse the use of such an gimmicky device. I was willing to overlook all the technical and conceptual failings and inconsistencies in execution, on grounds of artistic licence, with the faith that the payoff would be so clever, insightful and illuminating theses trivial concerns would pale i ...more
O enredo de A Seta do Tempo não me surpreendeu muito, não só por assentar em factos históricos mas por deduzir, desde as primeiras páginas, para onde me dirigia.
As personagens, um médico e a sua consciência (o narrador), pareceram-me ter pouca profundidade, pelo seu comportamento linear, mantendo-me sempre emocionalmente distante.
Da prosa gostei muito - principalmente do capítulo 5. Aqui não há porquê.
O estilo achei uma loucura! Martin Amis conta a história de um homem, desde a sua morte até a
David Lentz
Jan 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Time's Arrow" is a very fine and powerful novel by Amis who, for me, had a tough encore after reading his genius novel, "Money," of which stratospheric literary level "Time's Arrow" falls a smidge short. However, "Time's Arrow" is very well conceived, highly inventive, lyrically narrated and powerful in its dire themes ultimately relating to one man's poignant personal relationship to the Holocaust. Amis deploys with great skill the narrative device of telling one man's story backward in a disc ...more
Jan 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it 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 wh ...more
Roy Lotz
If an author were to narrate my experience reading this novel in reverse, they would depict me getting progressively less and less frustrated with the book, until the very moment I finally put it down.
Nov 14, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: inglese
Se io leggessi “Finnegan’s Wake” col caffè, Proust dal dentista e Herta Müller in bagno, forse avrei trovato questo libro ‘semplice’ - e magari anche 'immediato' e 'diretto'.
Così non è e così non è stato: è un’opera che m’è sembrata ostica, molto faticosa da portare avanti e sono contento d’essermene liberato.
Forse non sarei neppure arrivato in fondo, se dopo qualche pagina non avessi avuto l’illuminazione di saltare alla postfazione dove la citazione di Primo Levi ha acceso il mi
فهد الفهد
السهم الزمني – طبيعة الجريمة

كانت هذه الرواية على القائمة القصيرة لبوكر 1991 م، وهي العمل الأول الذي اقرأه لمارتن إيمس، وهو عمل مكتوب بعناية، وأجبرني على إعادة قراءته من جديد حالما انتصفت في صفحاته الـ 230، وقلة هي الأعمال التي تجبرك على إعادة قراءتها، إما مبهوراً أو لمحاولة الفهم، بعد المحاولة الأولى المترددة.

قرأت هذه الرواية بلا أي مقدمات حولها أو حول أسلوبها الفريد، لهذا شعرت بالتيه، كنت أتلمس الأسلوب الغريب للرواية، والذي جعلني أشك لحظات في وجود خطأ طباعي ما!! لماذا تأتي سطور الحوار مقلوبة،
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 20-ce, fiction, uk, signed
Second reading. Just brill, to use the Amis argot. See my review of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five for my theory that Time's Arrow was inspired, at least in part, by a sequence in that earlier novel in which the protagonist watches a war film backwards. Highly recommended.
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
è possibile immaginare uno sliding doors dell'olocausto, facendo parlare la voce ingenua della coscienza di un ex criminale nazista? (primo elemento spiazzante: una specie di assistente del dottor mengele può avere una coscienza che candidamente racconta gli orrori come fossero opere di bene?)
risposta di martin amis: sì, se il film scorre al contrario. sì se la coscienza racconta la vita di quest'uomo riavvolgendone la pellicola (come se la sua morte fosse il principio, e ogni dopo diventasse un
João Carlos

"Arbeit Macht Frei" - Auschwitz

”A Seta do Tempo” é um dos mais emblemáticos romances do escritor britânico Martin Amis (n. 1949) originalmente publicado em 1991.
(view spoiler)
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Normally when I sense that a writer is going to pull a stunt with the entire conceit of his or her novel, I end up with a slow disdainful Billy Idol-style grimace developing on my face before thudding against the glass ceiling of disgust and shutting the book for good.

Don't do it, Martin. You don't have to dazzle us with a technical feat like this. You're too good for that. And it's called "trying too hard..."

Still, Martin must've been kicking around novel ideas when, probably a little buzzed, g
I had to drop a star. Bruised sleep revealed that I should not uphold my immediate image and adjust downwards. This situation was vivid in that I couldn't stop imaganing Amis in a smoking jacket writing about the Final Solution.

- Anyway -

A novel, a theme, that requires one to pass over it in silence. Marty refers to the Shoah as an autobahn to the reptilian mind. I tend to agree. Reading the dialogue in reverse was afeat. Language, sentences rather, are often so pailindromic.

Jan 05, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Time is heading on toward something. It pours past unpreventably, like the reflection on a windshield as the car speeds through city or forest.
Η τεχνική του Martin Amis δεν είναι εντελώς νέα· η αφήγηση από το παρόν προς το παρελθόν χρησιμοποιείται σε αρκετά κινηματογραφικά και λογοτεχνικά έργα, εντούτοις αυτό είναι το μόνο, τουλάχιστον από όσα έχω έρθει σε επαφή, έργο που μετέρχεται την ανάποδη χρονολογία ακόμη και στους διαλόγους, ωθώντας τον αναγνώστη να διαβάζει προς τα πίσω. Η πραγματική π
May 19, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1001-books
Life never really makes a lot of sense at the best of times. All of the philosophical ponderings on the eternal question of 'Why are we here?' haven't been able to come up with anything more convincing than 'Because'. Some people may wave other explanations such as 'The ineffable plan of God', which obviously, being ineffable means that it's not going to cut it as an explanation – if it can't be explained then it might as well not exist. Even if it did, which is another eternal question to some ...more
Sentimental Surrealist
A frustrating experience. See, I'd had Martin Amis hyped to me as one of the funniest writers of the whole goddamn 20th century; a classmate of mine referred to The Rachel Papers as the funniest book he'd read besides Infinite Jest, and anyone who knows me knows an Infinite Jest comparison is going to pique my interest. Well, Amis' style of humor may have worked for him, and maybe it's different in the Rachel Papers (being Amis' first novel, it's entirely possible), but it didn't really work her ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jenny (Reading Envy) by: Dale
"An old lady descends from the black branches of the fire escape every morning and wearily gathers it all up and clambers home with it in paper bags: the food left for her by the birds."

Before I say what I think about this novel, I should acknowledge that this idea of traveling backwards in time is not one that comes from Amis. Several people have accused him of stealing it from Vonnegut in Slaughterhouse-Five, in fact Amis himself acknowledges that inspiration in his afterward. A few years befo
Read: November 2016
Rating: 5/5 stars, best of 2016

The plot: the narrator of this story inhabits the dying body of a man named Tod Friendly, and it soon becomes clear that the narrator is living backwards in time, as Tod becomes younger, loses and gains lovers, and moves from his current country back through Portugal and then to Poland and Auschwitz.

I loved this book. It is so beautifully and cleverly written. It is a wonderful contrast to Counter Clock World by Philip K Dick which deals in a sim
Hmm, everyone's reviews say he wrote the book backwards, when it's untrue; the book is written from beginning to end, like all of them. It just tells the story from the end to the beginning, but in order.
My age-old Amis question remains: why is he so drawn to the dark and nasty? I was reading over my infant son's shoulder while I was feeding him, and it was so icky I felt like I was transferring some kind of violence to him bodily. There's always a - prurient, almost - attraction to violence. W
Bunny Burns
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Warning: This book will mess with your head. Like, properly. It can't be quite frustrating a times but I love the way it turns everything you think you know about cause and effect, and our perception of the way events unfold, on it's head - and then spins it around a few times for good measure.
Craig Stone
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought this was exceptional. A book that you can read in a day, that challenges the brain into thinking backwards. Throw in the holocaust, suffering and a general bleakness coupled with horror and it's a book worthy of your time. Some people have complained that the words didn't effect them emotionally, but the narrator is the consciousness of a Nazi war criminal raised in pre-war Germany - a dead man in a dead time entering a dead zone. Perhaps there is no emotion, but if there was, it would ...more
Oct 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Vinte centímetros cúbicos de ar - vinte centímetros cúbicos de nada - é tudo o que preciso para fazer a diferença. Portanto ninguém me agradece enquanto eu, com uma seringa quase do tamanho de um trombone e o meu pé direito calcando firmemente o corpo do paciente, continuo a levar a cabo a guerra contra o nada e o ar."
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THE LISTS: 100% of Time's Arrow 1 11 Jan 13, 2013 07:18AM  
THE LISTS: 90% of Time's Arrow 1 2 Jan 13, 2013 07:14AM  
THE LISTS: 80% of Time's Arrow 1 2 Jan 13, 2013 07:10AM  
THE LISTS: 70% of Time's Arrow 1 8 Jan 05, 2013 12:00PM  
THE LISTS: 60% of Time's Arrow 1 5 Jan 05, 2013 11:50AM  
THE LISTS: 50% of Time's Arrow 1 2 Jan 05, 2013 11:48AM  
THE LISTS: 40% of Time's Arrow 1 7 Jan 02, 2013 08:22AM  
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Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist, and short story writer. His works include the novels Money, London Fields and The Information.

The Guardian writes that "all his critics have noted what Kingsley Amis [his father] complained of as a 'terrible compulsive vividness in his style... that constant demonstrating of his command of English'; and it's true that the Amis-ness of Amis will be reco
“It seems to me that you need a lot of courage, or a lot of something, to enter into others, into other people. We all think that everyone else lives in fortresses, in fastnesses: behind moats, behind sheer walls studded with spikes and broken glass. But in fact we inhabit much punier structures. We are, as it turns out, all jerry-built. Or not even. You can just stick your head under the flap of the tent and crawl right in. If you get the okay. ” 60 likes
“Probably human cruelty is fixed and eternal. Only styles change.” 31 likes
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