Andrew's Reviews > Time's Arrow

Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
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's review
Jan 20, 2010

liked it

I wish you could do half-stars here on Goodreads, because I'd be giving this 3 1/2. Someone recommended this to me almost 20 years ago and I've just got round to picking it up. In some ways, I wish I'd read it back then - the notion of a plot running backwards nowadays isn't so unusual in our Memento-filled world - but here it's the lightness of touch will really makes this work. Our internal narrator, unknowing of the truth of his existence, comments unintentionally comically and tragically as the plot refolds. It's a story to pay attention to - you have to read it both forwards and backwards in your mind to appreciate it fully (especially to appreciate the difficulty in writing it). In terms of comic moments, the narrator's belief that you can always find a yellow cab when you need one and that you're so pleased with the journey that you stand for hours on end, waving and saluting the service, is a highlight. I was pleased to find the 'serious' moments weren't mawkish or overly sentimental either. Just put a new perspective on things.

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Reading Progress

January 20, 2010 – Started Reading
January 20, 2010 – Shelved
January 20, 2010 –
page 0
February 7, 2010 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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John the notion of a plot running backwards nowadays isn't so unusual in our Memento-filled world

In fact, P.K. Dick had used the device some long while earlier in Counter-Clock World (not the greatest of novels, but . . .). When Time's Arrow came out, Amis, to his very great credit, was honest enough to say this, indeed emphasize it. Natch, the literati ignored him and praised him for his supposed invention of the idea.

Andrew Seems like there'll always be that snobbishness between 'literay' and 'genre' critics!

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