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message 1: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1932 comments Mod
How do you rate the book? Does it deserve its place on the list?

message 2: by Book (new)

Book Wormy | 1932 comments Mod
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis
3.5 stars

This is a difficult book for me to rate because while I enjoyed various parts of the narrative, I was not comfortable with the treatment of the holocaust.

In terms of the narrative technique of telling a story in reverse I actually expected more than this story was able to deliver, there was no big reveal and no big payoff that made the technique make sense. There are hints throughout the novel of what is coming and anyone who knows history knows where we are headed.

The reader has the advantage/disadvantage of knowing where the narrative ends (at the beginning) and things that make no sense to the narrator make sense to us (nightmares, impotence and breakups).

This is an intriguing narrative and one that has left me thinking about what actually happened, the problem was the way the story is told was jarring to me as a reader and I feel there were inconsistencies in the way information was given in terms of the premise, this meant I spent a lot of time thinking is that accurate/ in the right order instead of allowing myself to be immersed in the book.

message 3: by Diane (new)

Diane | 2022 comments I read this a couple of months ago. Here is what I posted in the "Other 1001" folder:

Rating 3.5 Stars
Read: April 2017

Time's arrow is the story of a not very nice man's life told in reverse. He becomes a nicer person when his life is reversed. We start at his death and end when he is an infant. We see surgeries performed in reverse (the main character is a doctor), people removing fur from their coats to clothe furless animals, people coming back from gruesome deaths, as well as mundane things, like housecleaning, that seem more interesting when happening backwards. Part of the book takes place in Auschwitz during the Holocaust. Since it is in reverse, the doctor is actually saving people instead of killing them. Amis wasn't the first to use this technique, but it still presented a different way of viewing the world which made for a nice change of pace.

message 4: by Kristel (new)

Kristel (kristelh) | 3967 comments Mod
Time's Arrow by Martin Amis published 1991 is the story of Dr. Tod T. Friendly, living in the United States, who once worked in Auschwitz as a doctor. The story is told in reverse chronology and makes the mere 165 pages a very laborious read. No doubt Martin Amis is a skilled writer but this is not the first book written about a man's life lived backwards because there is Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. The difference in this case, the man is old and dying and maybe his life is flashing backwards and it is told by the narrating soul of the man. It is all very confusing. I can't really say I enjoyed the story. I felt that there was inconsistencies and the plot, story board and turning points were difficult using reverse chronology. My rating is 3.43

message 5: by John (new)

John Seymour Kristel wrote: "My rating is 3.43."

LOL - too funny, Kristel.

message 6: by John (new)

John Seymour 2 stars.

I thought the treatment of the Holocaust was so lightly done as to be obscene. The observance of the inversion of normal relationships and transactions was cute, but I was bored well before 50 pages. The time spent focusing on bodily functions was too much and felt rather like a teenager telling you a off color joke, then pestering you when you don't laugh: "do you get it? Huh? So when he sits on the toilet . . . ."

It would have meant sacrificing the fixation on sophomoric humor, but a more intriguing story would have allowed the narrator to understand that he was experiencing Tod's life backwards.

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