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Time's Arrow
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1001 book reviews > Time's Arrow - Martin Amis

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Gail (gailifer) | 1273 comments I read this for my 2018 TBR challenge for March.
I gave it 3 stars as it is well written and well thought out. I was happy to be reading it. The author tells the story of a very terrible person backwards from his death through to his infancy. It left me thinking a great deal about cause and effect and how little choices in life can lead to bigger choices which lead on to very bad repercussions. The main character seemed never to have thought through his choices but in the end he had made a horrible life. I found the role of the narrator in the story, who had no control over his "body", to be a contrived one, but it was an effective way to tell the story without having to take on a god's eye view of events. It was almost as if once we die we get to relive our life backwards without being able to change anything. This created some interesting visuals, such as doctors smashing up people that were well. However, it left the narrator very naive. He had judgement, but because he could not exercise that judgement the reader could never guess how things would have been different from his different point of view. Overall I was left wondering if any of the characters had made real choices or not and that perhaps that was the point of the book; we are all victims of our moment in time.
The book is very short so I could appreciate the intelligent thoughts and not be too exasperated by the lack of character development within the story.


Kristel (kristelh) | 3967 comments Mod
Read 2017
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


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