NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!

Lezlie



Wednesday, June 18, 2008

TIME'S ARROW

by Martin Amis



Time's Arrow is the life of an Auschwitz doctor from death to birth, experienced and told in reverse by an alternate consciousness that exists inside of him.

Time's Arrow is probably the most unique reading experience I have ever encountered. I had to really think about what was happening as the backwards actions cause good deeds to look bad and bad deeds to look benevolent, which often makes the former humorous and the latter even more repulsive. Observing the Holocaust from this twisted vantage point turned it into a mass resurrection, reunion of families, and societal integration. All the while, your brain is twisting it back into the sickening slaughter it was in reality, and the innocence of the narration magnifies the offense, chilling you to the bone.

This is the first book I've read by Martin Amis, but it definitely will not be the last.



15 comments:

zetor said...

This sounds a good one Lezlie. Thankyou for your comment , I know exactly what you mean about historical fiction , how it permeates your mind. You can imagine all castles as prisons !

naida said...

This does sound like an interesting read.

http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Lezlie said...

Zetor ~ It does. I even find my writing becomes more formal from reading all the formal language. It's so fun though!

Naida ~ It was really different. I liked it a lot. Let me know if you give it a try!

Lezlie

Gentle Reader said...

I've never read Time's Arrow, but really enjoyed London Fields and The Information. I once heard Amis speak at a book signing, and he was really smart and interesting! I'll have to put this on my list--thanks!

justareadingfool said...

I remember reading Time's Arrow many years ago when I found it at my local library when I still lived with my parents shortly after college. It's definitely one of those books you don't forget. Amis definitely isn't like his father, Kingsley, although I liked his works too (at least Lucky Jim). I also have London Fields on my TBR list and now am thinking maybe I should get to it soon...if not for the 100 or so books also on that shelf.

Teddy Rose said...

Great review! You got me interested in it. I added it to Mt. TBR

Lezlie said...

Gentle Reader ~ Maybe I'll check into the ones you mention. I definitely want to read more of his work.

Reading Fool ~ I suspect this will stay with me also.

Teddy Rose ~ Thanks! And I hear both you and Reading Fool regarding those TBR mountains and shelves! They just keep growing no matter how fast we read! :-)

Lezlie

Jeane said...

Told in reverse- like that film Memento? It would probably make my head hurt, but it sounds so interesting!

Andi said...

You're the first review of this one I've read since I attempted it a couple of years ago. I was not the devoted reader that I am now, so I gave up, but it's definitely one I'd like to revisit. I'm amazed that Amis could do it.

Lezlie said...

Jeane ~ I never saw Memento, so I'm not sure. But *everything* is literally backwards. Confusing, but fascinating.

Andi ~ Hi! Good to see you out and about. Conversation is good for the soul. :-) For as confusing as the book could be, I found it really easy to read. And I thought the same thing about him being able to do it so consistently. I don't think there's one screw up. I wondered if he had to write it forwards first, then reverse it all.

L.

Booklogged said...

Putting this one on my list. I like interestingly written books.

Lezlie said...

Booklogged ~ Me, too. The creativity of some authors is stunning!

L.

joanna said...

I think there's another, less serious, book around that has a similar narrative, from death to birth... This one sounds really chilling though - is it very disturbing to read?

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ It's not graphic, but it bothers your mind. Does that make sense?

L.

joanna said...

It does make sense... it definitely sounds too interesting to pass up!