Martin Amis is the son of Kingsley Amis, another famous British author.Amis, Martin. Time's Arrow; or, The Nature of the Offense. New York: Vintage International, 1992.Summary
: A man observes his entire life, from death to birth, in reverse. His entire life is haunted by his time as a doctor committing unspeakable atrocities in Nazi concentration camps.Comments
: What they say about the entirety of one's life flashing before one's eyes, perhaps? Only I don't think we generally assume that it happens in reverse. In any case, telling a story in reverse proves both hilarious and revealing, and the strength of this unorthodox novel is in the beginning when "Tod Friendly" (one of many aliases) is living his twilight years. The story might, in fact, actually get bogged down by Amis's excess cleverness because, by comparison, the protagonist's career as a Nazi seems rather quick and forced, lacking the affective, universally human quality of the earlier chapters. Still, there is a redemptive aspect to it--all of the romantic relationships and unlucky people that Odilo Unverdorben (his true name) destroyed the first time around, his silent observer sees created...and appreciates. As if such sins could ever be redeemed. Notes
: trade paperback (library book)Rating
- Flawed and ambitious, but still well worth checking out.