Martin Amis, Time's Arrow I liked the prose and liked the execution, but there was still something a bit off. A tooth is missing in time's reverse cog making this Amis story rock rather than roll in reverse. Amis is forced to skip back in time, translate, and then relate the narrative forward.
He'll probably spend years writing then researching this thing, which she's already rated like it's an eBay-seller transaction, and reviewed with all the thoughtfulness and care of an Adderall-snorting thirteen-year-old's Facebook status update... She likes it well enough, reads the whole thing through in about a day. This author does seem to have got a certain way with words, some nice little descriptive details: "Mickey Mouse sniggers and Greta Garbo averts her pained gaze from a young couple's mortified writhings on the shallow fur of cinema seats" (p. Also some nice, darkly-brooding well-phrased stuff with its own intense, seductive style: "There's probably a straightforward explanation for the impossible weariness I feel. More good stuff -- time passes from one era to the next with description that transcends mere gimmick... until she finally comes across London Fields, and is lovestruck: THIS is the Martin Amis novel she's been waiting for all her life! It seems like she would read more Amis after loving London Fields so much, but she doesn't, and acts surprised later when a close female friend recommends his work. In fact, she seems to forget any real sense of who Amis is, and is overheard sharing a vague negative impression -- acquired who knows where -- that "only pretentious, asshole guys who are way too into coke and themselves read him." Which is too bad, because Martin Amis is a really good writer, and he's written a lot of books, and she might really enjoy some if she gave them a chance.
The non-U USP A short book that is one long gimmick: clever as a writing exercise, but not worth publishing or reading. It turns out to be the story of one man's life, told backwards by a consciousness/conscience inhabiting his body, but with no memory of what is to come (i.e. what has already happened). But with this man-woman stuff, you could run them any way you liked - and still get no further forward." There are duly several scenes where it is quite intriguing to read the dialog forwards then backwards, and the fact it works is clever, but...
When reading this, you see the outlook from a man with a possible multiple personality speaking from its point of view in reverse chronology and not the central character, a man who has escaped the ills of his past to change his life, hide from the past, needing the chance to heal again. Reading it from a reverse point of view seems comical at times, but also horrendous when the natural act was anything but the sort. I know I live on a fierce and magical planet, which sheds or surrenders rain or even flings it off in whipstroke after whipstroke, which fires out bolts of electric gold into the firmament at 186,000 miles per second, which with a single shrug of its tectonic plates can erect a city in half an hour. But I cannot bear to see the stars, even though I know theyre there all right, and I do see them, because Tod looks upward at night, as everybody does, and coos and points.
-Times Arrow This is what I want to remember: that I bought this off a wheeled cart for two quarters. Amis is genius in this book. I knew going into this book that it was about the holocaust. Reading this book and trying to get a grasp on the main character is a little like trying to figure out what your face really looks like by only using the side of a spoon for a mirror. By using this approach, Amis is able to make sudden and profound statements on life, man, and society, and he is able to keep the time period and setting from completely overwhelming the story. What is surprising about Times Arrow is where the violence fails to occur. Our laughter, together with the boys cries and whimpers Instead of breaking up families coming off the trains at Treblinka, the doctor plays matchmaker. How kind the good Nazi doctor is when he takes his own gold and fills the Jews teeth. It takes a master craftsman to construct a place where times arrow moves the other way. The phrase Life is best understood backwards takes on depth here, and the author is thorough, linking the books title with the clocks at Treblinka, there to reassure the Jews- the Jews of Warsaw, Radom, and the Bialystok districts whom the camp had servicedevery station, every journey, needs a clock. It is disturbing, really, to read Amis words from a narrator that is like a baby taken from the toilet, having a heart but no face: We cry and twist and are naked at both ends of life. If human beings remember only what they want to, I want to remember this book, if only to keep me from forgetting to tremble at the horrors of history.
?otnevni im asoc atlov amissorp al E Martin Amis racconta, tramite un narratore che parla in terza persona, la vita di una persona. Ma una vita che scorre alla rovescia diventa ai nostri occhi estremamente curiosa, ridicola, a volte anche disgustosa. Durante la prima parte del romanzo non sapevo se ridere per gli episodi grotteschi nella loro comicità o se buttare il libro dalla finestra, tanto risultava incomprensibile, senza né capo né coda. Poi, allimprovviso, verso i tre quarti di libro, ho iniziato a intravedere il soggetto e allora la trama ha iniziato ad avere una logica. Mi chiedo se il libro di Amis aggiunga qualcosa alla visione dell'olocausto. Mi chiedo se la scelta di Amis sia una scelta estetica o di contenuto.
After reading the first page of this book and realising that Amis was actually going to write a novel with time moving backwards I thought he must have some brilliant notion that required and would more than excuse the use of such an gimmicky device. And while I respect any artistic attempt to engage with this subject matter I feel Amis has really missed the mark with this book.
O enredo de A Seta do Tempo não me surpreendeu muito, não só por assentar em factos históricos mas por deduzir, desde as primeiras páginas, para onde me dirigia. "O esbaforido choro de uma criança, acalmado pela firme bofetada da mão do pai, uma formiga morta ressuscitada pela descuidada pisadela de uma sola que passa, um dedo ferido curado e selado pela lâmina da faca." Não é uma leitura difícil mas exige concentração para apreciar o texto (os diálogos têm mais sentido se lidos de baixo para cima).
Martin Amis is an English novelist, essayist, and short story writer.