[[ Free ePUB ]] Time’s ArrowAuthor Martin Amis – 91videos.co

Time s Arrow is a very fine and powerful novel by Amis who, for me, had a tough encore after reading his genius novel, Money, of which stratospheric literary level Time s Arrow falls a smidge short However, Time s Arrow is very well conceived, highly inventive, lyrically narrated and powerful in its dire themes ultimately relating to one man s poignant personal relationship to the Holocaust Amis deploys with great skill the narrative device of telling one man s story backward in a disciplined linear story arc from death to birth We start at a point in the narrator s current life and systematically point the arrow of time in reverse so that each line of narrative, including dialogue, goes straight into flight to an immediately prior point of time until the narrator is three years old Amis shows an adept skill for showing how, when the narrative takes the reader from the present in a linear flight, the results seem surprising and contradictory At first this narrative technique seems confusing and even disorienting until the reader understands the narrative vocabulary of the retreat and the rich irony of looking backward event by event There are also dualing personal voices in the single narrator which require some imagination to sort out but which lend intrigue to the narrative device of time s reversal and that reversal s impact upon the assessment of fortune Amis genuinely is a major literary novelist and his writing is reliably spectacular as he crafts lines which are pithy, ironic, tragicomic and compelling I truly respect the writing in Time s Arrow and Martin Amis whose masterpiece, Money, I recommend that you read first. We can never change our past No matter how bad we were, no matter how good we were time, the man made structure that decides what we do in our lives, how often we celebrate occasions, when we are born, when we die, what people think about us after we die, does not discriminate.The concept behind Amis s Time s Arrow is gimmicky at its core, but works only by the intelligence and craftiness of its author.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 This work of art takes patience and focus We, as a whole, as everything, move forward and only see one perspective Reading it from a reverse point of view seems comical at times, but also horrendous when the natural act was anything but the sort Some examplesThey re always looking forward to going places they re just coming back from, or regretting doing things they haven t yet done They say hello when they mean goodbye It s all strange to me 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 Creation is easy, is quick There s also a universe, apparently But I cannot bear to see the stars, even though I know they re there all right, and I do see them, because Tod looks upward at night, as everybody does, and coos and points The Plough Sirius, the dog The stars, to me, are like pins and needles, are like the routemap of a nightmare Don t join the dots Of the stars, one alone can I contemplate without pain And that s a planet The planet they call the evening star, the morning star Intense Venus Many may get tired of it within the first few pages, but stick with it and you ll be rewarded. She can t help it if her best isn t very good, but she s done it She s ploddingly typed out her half assedly apropos review, then clicked on the stars three of them, yellow and cartoony, her blithe summation of an author s painstakingly wrought offering to twentieth century literature 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 updateIn any case, now she ll see what this book s all about She picks it up, name scans the Afterword Aw, Hitch , and begins Seems to be a fairly standard sort bildungsroman kind of thing, young boy into man oh, no, but wait It s not really some heavy stuff here and uh oh, what s this an arguably silly postmodern TRICK 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 154 Shallow fur She likes that 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 A perfectly straightforward explanation It is a mortal weariness Maybe I m tired of being human, if human is what I am I m tired of being human p 93 Ooh, that s nice More good stuff time passes from one era to the next with description that transcends mere gimmick because gimmick is what this is, she sees, as she nears the first page In this book, she discovers, time runs in reverse, and the life of the main character is being chronicled from the end backwards by a rather hapless, baffled narrator whom we re encouraged to picture as a sentimentalized fetus, with faithful smile p 42.Does it work It works She or less does get pretty into the whole thing But then, she s prone to jokes that go on way too long, and tends to find them amusing in the endless retelling an old man wearing bellbottoms in the early eighties is fashion s cutting edge, garbage men scatter trash throughout cities, while highway workers rip up the road Of course, she knows, this is Literature, so sometimes the joke is very Serious its protagonist is a doctor, who appalls his Jiminy Cricket type observing ego by brutalizing patients, as doctors in this backwards world almost always necessarily do The narrator speculates on the demolition of cities, centuries from now, into the pleasant land green, promised, and pauses to assert that he s glad he wasn t around for the city s creation It s poignant, while also cool, as she finds this novel has generally been throughout.By the time she s done, she s resolved to seek out of the writer s work Although this isn t the greatest book she s ever read, she enjoyed it, and she bets he s done better elsewhere with this evident cleverness and his linguistic gifts She adds Time s Arrow to her to read list, and reviews another book by Amis book reviews, The War Against Cliche which, when she reads it, she feels is vastly superior Then she goes on to sample of his fiction, and finds it sort of beguilingly uneven As with Time s Arrow, each book has, to varying degrees, both its awe inspiring strengths and unforgivable flaws None of what she reads is, in her opinion, as good as his reviews until she finally comes across London Fields, and is lovestruck THIS is the Martin Amis novel she s been waiting for all her life And why is the thing you re looking for always in the last place you look It seems like she would read 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 But it s too late Wait, is it too late It might be too late, or, alternatively, it might not be To be honest, she s not sure how this whole thing works, and trying to figure out the logistics sort of makes her head hurt. The non U USPA short book that is one long gimmick clever as a writing exercise, but not worth publishing or reading Once the novelty of a backwards story has worn off, there is little point to it and I lost interest though I did finish it And it s not even that original Kurt Vonnegut had the same idea as a brief scene in Slaughterhouse Five see my review here as did Borges in the short story A Weary Man s Utopia, which is in The Book of Sand see my review here , and probably Fitzgerald s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.It opens with painfully vivid descriptions of a life and death emergency 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 It feels his emotions, but can t control them or his actions He is a doctor, so in this world, he assaults people, money all comes down to the quality of your trash and all sustenance, all meaning comes from the loo Sense or Nonsense At one point the narrator says I have noticed that most conversations would make much better sense if you ran them backwards 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 so what Page or Screen I can t work out if it would be better or worse as a film backwards footage of walking and eating is pass and comedic, but some other things would work well The ship s route is clearly delineated on the surface of the water and is violently consumed by our advance Thus we leave no mark on the ocean, as if we were covering our tracks. Gratuituous Gimmicks There are some other ideas where running them backwards gives an intriguing or awkwardly funny slant, but they don t add up to a decent novel, and some of them are so gratuitous and irrelevant to the plot e.g buying teeth from the tooth fairy that I can t help thinking Amis had a list of backward things he wanted to incorporate The slightly interesting ones include the meticulous vandalism of gardening and uglify the home instead of DIY, birth being a long, painful goodbye, a wounded finger healed and sealed by the knife s blade , hippies going to Vietnam and returning sane, middle age resurgence of interest in sex being like puberty, breaking up reading like a slushy reconciliation, and bottling the gook from one s hair and selling it But ultimately, they re a series of gimmicks. As science fiction concepts go this was interesting, but in the hands of a respectable sf writer this could have been so much While the odd idea breaks, through such as the child who is able to crawl forward for a few seconds is intriguing he never takes it further.The usual amusment with reverse poo is there and why notNot a good starting point for my first Amis or for anyone really but will try again. English Standard Version 2001 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face Now I know in part then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.What is it with them, the human beings I suppose they remember what they want to remember Time s Arrow This is what I want to remember that I bought this off a wheeled cart for two quarters That in a bad economy, this was a great investment Amis is genius in this book Pure genius His structure starts with the last rattling gasp of life and then pulls the reader backward, reanimating a character s troubled past by making it the future of the narrative I knew going into this book that it was about the holocaust What I did not know was that the holocaust could still move me, shock me, and brutalize me any I had read too many books on it, seen too many movies and documentaries about it I became stupid and calloused and let this lull me into thinking that the holocaust had been overdone Overdone as in boilerplate, as in Hollywood and botox Thankfully, this book shamed me back into grief 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 The narrator is hard to figure out it may be the broken and detached voice of the main character s conscience or it may not Either way, the narrator is confused Everything is off Reality is blurred and warped Things are born from fire instead of read and then burned, tumors are strategically buried inside bodies and not removed, color televisions are traded in for black and white ones The all seeing eye that moves with Doctor Tod Death Friendly is on perpetual rewind and rarely sees things clearlyBut wait a minute The baby is crawling, only one or two panting inches at a time but crawling forward Hey Christ, how long has it been since I Anyhow, it s soon over, this lucid interval The mother is reading backward again, and the baby is merely weeping It wants its diaper filled with new shit from the trash I m being immature I ve got to get over it I keep expecting the world to make sense It doesn t It won t EverBy 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 Most readers know to expect violence in a story involving the Holocaust, and expectations are fulfilled here in the most striking manner What is surprising about Time s Arrow is where the violence fails to occur Going counterclockwise in this story means reading passages where upholding the Hippocratic Oath is detestable and where injecting victims with acid or delivering Zyklon B is portrayed as almost a heartwarming gestureWe d just totaled a couple of teenage boys Their mothers has brought them in and then got the hell out soon after we d started work, staying only to witness the methodical unraveling of the soaked bandages We took the stitches out and swabbed the boys with blood I remember Witney s skillful insertion of some kind of crossbow bolt me, I was wedging shards of brown glass into the other boys crown And we both, as they say, cracked up We laughed at each other, full face, showing at last with teeth and tongue and tonsils the mortal hilarity that sniggers behind everything we do here 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 The author creates a revisionist history here, winking at the reader, while the reader nods, smiles, and takes away a fuller knowledge of the truth The whole thing is amazing, really It takes a master craftsman to construct a place wheretime s arrow moves the other wayThe phrase Life is best understood backwards takes on depth here, and the author is thorough, linking the book s title with the clocks at Treblinka, thereto reassure the Jews the Jews of Warsaw, Radom, and the Bialystok districts whom the camp had serviced every station, every journey, needs a clock The hands were painted and would never move to an earlier time Beneath the clock was an enormous arrow, on which was printed Change Here For Eastern Trains But time had no arrow, not hereBrutal, the forethought of that painted clock And there, right there, the author makes a winning case for the suspension of time s correct movement throughout his work Time is gone here, in this book, because time was suspended and removed during that ugly period in history as well This book is dark Hope does not spring eternal here, but instead gives into the dark side, staring into the bleak void of a starved and hollowed eyed nihilism It is disturbing, really, to read Amis words from a narrator that is likea baby taken from the toilet,having a heart but no faceWe cry and twist and are naked at both ends of life We cry at both ends of life while the doctor watchesIf 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. 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 than excuse the use of such an gimmicky device I was willing to overlook all the technical and conceptual failings and inconsistencies in execution, on grounds of artistic licence, with the faith that the payoff would be so clever, insightful and illuminating theses trivial concerns would pale into insignificance In fact I thought that there were so many failings and inconsistencies was proof of the confidence Amis had in the magnitude of the payoff that was to come I found myself at what was clearly meant to be the apex of the novel thinking is this it and wondering what it was that I was supposed to be taking from the notion of a concentration camp running backwards in time All the technical flaws aside, what was it that Amis was hoping to say with this book I really have no idea The holocaust has many disturbing and uncomfortable lessons to teach us about human nature Many that are so close to the bone that over 60 years on and after significant engagement with the subject we have barely scratched the surface of the harrowing idea that the capacity for such evil lies within any of us Needless to say this is extremely fertile and important ground for artists In fact it is one of the areas in which humanity truly has to look to it artists for guidance and understanding And while I respect any artistic attempt to engage with this subject matter I feel Amis has really missed the mark with this book So much so I m not even really sure what he was aiming at in the first place. Second reading Just brilliant See my review of Kurt Vonnegut s They re always looking forward to going places they re just coming back from, or regretting doing things they haven t yet done They say hello when they mean goodbyeMartin Amis, Time s ArrowI 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 I enjoyed the narrative told backward extracting the real meaning while reading the meaning back to front is a funky brain trick I loved having a Nazi doctor at the center of the story The movement from physical and moral corruption to a form of innocence uncovered a bit of the lizard brain for me.The problem, however, is bending this story without a need for infinite folds in time There is no gliding back with prose There are only jumps back with glides forward Amis is forced to skip back in time, translate, and then relate the narrative forward Again and again and again It was a bit like walking the dog with a yoyo You are pulling the story one direction, but the narrative SAH HAS to keep spinning in a reverse direction The skips are necessary, but still disruptive to the narrative Anyway, I liked it It was a good thought exercise, just not great literature A minor experiment from a very good contemporary writer. In Time S Arrow The Doctor Tod T Friendly Dies And Then Feels Markedly Better, Breaks Up With His Lovers As A Prelude To Seducing Them, And Mangles His Patients Before He Sends Them Home And All The While Tod S Life Races Backward In Time Toward The One Appalling Moment In Modern History When Such Reversals Make Sense