Time's Arrow [NOOK Book]

Overview

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 toward the one appalling moment in modern history when such reversals make sense.

"The narrative moves with irresistible momentum.... [Amis is] a daring, exacting writer willing to defy the odds in pursuit of his ...
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Time's Arrow

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Overview

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 toward the one appalling moment in modern history when such reversals make sense.

"The narrative moves with irresistible momentum.... [Amis is] a daring, exacting writer willing to defy the odds in pursuit of his art."—Newsday

"A novel that seems to have been written with the term 'tour de force' in mind . . . Amis's radical rethinking of time . . . brings the abomination of the Holocaust home to the jaded late-20th-century reader in a way that few conventional novels could." Village Voice Literary Supplement. "Splendid . . . bold . . . gripping from start to finish."--Los Angeles Times Book Review.

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Editorial Reviews

Michiko Kakutani
. . .an inverted time scheme has been used before. . . .But whereas [other] stories moved from the disillusionment of time present back to the idealism and hopefulness of time pastMr. Amis' story moves from phony innocence to a past of unrelieved horror. . . .it's a risky narrative strategy. . . the top-heavy jokey part of the book overshadows its somber conclusionblunting its larger moral ambitions. —The New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Splendid . . . bold . . . gripping from start to finish.
Library Journal
For decades, writers have been striving to comprehend the Holocaust, and while its horror remains indelible, readers may wonder if there is another way of going over this relentlessly examined ground. In this swift, incisive little book, Amis succeeds in rendering the shock of the Holocaust wholly new by traveling backward in time. At the end of his life, the German-born American doctor Tod T. Friendly suffers a paralysis from which emerges ``the soul he should have had.'' This innocent soul follows ``time's arrow'' back through Tod's stay in America and his flight to Germany, finally arriving at the concentration camp where Friendly, as Odilo Unverdorben, served as a doctor of death. Trying to discover ``when the world is going to make sense,'' the confused if patient soul watches as the doctor injures the healed, revives Jews who have been gassed, and grows closer to his estranged wife. It concludes, ``We all know by now that violence creates, here on earth . . . it heals and mends.'' Amis's device, which at first seems merely a clever conceit, is handled so skillfully that living backwards becomes not only natural but a perfect metaphor for the Nazis' perverted logic. If he can't finally probe to the bottom of a mind that embraces atrocities, Amis has nevertheless written a thought-provoking, compelling book. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 6/1/91.--Barbara Hoffert, ``Library Journal''
Michiko Kakutani
. . .an inverted time scheme has been used before. . . .But whereas [other] stories moved from the disillusionment of time present back to the idealism and hopefulness of time past, Mr. Amis' story moves from phony innocence to a past of unrelieved horror. . . .it's a risky narrative strategy. . . the top-heavy jokey part of the book overshadows its somber conclusion, blunting its larger moral ambitions. -- The New York Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307777775
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2011
  • Series: Vintage International
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 194,247
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Martin Amis is the best-selling author of several books, including London Fields, Money, The Information, and, most recently, Experience. He lives in London.

Biography

The son of legendary English writer Kingley Amis, Martin Amis was born in Oxford in 1949 and attended a number of schools in Great Britain, Spain, and America. By his own admission he was a lackluster student. He spent much of his youth reading comic books, until his stepmother, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, took him under her wing, introducing him to literature and encouraging him to study for university entrance. After months of furious cramming, he was accepted into Exeter College in Oxford, graduating with First Class Honors in English.

After graduation, Amis went to work as an editorial assistant at The Times Literary Supplement. In 1973, at the tender of age of 24, he published his award-winning debut novel, The Rachel Papers. Rife with the mordant black humor that would characterize all his fiction, this comic coming-of-age tale was a fitting debut for a career that would be fixated on sex, drugs, and the seamier aspects of modern culture. It also proved to be the first in a long string of bestsellers.

Amis is often grouped with the generation of British-based novelists that emerged during the 1980s and included Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan, and Julian Barnes; but it is safe to say he has generated more controversy than his esteemed colleagues. No one feels neutral about Amis's novels. In a 1999 profile in Esquire, Sven Birkerts put it this way: "He is seen either as a cynically chugging bubble machine, way overrated for his hammy turns, or else as a dazzler, the next real thing."

In addition to his provocative fiction, Amis has grabbed more than his fair share of attention for antics off the page. Graced with youthful good looks, he enjoyed a reputation as a notorious womanizer (not unlike his famous father). Much photographed and buzzed about, he was dubbed early on the "enfant terrible" of English literature -- two parts writer, one part rock star. He attracted headlines like a magnet when he left his wife and children for a younger woman; when he fired his longtime literary agent, the wife of his good friend Julian Barnes; and when his new agent (unaffectionately nicknamed "the Jackal) secured for him an advance of 500,000 pounds, 20,000 pounds of which Amis spent on expensive American dental surgery.

Although reviewers are divided over Amis's long-range literary legacy, even his harshest critics begrudgingly acknowledge his stylistic genius, verbal agility, and biting, satirical wit. The novels for which he is best known (and most respected) comprise an informal trilogy: Money (1984), London Fields (1989), and The Information (1995). In addition, he has written short stories, essays, a nonfiction work on 20th-century communism, and an acclaimed memoir, Experience, detailing his relationship with his father, his writing career, and his convoluted family life. He also contributes regularly to newspapers, magazines, and journals.

Good To Know

Amis attended more than 13 schools while growing up in Great Britain, Spain and the United States.

He was named the "rock star of English literature" by the London Daily Telegraph in 1996.

Amis was profoundly shocked and grieved to discover that his long-lost, beloved cousin Lucy Partington, thought to have simply disappeared in 1973, had fallen victim to Fred West, one of England's most notorious serial killers.

In a much-publicized reunion in 1996, Amis met for the first time a young woman named Delilah Seale who was his daughter from a brief 1970s affair.

Amis has been influenced by several American novelists, including Philip Roth and John Updike, but none so profoundly as Saul Bellow, who became a mentor and something of a father figure.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Martin Louis Amis (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      Oxford, England
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 25, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Oxford, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., Exeter College, Oxford

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 18 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 18 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2000

    Brilliantly Creative

    This is an ingenious work of meta-fiction. Amis's stylistic device of having time run backwards is fascinating and extremely consistently executed. The piece fabulously written piece is suspenseful, funny, thought-provoking and horrifying. Don't read the back cover. You'll want to be surprised about the plot twists...

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2013

    Spookykit

    May i join

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Frozen

    "True Evil! Attack!" She lunged in, her gaze glittered in blood-lu<_>st.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Violet

    The human walks in

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Tiger

    We wont attaxk you tommorrow bye from evilclan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2013

    Shadeclaw

    A handsome tom pads in. "Hello. May i join?"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 24, 2011

    Disappointing

    Well written with excellent content but a very slow read. I sometimes had to stop a re-read sections to follow the storyline.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2010

    Great book

    Fascinating execution. Allows a fresh visualization of an otherwise thoroughly explored subject.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2004

    excellent

    one of the most interesting books ive read in a long time

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2011

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    Posted June 17, 2009

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    Posted November 19, 2012

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    Posted April 29, 2009

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    Posted December 30, 2010

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    Posted April 14, 2011

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    Posted May 6, 2009

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