by Martin Amis
The anonymous narrator of Time's Arrow awakens from darkness in the paralyzed body of Tod Friendly, which slowly recovers and begins to get younger. We soon discover that Tod is not actually a very friendly person, and his dreams foreshadow a gruesome past. The cheerfully naive narrator, experiencing life in reverse, misunderstands everything; this is the source of much irony as Tod's role in the Second World War is revealed.
Except for the gimmick, the plot of Time's Arrow is fairly conventional. The book would not have worked if it had been longer, or if Amis were a less capable writer. However, it does work; this is a gripping book that I read in two sittings.
copyright © 1997 John Regehr