November 1, 2010

Time's Arrow by Martin Amis

Date Started: October 30
Date Finished: November 2

Summary:  In a strange world, where doctors injure people and harm saves people, the narrator, a conscience, a soul, is somehow stuck in the mind of Tod Friendly and all his aliases, after Tod is brought back to life.

Likes: It takes a lot of skill to write a novel like this. For one thing, you have to make sure that you don't expose your world. The idea is a bit of a gimmick and perhaps would have been a terrible novel in the hands of a less experienced author. The story takes an old "cliche" and puts a different twist on something that is so overdone. I don't want to say too much about the story without giving away the gimmick, but the story is well written in the regard that once you learn the "gimmick", you are willing to suspend your disbelief. If the story doesn't keep you interested, you do read to see if a character

Dislikes: Once I found out what the main character, Tod Friendly, was years earlier in his life, I was less invested in his story. In fact, this is the part where the narrator and the character of "Tod Friendly" become one and the novel seems to be rushed to me. I don't really like Tod and his aliases, but the opinionated conscience made his character a little more bearable.

Overall: I apologize for keeping this review sparse, but I don't want to ruin the secrets of the novel for you. It's an amazingly well crafted novel and I am in awe of how deftly it was handled in terms of the writing. I'm not really impressed with the character that we have to follow, but this story definitely falls into the realm of the experimental. It can't be written an other way otherwise you'd just have another cliched story about a horrific point in history. It is fun to watch the story unfold, but my only complaint was that the character we're forced to follow is a little boring. That being said, I wouldn't recommend the story to people who don't want to work hard to get to the heart of the story. If you want to read something that takes an idea and runs with it, I'd recommend reading this story more so for the technique and craft moreso than the actual story itself.(the story was inspired by a part of Vonnegut's "Slaughterhouse 5")

Recommended by: Professor Sal. P for Anatomy of Fiction Class.

Acquired: eBook. (my print book is coming this week, which is irritating because it's after the point.)

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