Time, Amis, and Hitchens

And that’s another book that experiments with time completed. Time’s Arrow by Martin Amis is a concise look at a man’s life as viewed in reverse from a passive observer within his head.

It’s a simple but unique conceit that allows for countless sardonic little observations about humanity as, like Memento, it builds to the revelation that the person we’re following has been hiding some thoroughly dark truths about his past.

I’d say it’s worth a look for the reveal of what the book has been about the entire time, and the speaker’s horrible little revelation that things finally make sense (for he never grasps that he’s watching events on rewind, causing the whole world to seem horribly illogical until he confronts something that can only be faced if it were being undone).

I’d rather not be less ambiguous than that.

Coincidentally enough I stopped reading Hitch-22, the memoir of the recently and tragically deceased Christopher Hitchens, to pick up Time’s Arrow right before the exact chapter on Hitchens’ friendship with Amis, a relationship I was totally unaware of.

I therefore got to introduce myself to Amis twice over, and now very much want to seek out some of his other works.

The memoir, by the way, is fantastic. I only regret (for the first time in my life) not listening to the audio book instead. Seventeen hours of Hitchens describing his own experiences is a ridiculously enticing notion.

 

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One comment on “Time, Amis, and Hitchens

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