Time's Arrow (Vintage International)
In this icy, knife’s-edge story of a life that progresses backward through time, unfolding into one of the darkest episodes of the 20th century, Amis (“at his intriguing, heedful, and powerful best” —Time Out), finds a chillingly original approach to the Holocaust in fiction • From the acclaimed author of Zone of Interest
"The narrative moves with irresistible momentum.... [Amis is] a daring, exacting writer willing to defy the odds in pursuit of his art." —Newsday
Tod. T. Friendly is living his life in reverse. Doctor Friendly has just died, but he moves “out of blackest sleep” to find himself surrounded by doctors and on the deathbed of a man in whose body he is imprisoned. After weeks of improving in the hospital, he is sent home to his affable, melting-pot, primary-colors existence in suburban America.
As Friendly breaks up with his lovers in a prelude to seducing them and mangles his patients before he sends them home, his life races backward toward the one appalling moment in modern history when such reversals make sense. From the fresh-cut lawns of his retirement to the hustle of New York, and then back to the boat which reverses his course to the war-torn Europe Friendly came from, Amis brings the steeliest nerve to the job of realizing the novel’s inevitable logic. Trapped in his body from grave to cradle, Friendly’s consciousness can only watch as he struggles to make sense of the good doctor’s most ambitious project yet—the final solution.
Praise for Time's Arrow (Vintage International)
"[A] novel that seems to have been written with the term 'tour de force' in mind. . . . A brilliant job." —Village Voice Literary Supplement
"A breakthrough . . . etched with acid irony and trickery . . . To submit to [Amis's] comic tweaking and tickling is to abet the inevitable logic of his assault on our senses. . . . Time's Arrow, his tautest and sleekest novel yet, is also his most wide-angled and farsighted. . . . A hard look at our dark age through glittering alien eyes." —Boston Phoenix Literary Section
"A brilliantly imaginative feat." —Mirabella
"Audacious, utterly poised and almost moving . . . the book's devastatingly sustained black irony stands comparison with Swift's A Modest Proposal. It is . . . Amis's finest achievement to date." —Financial Times
"Amis can write prose that is spikily, nervously elegant, full of urgency and surprise." —New York
"Prodigious cleverness. . . . A clever book." —Vogue
"Extraordinary—Ironic inversion is essentially a comic device, but its trickery here yields results that are rigorously grave." ―Independent on Sunday
"An icy, hard read - Amis is at his intriguing, powerful and heedful best." —Time Out
"Amis's most daring and ambitious novel." ―Daily Telegraph