Time's Arrow Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Time's Arrow

Life is weird for the narrator of Time's Arrow. Things just don't seem to make sense. People walk backwards. Cars drive backwards. More importantly, he can't really seem to get inside the head of the body he inhabits, that of Dr. Tod Friendly: it's as though they are two separate selves. The man ditches his lovers, has sex with them, and then seduces them. Every Sunday he takes money out of the collection plate at church. He finds bits of himself in the trash: teeth, hair, and so forth. The man works as a doctor, breaking small children who come to see him. The narrator talks about his aversion to the doctor, describing the heinous acts he performs both on the children and in everyday life.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Life goes on for the two of them until time finally flows backwards to the one era and place in which it all makes sense for the narrator: the source of the doctor's literal, and spiritual, guilt. This causes a crisis of identity within the narrator. Has he been a separate entity all along, or just another part of the doctor? What could have caused time to flow backwards and morality to reverse in the first place?
The review of this Book prepared by Miranda

Chapter Analysis of Time's Arrow

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   thoughtful Time/era of story    -   1930's-1950's Internal struggle/realization?    -   Yes Struggle over    -   vague finding self/purpose in life (i.e. no plot to book) Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   doctor Age:    -   40's-50's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   German Unusual characteristics:    -   Extremely cynical or arrogant


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   6 () Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Germany City?    -   Yes City:    -   New York

Writing Style

Sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   actual description of hetero sex Amount of dialog    -   significantly more descript than dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like Time's Arrow

Martin Amis Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian