Review from a Transgressive Fiction Fan
I thought this was exceptional. A book that you can read in a day, that challenges the brain into thinking backwards. Throw in the holocaust, suffering and a general bleakness coupled with horror and it’s a book worthy of your time. Some people have complained that the words didn’t effect them emotionally, but the narrator is the consciousness of a Nazi war criminal raised in pre-war Germany – a dead man in a dead time entering a dead zone. Perhaps there is no emotion, but if there was, it would be a betrayal on the main character.
Taking the original approach aside, Amis can write – the book is littered with lovely phrases and thoughts.
A short original book that takes you somewhere else entirely and works within its own rules is a difficult skill to master, yet Amis has not only mastered it, he’s added his own spin and it works.
“Insightful” Review from a Mainstream Reader
I tried to enjoy this book. Then I tried simply putting up with it. I managed to get half way through, which was impressive (unlike the book itself).
The concept sounds intelligent – living the life of a man from end to beginning, but in reality it was quite tedious. The novelty of this back-to-front story wore off quickly and I was left feeling very annoyed.