15. TIME’S ARROW, BY MARTIN AMIS (1991)
Status: Not in development
Detailing the life of a German Holocaust doctor, Martin Amis’ Time’s Arrow is a postmodern masterpiece told in reverse chronological order. Don’t worry, though, this isn’t just a gimmick. The style of the book is fully realized and completely disorienting, but in a good way. It begins, naturally, with his death and slowly pulls back to reveal his entire life, including his atrocities during the Holocaust.
It’s stunning and confusing as the doctor views his life in reverse from afar, and believes this to be the natural order of things. We’ve seen this type of storytelling device before in movies like Memento and Irreversible, so it is possible to be done in a way that is more than just coherent, but worthy of critical acclaim as well.