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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a waste of my time, but not bad, 29 Mar 2013
This review is from: About Time (Paperback)
Had I read the blurb more carefully I would never have bought this. My visit to the bookshop was a hurried one, though, and on the basis of a quick browse, a glance at the blurb, and, especially, of its being published by Pushkin I took it.

A high-flyer of the sort who's by now a stock character--penthouse, Barbie women, hefty stash of coke, meals in trendy restaurants--suddenly finds that his sense of time has gone awry: Life around him has taken on a great speed and he's lagging behind. What are hours, in other words, to everyone else are only a few minutes to him. His work of course suffers, his social life comes unglued, and he falls into what I think is meant to be a state of anguished and depressed soul-searching, though actually his condition seems the emotional equivalent of a mild cold. As you'd expect he re-evaluates his values and behaviour and as you'd expect the plot development that you've seen coming since page 30 proves his redemption.

By amazon standards this book is 2 stars, but the rating guidelines seem to me formed for 3-year-olds, equating personal taste with critical judgement. For me, the book is predictable, one-dimensional, and riddled with holes in reasoning and plot, but those are things I sometimes forgive in books that otherwise appeal to me. And that I was so bored as to skim bits was perhaps due to my lack of interest in the story's main theme as much as to the author's failure to engage me. The writing itself is smooth, and nothing about the book is silly or stupid. I've given it 3 stars because of this and because it's a novel that I think many people would enjoy and find satisfying. About Time might especially appeal to people who like reasonably intelligent chick-lit books with a twist, like My Dirty Little Book of Stolen Time or The Elegance of the Hedgehog, or who think 'heart-warming' a recommendation; I hope they'll try it. (In their thousands. Millions, even. Enough to allow Pushkin to issue translations of obscure and challenging books without having to raise funds by publishing negligible stuff like this.)

If by the way the notion of a story about a character's unusual perception of time appeals to you, do look into Jacques Spitz's The Eye of Purgatory, two novellas playing with the theme. Neither has literary pretensions but they're original and entertaining and I emphatically prefer them to this book. (And of course I found that stock character far more interesting in Ellis's American Psycho, which as a bonus is completely free of endearing children and heart-warming moments.)
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About Time
About Time by Howard Curtis (translator) (Paperback - 26 July 2012)
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