Not for the faint- hearted…

Perhaps the most distressing of all “alibis” can be found in Martin Amis´Time´s Arrow. descargaA Nazi Holocaust doctor now on his deathbed revisits his life in flashback.  In a sickening and disorienting twist these flashbacks come in reverse chronology and so we see the camp doctor healing and saving his patients instead of tortuously experimenting on their dying bodies.  And so the despicable doctor makes good, ironically fulfilling our ideal of a medic, one who cures, and the patients walk free.  A disturbing enough plot device but coupled with the precision with which Amis can describe the events it makes for the most harrowing of reads:

“Uncle Pepi´” has surpassed himself with the new laboratory: the marble table, the nickel taps, the blood stained porcelain sinks… In this new lab of his he can knock together a human being out of the unlikeliest odds and ends.

On his table he had a box full of eyes.  It was not uncommon to see him slipping out of darkroom carrying a head partly wrapped in old newspaper…. The next thing you knew there´d be, oh, I don´t know, a fifteen-year-old Pole sliding off the table and rubbing his eyes and sauntering back to work, accompanied by an orderly and his understanding smile…

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As to the so-called experimental operations of “Uncle Pepi´”: he had a success rate that approached – and quite possibly attained  – 100 per cent. A shockingly inflamed eyeball at once rectified by a single injection.  Innumerable ovaries and testes seamlessly grafted into place.  Women went out of that lab looking 20 years younger…

“Uncle Pepi´” never left any scars… ”

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