What if you don't have time to spend? In order to answer this seemingly simple question, Odell took a deep dive into the fundamental structure of our society and found that the clock we live by was built for profit, not people. This is why our lives, even in leisure, have come to seem like a series of moments to be bought, sold, and processed ever more efficiently. Odell shows us how our painful relationship to time is inextricably connected not only to persisting social inequities but to the climate crisis, existential dread, and a lethal fatalism.
Paradigm-destroying ... Grand, eclectic, wide-ranging ... Odell’s undertaking is massive and ambitious ... Sometimes, in her race to gather all of this information together, Odell elides narrative inconveniences or leaves things unexplained ... But singling out any specific moment in this book feels like a betrayal of the whole. The narrative logic is purposefully meandering and elliptical ... She doesn’t provide answers or policies for how; that’s not her project. But she has opened up a space between the present and the future in which it might be possible.
The book is ambitious, expansive, meandering, acute; it helps explain how a person, hoping to reclaim her hours and days, might come to outsource the software of her body to the hardware on her wrist ... Time is a difficult subject to write about, in large part because of its status as both invention and inevitability. It lends itself to yawning adages ... But Saving Time, an effusive blend of philosophy, memoir, and cultural criticism, treats those truisms as starting points rather than as conclusions: It explores how they shape our assumptions, and how those assumptions came to be ... Saving Time is a frustrating book precisely because it is an insightful one.
A subtle, itinerant study of time ... There are gaps: Odell doesn’t look at ideas of time in antiquity, which, through miracles of preservation and transmission, survived like so many fragments of ancient seafloor. Nor is religion...considered ... Nonetheless a joy.