Seven Types of Ambiguity

( 25 )

Overview

Seven Types of Ambiguity is a psychological thriller and a literary adventure of breathtaking scope. Celebrated as a novelist in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Philip Roth, Elliot Perlman writes of impulse and paralysis, empty marriages, lovers, gambling, and the stock market; of adult children and their parents; of poetry and prostitution, psychiatry and the law. Comic, poetic, and full of satiric insight, Seven Types of Ambiguity is, above all, a deeply romantic novel that speaks with unforgettable force...

See more details below
Paperback (Reprint)
$13.84
BN.com price
(Save 23%)$18.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (114) from $1.99   
  • New (13) from $3.94   
  • Used (101) from $1.99   
Seven Types of Ambiguity

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK
  • NOOK HD/HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$13.99
BN.com price

Overview

Seven Types of Ambiguity is a psychological thriller and a literary adventure of breathtaking scope. Celebrated as a novelist in the tradition of Jonathan Franzen and Philip Roth, Elliot Perlman writes of impulse and paralysis, empty marriages, lovers, gambling, and the stock market; of adult children and their parents; of poetry and prostitution, psychiatry and the law. Comic, poetic, and full of satiric insight, Seven Types of Ambiguity is, above all, a deeply romantic novel that speaks with unforgettable force about the redemptive power of love.

The story is told in seven parts, by six different narrators, whose lives are entangled in unexpected ways. Following years of unrequited love, an out-of-work schoolteacher decides to take matters into his own hands, triggering a chain of events that neither he nor his psychiatrist could have anticipated. Brimming with emotional, intellectual, and moral dilemmas, this novel-reminiscent of the richest fiction of the nineteenth century in its labyrinthine complexity-unfolds at a rapid-fire pace to reveal the full extent to which these people have been affected by one another and by the insecure and uncertain times in which they live. Our times, now.

 

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Daphne Merkin
… all of this material is clearly dear to Perlman's heart, which brings me to what may be the most important aspect of his novel -- what would once have been called its soul. Perlman has been compared to Jonathan Franzen and Philip Roth, but he strikes me as less like them -- or like most contemporary writers, for that matter -- than like one of those energetic Victorian novelists who had ''the art of seeing all the world as the potentiality of fiction,'' to quote Nabokov again. There are traces of Dickens's range in Perlman and of George Eliot's generous humanist spirit. No, he's not there yet. He could use more humor, and he doesn't have to tell us everything he's ever heard or seen or read. All the same, this is an exciting gamble of a novel, one willing to lose its shirt in its bid to hold you. Be prepared to give it time. Be prepared to skim when you come to a particularly annoying digression. But most of all be prepared to stay with it for the long haul. It's worth it.
— The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
By copping the title of William Empson's classic of literary criticism, Australian writer Perlman (Three Dollars) sets a high bar for himself, but he justifies his theft with a relentlessly driven story, told from seven perspectives, about the effects of the brief abduction of six-year-old Sam Geraghty by Simon Heywood, his mother Anna's ex-boyfriend. Charismatic, unemployed Simon is still obsessed with Anna nine years after their breakup-to the dismay of his present lover, Angelique, a prostitute. Anna's stockbroker husband, Joe, is one of Angelique's regulars, which feeds Simon's flame. When Angelique turns Simon in to the cops, he claims he had permission to pick Sam up; his fate hinges on whether Anna will back up his lie. Most of the perspectives are linked to Simon's shrink, Alex Klima, who writes to Anna and counsels Simon, Angelique and Joe's co-worker, Dennis. The most successful voices belong to Joe, who's spent his career on the edge of panic, and Dennis, whose bitter rants provide a corrective to Klima's unctuous psychological omniscience. Perlman, a lawyer, aims for a literary legal novel-think Grisham by way of Franzen-and the ambition is admirable though the product somewhat uneven. Simon's obsessions, his self-righteousness and his psychological blackmail, give him a perhaps unintended creepiness, and the novel, as big and juicy as it is, may not offer sufficient closure. Agent, Sarah Chalfant. (Dec.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
The half-hearted kidnapping of young Sam Geraghty sets in motion this intricately plotted first novel about a small group of Australians in crisis. Ten years after being dumped, Simon Heywood is still obsessed with his ex-girlfriend Anna Geraghty and has kidnapped her son to "save" him from his parents' loveless marriage. Call girl Angelique, who lives with Simon, services Anna's shallow stockbroker husband, Joe, and his frustrated business partner, Dennis Mitchell. Joe and Dennis's relationship implodes after a big medical contract falls through, and after a breakdown, Dennis begins to see psychiatrist Alex Klima, who is friends with Simon. And so on. There's much to digest in this overstuffed novel, with sidebars devoted to discussions of prostitution, the Australian legal process, prison life, managed care, and even the art of counting cards in blackjack. Add to that the sheer selfishness and self-righteous attitude of the majority of the characters, and you could imagine an unreadable mess. But despite its long-windedness and dangerous flirtation with clich (e.g., the successful father who spoils his child but doesn't understand him), the novel works, and, for many readers, it will work in spades. The Australian-born Perlman reaches for the brass ring, and he successfully shapes this heady material into an all-too-rare literary page-turner. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/04.]-Marc Kloszewski, Indiana Free Lib., PA Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Constant love in the face of terrible odds-such is the old-fashioned but deeply satisfying theme in a thoroughly modern Australian import. Antipodean barrister and second-novelist Perlman (Three Dollars, 1999) collects award nominations at a Coetzeean rate, but those in search of an intelligent and intelligible read should not be put off by the prizes and the surrounding puffery. This is a love story in the 19th-century tradition, the kind that makes the real world seem a bit dim. Narrated sequentially by seven of the participants, the novel follows the disastrous consequences of an act of love. Intellectually and emotionally gifted schoolteacher Simon Heywood was stunned and disbelieving when Anna, the beautiful, brainy lover he met in college suddenly and without explanation dumped him. Ten years after the fact, he still hasn't accepted the rejection. It didn't compute for him then and it doesn't compute for him now, despite Anna's having married brash stockbroker Joe Geraghty and given birth to a son, Sam. There has been no contact between the former lovers, but Simon has followed Anna's unhappy life in an unhealthily close and secret way, seeking always to understand what happened and how he can recover her love, coming to care so much for her son in the process that, when he decides that Anna's failing marriage is not good for the boy, he kidnaps the child. In addition to Simon, the narrators of the calamity he sets off include Angela, a prostitute who loves Simon and services Joe; Alex, a psychiatrist who abandons impartiality in his concern and love for Simon; Joe and Anna Geraghty; and, finally, Alex's daughter. The emotional disaster is played out in court, and the aftershockscause crumblings years later. Long enough to tell everything that needs to be told, but never ponderous and never overdone. George Eliot down under.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594481437
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 12/28/2005
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 640
  • Sales rank: 502,789
  • Product dimensions: 6.11 (w) x 9.02 (h) x 1.43 (d)

Meet the Author

Elliot Perlman was born in Australia. He is the author of the short-story collection The Reasons I Won't Be Coming, which won the Betty Trask Award (UK) and the Fellowship of Australian Writers Book of the Year Award. Riverhead Books will publish this collection in 2005.

Read More Show Less

Read an Excerpt

Seven Types of Ambiguity


By ELLIOT PERLMAN

RIVERHEAD BOOKS

Copyright © 2003 Elliot Perlman
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57322-281-X


Chapter One

He nearly called you again last night. Can you imagine that, after all this time? He can. He imagines calling you or running into you by chance. Depending on the weather, he imagines you in one of those cotton dresses of yours with flowers on it or in faded blue jeans and a thick woollen button-up cardigan over a checked shirt, drinking coffee from a mug, looking through your tortoiseshell glasses at a book of poetry while it rains. He thinks of you with your hair tied back and that characteristic sweet scent on your neck. He imagines you this way when he is on the train, in the supermarket, at his parents' house, at night, alone, and when he is with a woman.

He is wrong, though. You didn't read poetry at all. He had wanted you to read poetry, but you didn't. If pressed, he confesses to an imprecise recollection of what it was you read and, anyway, it wasn't your reading that started this. It was the laughter, the carefree laughter, the three-dimensional Coca-Cola advertisement that you were, the try-anything-once friends, the imperviousness to all that came before you, the chain telephone calls, the in-jokes, the instant music, the sunlight you carried with you, the way he felt when you spoke to his parents, the introductory undergraduate courses, theinevitability of your success, the beach houses, the white lace underwear, the private dancing, the good-graced acceptance of part-time shift work, the apparent absence of expectations, the ever-changing disposable cults of the rural, the family, the eastern, the classical, the modern, the postmodern, the impoverished, the sleekly deregulated, the orgasm, the feminine, the feminist, and then the way you canceled with the air of one making a salad.

You would love the way he sees you. He uses you as a weapon against himself and not merely because you did. He sits in his car at traffic lights on his way out sometimes and tries to estimate how many times he has sat here, waiting at these traffic lights on his way somewhere without you, hoping to meet someone with the capacity to consign you to an anecdote, to be eventually confused with others. He thinks of you when the woman lying next to him thinks he's asleep. It would not surprise you that there are many women. Do you remember you thought him beautiful? You never told him. He had to assume it. He was beautiful and is now, some nine years later, even more so. The years have refined him so that once-boyish good looks have evolved into a clean, smooth charm. Not always though. First thing in the morning or after he's been drinking the charm disappears. The drinking is not really the problem at the moment though, not right now. Of late it has been no more of a problem with him than it is with your husband, which is to say, of late the quantity itself is no cause for alarm. But there is a secret need in both men to have their inhibitors inhibited. In Simon's case this is merely the tip of an older and more fundamental iceberg.

It is often almost too much for Simon to undertake even basic daily tasks: to shower and shave, to dress, to wash his clothes, to feed himself and Empson. He runs out of all but the most essential of foods and doesn't do anything about it until there's nothing for the dog to eat. You couldn't know Empson. Simon got him as a puppy. He would be about three and a half now. He used to take him to school with him. This was the sort of thing he would do. The children loved Empson almost as much as they loved Simon. You loved him, too. I can imagine he was a wonderful teacher. You might remember that Simon's father, William (or did you call him Mr. Heywood?), was disappointed that Simon was going to be a teacher, particularly a primary-school teacher. He felt that this was not a sufficiently manly occupation for his son and that Simon would be wasted. Ironically though, had Simon still been teaching, William may not have felt the need to contact me.

It was very late one night. I could tell by his voice that William was embarrassed. He was at home and I was, of course, in my office getting the last little bit of my dinner from the bottom of a cup. I don't know why he thought I'd still be there. He almost whispered into the telephone that he was calling on his son's behalf but without his knowledge. For all his embarrassment, and I have since learned that this is characteristic of him, he very soon got to the point. He told me he had a thirty-two-year-old son who lived alone with a dog in an apartment by the sea, in Elwood. He told me that his son, always obsessed with poetry, seldom went out since losing his job in the first wave of the downsizing epidemic. In getting directly to the point, William missed so many others. Simon has said that the reason his father has no time for poetry is that he is afraid of the messiness of life. Poetry feeds on all that spills over the boundaries of the usual things, the everyday things with which most people are obsessed, so William has no time for it. He cannot think of anything more unnecessary. What about you? What's your excuse?

Chapter Two

The conversation must have lasted about half an hour-most of it taken up with William's examples of his son's lack of interest in things other than poetry and perhaps "the damn dog." He seems to have had no idea of Simon's continuing interest in you and everything about you. He told me that Simon was severely depressed, from which I concluded nothing much except that William wanted me to think that he thought his son was severely depressed. He told me that I had been highly recommended to him by someone or other and that he was willing to pay for Simon to see me. I found that an interesting way of putting it. He was willing to pay for Simon to see me-as opposed to him being willing to pay me to treat Simon. His wife knew nothing about all this, and he asked me in advance to forgive him if she came into the room unexpectedly and he was forced to hang up, suddenly, without saying good-bye. William has spent much of his time planning to cope with people doing things unexpectedly. He would probably not recognize that he has ever done this, let alone the futility of doing it. He certainly would not recognize the utility of preparing for the expected just that little bit more-and planning for the unexpected just that little bit less. His wife didn't surprise him at all, not then.

At first there was nothing to be done because, as I explained to William, Simon had to want to see me. I couldn't call him up and say, "Your father thinks you're disturbed in some way. How's Wednesday at four?" Since he had never broached the subject with Simon, I really didn't know what he thought I could do. We said good-bye and that, I thought, would be the end of it. Clearly, it wasn't.

About a month later William and Simon's mother, May, were out for dinner with Henry and Diane Osborne. You may remember the Osbornes; they are Simon's parents' closest friends. Simon assures me that Henry's contempt for poetry is probably second only to his father's. It was a Friday night and the Osbornes had taken Simon's parents to a French restaurant to celebrate William's retirement from the bank that very day. As they were leaving, having been feted by the owner, a drunk Simon literally walked into his parents, apparently by chance, with his arm around the waist of a very attractive young woman. The two older couples, seeing the short-skirted advertisement for herself that she was, guessed her occupation fairly quickly and were clearly embarrassed. William started to apologize to everyone as though he were responsible. Henry tried to make light of it, asking the young woman if she had ever eaten at the restaurant before. Simon was trying to hail a taxi and the young woman, who said her name was Angelique, told him she had eaten there many times and that the owner was a client.

On the Monday Simon called me. He told me the whole story and explained that it was a condition of the rapprochement with his parents that he arrange to see me. It was a brief conversation. He said that he would rather we didn't meet in my office and gave an address at which I was to meet him one evening. It was summer then, and he said to come around the back into the garden where he would be waiting. I wouldn't normally ever agree to an arrangement like this, but something in his voice, an intelligence, and the honesty with which he told the story about his parents, the Osbornes, and Angelique-a disarming honesty-made me agree. And, if I am to share the honesty I admired in Simon, I needed another full-paying private client. I still do. My wife and I have recently separated.

Chapter Three

It is quite well understood that a clinically depressed person will show little, if any, interest in constructive activity concerning future events or outcomes. In this respect, Simon has only flirted with depression in its definitive or clinical form. But if that is all that depression required, then I could say without much hesitation that Simon has always been, other than for short periods, too involved in things to be clinically depressed. William really knows very little about what's on his son's mind. What he and many people don't understand is that there is more to depression than a sometimes overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and hopelessness and profound sadness. When people are depressed they are sometimes very, very angry. They are not just quietly miserable. They can be filled with great passion.

Simon was sitting on a chair under a sun umbrella in a large well-cared-for garden with an in-ground swimming pool in the center and birches and firs along the perimeter. He got up, and we shook hands and introduced ourselves. I was struck by his clean handsomeness and by his calm. One rarely meets anyone who makes a better first impression than Simon. Do you remember? He thanked me for coming, saying he realized such a meeting was probably unusual. I said something banal about having to expect the unexpected in my line of business and then he quoted someone, some verse about surprises or chance, in that soothing voice of his. I don't know why, but I was a bit nervous. He asked me questions as though he was interviewing me and making mental notes: middle-aged, separated, lives in inner city, et cetera. I must have passed because he seemed to take a bit of a liking to me, albeit with some reserve. Perhaps I didn't fit his stereotype of a psychiatrist. I don't know. He told me not to completely ignore whatever it was his father had told me about him, saying his father's description of him no doubt contained what Simon called "that dangerous element of truth," just enough to make me suspect that everything else his father had said, and would ever say, was true.

He was utterly charming, witty, and seemingly quite relaxed and intelligent. I was a little surprised he hadn't offered me at least a drink, but I didn't comment. We Europeans are instinctively better hosts, whether we have personality disorders or not. I didn't know him, and perhaps he would never again be so forthcoming. It's not that I expect patients to entertain me, but the circumstances here were quite unusually informal. And 1 didn't want to interrupt him. Perhaps he felt a little uncomfortable offering me his parents' alcohol. I figured a place of that size with the in-ground pool, the tennis court, and the satellite dish had to belong to his parents. They must have agreed to go out for the evening as part of the deal.

"I am a thirty-two-year-old out-of-work teacher living on my own in an apartment in Elwood," he laughed, "but just because I don't work doesn't mean I'm broken."

Then, after some small talk, he started telling me about you. At first I didn't realize how long it had been since you had been together. It wasn't clear, so I asked him.

"It was finished nine years ago," he said, "and you want to know why I'm still talking about it, right?"

"No, I didn't say that," I responded.

"No. You didn't, but only because my father is paying you not to tell me I'm mad, or at least to tell him first. I think it's admirable what you guys do but, shit, it's embarrassingly primitive, wouldn't you say? What do you really know? And in any particular case, in my case, what do you really want to know? I'm afraid it won't make sense to you. I really mean that. I am genuinely afraid it won't make sense. 1 am not trying to sound casual or smug.

"Listen-all that she was then, all that she is now, those gestures, everything I remember but won't or can't articulate anymore, the perfect words that are somehow made imperfect when used to describe her and all that should remain unsaid about her-it is all unsupported by reason. I know that. But that enigmatic calm that attaches itself to people in the presence of reason-it's something from which I haven't been able to take comfort, not reliably, nor since her.

"It's like the smell of burned toast. You made the toast. You looked forward to it. You even enjoyed making it, but it burned. What were you doing? Was it your fault? It doesn't matter anymore. You open the window, but only the very top layer of the smell goes away. The rest remains around you. It's on the walls. You leave the room, but it's on your clothes. You change your clothes, but it's in your hair. It's on the thin skin on the tops of your hands. And in the morning, it's still there."

Chapter Four

Now can you imagine it? I am sitting in a large manicured garden at the back of someone's renovated turn-of-the-century symbol of success. The sun is getting ready to call it a day, but it is still quite warm. I think I can see mosquitoes hovering over the edge of the pool. The outdoor furniture is comfortable even if it is some of the ugliest I have seen. The air is still, so it's easy for me not to dwell too much on the prospect of the umbrella dislodging from the table and impaling someone.

This charming young man is eloquently expressing his quite legitimate doubts about the science or discipline that has brought me to him. He seems to have a fairly common and not necessarily unhealthy antagonism toward his petit-bourgeois father, who it appears has a somewhat authoritarian personality. They don't understand each other. They value different things but not different enough for the father's alarm bells to ring hollow with the unemployed aesthete in front of me. It gets to him. But not as much as you do. He's a romantic, focusing on some idealization of the past. He could have offered me at least an iced tea, but I was getting paid and he was, after all, the kind we dream of: one of the incurably worried-well. He was a little melancholic but not completely without some justification. There was no reason this could not go on for years. I thought he was normal, a bit unhappy-pretty much like everyone.

We heard someone walking along the side of the house toward us. Maybe it was more than one person.

Continues...


Excerpted from Seven Types of Ambiguity by ELLIOT PERLMAN Copyright © 2003 by Elliot Perlman. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(7)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2006

    Absolutely Absorbing

    This is one of the most beautifully written contemporary books I have ever read. Not only does Perlman have an astonishing and humbling command of the English language but he is a master storyteller as well. The 'ambiguity' makes this an unpredictable, page-turning read. This is the first book of Perlman's I have read and I am hungry for more.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2006

    good read

    I highly reccomemd this book. It is a book with alot of twist and turns. I really enjoyed how there are so many different parts of the book...like everyones prospective of the same event is somewhat different from the person before them and so on. This book is a tad on the long side for some people but then again I love a good long read. I could not put this book down! I was suprised at the many different character developments and how attached they are to each other without knowing it. That aspect of the book created a sort of duh factor for me like I kept thinking omg how do they not realize that they are all connected some how. Oh well I thoroughly enjoyed this read and I am sure you will to! I can't wait to pick up some more like it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 17, 2009

    Tedious!

    I really loved this book for about the first... 450 to 500 pages. The storyline is amazing. It's great to read about what's going on from different points of view. I also really liked some of the detail the author added about the financial markets and psychology and all kinds of other things but by the end I was VERY ready for him to wrap it up and be done with it. If you have plenty of free time, I recommend this book. That's the only way I finished it -- nothing else to do. Otherwise I would have set it down and started something new.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2005

    Awesome

    I bought this book looking for something different with a decent level of literary value. I was tired of reading Stephen King, James Patterson, and the like of blockbuster authors. This book has a great 'indie' feel to it and completely absorbs the reader into an atypical storyline. I can't wait to pick up Perlman's book of short stories. I love the way he writes his complex characters and I love how different this book is. If you liked the movie Closer, you will LOVE this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2005

    Absolutely Stunning

    WOW!!! I just finished this book and loved it. The way that the story is told from seven different perspectives added a level of depth to the story rarely achieved in literature. This is definitely one of the best books I have ever read. When I finished the last page, I immediately flipped back to page 1 to start it again.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2012

    awesome book

    I'll be looking for more by this author.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 4, 2012

    One of, if not the, best books I've ever read, plain and simple.

    One of, if not the, best books I've ever read, plain and simple. Definitely worth the read. I cannot recommend it more highly. Bravo Perlman, bravo.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 2, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A contemporary favorite

    Not many authors can pull off the first person, much less the second. Perlman's novel not only has an excellent plot and excellent character development but with the perogatives written in either the first or second person he adds an additional layer of complexity to the novel. I found the last chapter that inteded to tie up the story a little self-indulgent, though I'm glad not many ends were left hanging. This is by far his best work yet. His short stories start to sound the same after you've read the third or fourth one. And Three Dollars was a quick read, lacking the complexity and originality that I enjoyed so much with Seven Types of Ambiguity.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2005

    Consuming, Prolific, Provocative

    Perlman's novel, written in dense yet fluid prose, is rich with suspense, empathy, and wit. The seven strands of narrative - each chapter written in the voice of separate yet intimately connected characters - propel forward a plot that is at once gripping and grave. Often Perlman's novel takes a narrative detour into the realm of the Socratic, with characters engulfed in 'casual' conversations on topics ranging from healthcare to literary criticism to the obligations of a human being to his or her community. While the book can sometimes get bogged down in excesses of ideology, it is the type of novel that both affects emotionally and intrigues intellectually. Upon putting it down, the reader can't quite decide whether to voraciously read up on the literature and ideas spotlighted in the book or to ponder the emotional echoes of the characters' choices and, ultimately, their fates.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    A unique and stimulating read for those interested in the human condition!

    Perlman's unique style (the same story told from different perspectives)explores modern society and the significance of personal impact. He denies the de rigeur style/template so prevalent in popular writers today.

    On a personal level Seven Types of Ambiguity resonated as work that refused to take a short cut, instead mirroring the pace of everyday life - I was riveted throughout, constantly impatient for the story to unfold.

    If you value individual integrity... and believe it important that each of us should be aware of/acountable for our actions, this book is for you!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 28, 2010

    Forget it

    I read this book last month, but honestly, I can't remember anything about it. I did read the entire book, but it was one of those books that keeps you reading, because I kept hoping that somehow the author would tie it all together, however, for me I just can't remember, and that is not like me. So I guess what I'm telling you is, read it for the literary style, and perhaps a discussion group, but it is truly forgetable.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)