Seven Years

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Hardcover New Nice new book. may have some minor shelf wear. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is ... necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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London 2012 Hard cover First edition. First British edition with 1 in number line New in new dust jacket. Signed by author. SIGNED by Stamm on the half title page. New with ... edge/shelf wear to dj (Tiny crumples/tears at head and foot of spine. New and rare signed. 272 p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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Editorial Reviews

Sarah Fay
With its understated descriptions and cool perceptions, Stamm's fiction…explores the tendency to experience two incongruous emotions or sensations simultaneously: attraction and disgust, warmth and estrangement, anxiety and liberation…Stamm's talent is palpable, but what makes him a writer to read, and read often, is the way he renders contemporary life as a series of ruptures. Never entirely sure of their position, his characters engage in a constant effort to establish their equilibrium.
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Swiss author Stamm (Agnes) examines the complications of love and attraction in this captivating novel. Alex and his gorgeous and brilliant wife, Sonia, run an architecture firm and have a lovely daughter. It is the life he always thought he deserved, but during the fateful seventh year of marriage Alex scratches a familiar itch with Ivona, an old flame who is so tremendously plain and boring that Alex considers himself too good for her, and yet, for reasons inexplicable, his attraction to her runs hotter than it ever has for Sonia. His revulsion toward Ivona's fundamental underwhelmingness gets a lengthy—at times, tediously so—examination, as does the magnetism that pulls him to her and his own fiery self-hatred. Ego, passion, and deception run wild, but the novel's strength is found in the characters Stamm has created: powerfully imperfect, sometimes despicable, horribly conflicted, and always believable far beyond the archetypes that too often pop up in novels of marital ennui. (Mar.)
Library Journal
A German architect with a beautiful wife cannot give up his desire for an otherwise unremarkable Polish immigrant. Despite talking to her initially as a joke, a dare, he makes her his mistress and returns to her over the years. In this account of their affair, feverish as an Orhan Pamuk or Knut Hamsun tale, motivations are by subterfuge: "I thought what a thin veneer civilization is, and how easily it cracks when pain or hatred or lust take over in individuals." Swiss novelist Stamm (Unformed Landscape) offers a classic love triangle that reads like a contemporary European version of Richard Yates's Revolutionary Road. Theories of architecture are employed throughout to great if heavy-handed effect ("I remember something that Aldo Rossi had said, that every room contains an abyss"), and though readers may not identify with or even like the characters, the plot moves quickly and winds in satisfying ways. VERDICT Readers looking for a highbrow page-turner will relish this quick read.—Travis Fristoe, Alachua Cty. Lib. Dist., FL
From the Publisher
Seven Years is a novel to make you doubt your own dogma. What more can a novel do than that?” —Zadie Smith, Harper’s Magazine

“Stamm’s talent is palpable, but what makes him a writer to read, and read often, is the way he renders contemporary life as a series of ruptures. Never entirely sure of their position, his characters engage in a constant effort to establish their equilibrium.” —New York Times Book Review

“Stamm’s cleverness is to align a spareness that works in translation with his characters’ instinctive fear of all things rich and intense. Lean as it is, his prose is wonderfully ‘literary’ in its fine integration of voice and story. The constant disorientation of his characters, their sense that their lives are interchangeable with any number of other lives, seem peculiarly suited to this era of globalization.” —The New York Review of Books

“With a patient and impressive commitment to realism, this Swiss novel follows the course of a complicated, troubled marriage…Though Stamm pulls off a quietly spectacular plot twist halfway through the book, he never loses sight of the quotidian things that erode or transform relationships over time: an oddly personal disagreement about the merits of ‘Rain Man’, or the ‘piles of romance novels, Christian manuals, and Polish magazines’ that crowd a lover’s apartment.”—The New Yorker
 
“Stamm is a master of quietly deliberative stories. In Seven Years, as in the best of his work, he puts often simple-seeming character through extraordinary paces, all the more remarkable given the Carver-like restraint he exercises in his writing.” —Bookforum

Seven Years is a powerful, enlightening novel about the eternal search for contentment in life, the often fickle nature of love, and the knowledge that in reality, happiness is rarely how we dreamed it would be.” —The Daily Beast

“Here is Stamm’s strength, in a good English translation, the clean uncluttered sentences that take you—as writers since Hemingway have shown — from one crystalline point to the next, so as to travel great distances in the shortest possible time.” —Buffalo News

“Just the kind of thing I like.”—Lorin Stein, the Paris Review blog

“Ego, passion, and deception run wild, but the novel's strength is found in the characters Stamm has created: powerfully imperfect, sometimes despicable, horribly conflicted, and always believable far beyond the archetypes that too often pop up in novels of marital ennui.” —Publishers Weekly

“Swiss novelist Stamm (Unformed Landscape) offers a classic love triangle that reads like a contemporary European version of Richard Yates’s Revolutionary Road… Readers looking for a highbrow page-turner will relish this quick read.” —Library Journal
 
“This touching novel is a tour of what makes love work and what tears love apart in the modern world.” —Booklist

“A dynamic and taut novel that examines the conflicted heart in the confines of marriage and the perception of what love is.” —ForeWord Reviews

Seven Years is tense and frightening—I couldn't stop plunging in. Desire is a hunting dog and we never know what it will bring us. This is ruthless truth.” —Rosecrans Baldwin, author of You Lost Me There

“Peter Stamm is not alone to want to expose the tensions within such a constellation, but the construction of his narrative is an undeniable success.” —Le Monde

“The search for love, the pursuit of happiness, the confusion of emotions, Peter Stamm revisits these eternal themes in an original novel that resonates deeply with all of us.” —Elle (France)

“The cumulative emotional impact of this is quietly shattering.  How many writers have written with this degree of brutal perceptiveness and wisdom about the indeterminate depths of heterosexual desire?  Wharton, Roth (sometimes), James Salter, Kundera.  Stamm inscribes his name on that august list” –The Times (UK)

Seven Years by Peter Stamm, a tale of lust and deceit...has the makings of an existential classic, yet sows mystery without once being opaque – it’s deliciously, deceptively easy to read.” –The Telegraph

“[Seven Years] is cool and immensely accomplished, told retrospectively in a way that seems to flatten suspense…while bringing out the half-tones that shadow even the most apparently clear-cut decisions.” –The Guardian (UK)

“Reading this novel is an experience of creeping realization as a series of small epiphanies build up almost imperceptibly…The novel’s cumulative effect is highly unsettling, its concluding moments are breathtaking, and the ripples that it sets in motion radiate in the reader’s mind long after the novel’s conversation has ended.” Charlotte Ryland, Times Literary Supplement

“Peter Stamm, one of Switzerland's most acclaimed writers, is at his best exploring the complexities of human relationships.” –The Omnivore (UK)
 
“Stamm has a fine sense of the pregnant moment which signals things falling apart. By the time you get to the twist at the end, you want to start again.” –More Intelligent Life (The Economist Magazine)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781847085092
  • Publisher: Granta Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/2012

Customer Reviews

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