- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber; Main edition (16 Jun. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0571207227
- ISBN-13: 978-0571207220
- Product Dimensions: 12.6 x 3.8 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,197 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Seven Types of Ambiguity Paperback – 16 Jun 2005
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"'A complex and perfectly nuanced study of idealised love turned sour.' Daily Mail; 'Perlman's novel is a colossal achievement' Observer; 'Seven Types of Ambiguity shows Elliot Perlman to be Australia's outstanding social novelist' TLS"
About the Author
Elliot Perlmanis the acclaimed author of a collection of short stories and two novels,Three Dollars, the film adaptation of which was released in 2005, andSeven Types of Ambiguity, which was a 'New York Times Notable Book' and a national bestseller in France, where it was described 'one of the best novels of recent years, a complete success'(Le Monde). A barrister, he lived in New York for many years and currently lives in Melbourne.
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Top Customer Reviews
The book follows a story of the obsessive and heartbroken Simon, whose life is dominated by the memory of his ex-lover, Anna. In a spur of madness he does something that will change both of their lives, for better and worse, and the book provides seven different viewpoints and opinions on the series of events; seven characters, seven types of ambiguity. The thing that makes the book so great though is the character of Dr Alex Kilma, Simon's psychiatrist. If, as a reader, you've ever had the experience of visiting such a doctor, you'll probably romanticise and connect with him more than anyone else can. He's the type of psychiatrist that films provoke and reality lacks; the will-drive-to-your-house-at-night committed, the type where your problems have taken over his whole life, the one that always says the right thing in a session, and every one is an intense debate about the world, or the things and metaphysics within it. However, he is in no way storybook, and neither is the story - it's easy to imagine it all as very real.
I didn't like the ending, but thinking about it, I don't know what I would have preferred. Sometimes the overall storyline, when looking at it all as a whole, seems a bit unbelievable, in the sense of 'all that happened and they still did that?'. But as a whole, it was a really endearing read.Read more ›
When I opened this novel, however, I was greeted with something quite different from the expectations I’d formed in my mind. It is, quite definitely, a novel of this century, touching upon issues both economic and social that are relevant to modern life, and yet Perlman communicates his observations with grace. His prose flows effortlessly, breathing poetry into potentially mundane subjects, beguiling the reader at times when the plot fails to thrill. This, fortunately, is a rare occurrence, as the novel has seven narrators, each continuing their predecessor’s account, relieving much of the tedium when a particular voice starts to irk.
Perlman has received criticism for the apparent lack of ambiguity in relation to his narrators and their perceptions of events, and I have considered this carefully since finishing the book. Admittedly, there is a definite similarity in the tone of the seven parts, but I attribute this to the author’s style, which it cannot be argued, is imperative to a writer’s identity. But can that be the case in this situation, where the subject of ambiguity, the theme supposedly illustrated, is the very quality missing from Perlman’s characters? I suggest that the reader look deeper, closer at the characters, at their subtle differences. An acute observation reveals that the characters’ slightest difference in interpreting the events of the novel severely affect their outcomes. Here, Perlman is forcing the reader to work for their own meaning; he creates ambiguity by the very nature of his narrative structure.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Elliott Perlman at its best. Moving, clever, engaging style and impossible to put down. This is my second book by this author and I will ceratinly be readng the third one. Read morePublished on 5 April 2013 by AmazonSusy
There are some very good things in this book: the courtroom scenes and the blackjack tutorial stand out. Read morePublished on 18 Sept. 2010 by C. W. Robbins
Perlman is an acclaimed Australian author, and this is his 3rd novel. He works as a barrister in Melbourne, which explains his interest in court procedures. Read morePublished on 7 July 2009 by Joachimski
Simon and Anna fell in love at first sight, some ten years ago, when they found themselves in the same university tutorial-group. Read morePublished on 26 July 2006 by jfp2006
My main problem with this novel is, as others have pointed out, the fact that the tone of voice remains almost identical - an erudite, slightly contrived quasi-confession - no... Read morePublished on 20 Sept. 2005 by R. Gray
There are 7 different narrators. Their voices are almost indistinguishable. Ironically (given the title), all the narrators are apparently fully trustworthy. Read morePublished on 13 Nov. 2004 by Daniel Read