Seven Types of Ambiguity by Elliot Perlman

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Synopsis

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.


 



 

About Elliot Perlman

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ELLIOT PERLMAN is the author of The Reasons I Won't Be Coming and Seven Types of Ambiguity. He also cowrote the award-winning screenplay for a film version of Three Dollars, his first novel. He lives in Australia.
 
Published December 16, 2004 by Riverhead. 628 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Romance. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Seven Types of Ambiguity

Kirkus Reviews

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Constant love in the face of terrible odds--such is the old-fashioned but deeply satisfying theme in a thoroughly modern Australian import.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

Publishers Weekly

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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 justifi

Oct 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

The New York Times

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Why did Simon kidnap his ex-lover's small son? Seven narrators in Elliot Perlman's novel ponder the question.

Jan 16 2005 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

The New York Times

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Elliot Perlman's long-winded novel is intensely conversational, articulately cruel and devoted to the settling of sexual scores.

Dec 20 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

The New York Times

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Why did Simon kidnap his ex-lover's small son? Seven narrators in Elliot Perlman's novel ponder the question.

Jan 16 2005 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

The Guardian

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Simon is also undergoing treatment with Dr Alex Klima, who is variously portrayed as a psychoanalyst, psychiatrist, psychologist or cognitive therapist (the author seems confused by or uninterested in such differences), and whose sensitive but suffering character seems rather weighed down by his ...

Dec 10 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

The Guardian

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Perlman brilliantly offsets lawyer and therapist each offering a different kind of cross examination (Perlman is himself a barrister).

Aug 07 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

Publishers Weekly

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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 justifi

Oct 04 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

Entertainment Weekly

Perlman pulls off everything from poignant .

Dec 15 2004 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

Yahoo! Voices

My casting would be: Natalie Portman as our protagonist, Offred, Kevin Spacey as the Commander, and Nicole Kidman as the Commander's wife, Serena Joy.

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of Seven Types of Ambiguity

New York Magazine

Placing it next to a better, if still limited, recent book, Stephen Amidon’s Human Capital (“for fans of The Corrections and American Beauty,”), one can notice an emerging pattern, even a mini genre: the misguided post-Corrections novel.

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