Maybe the Horse Will Talk

Maybe the Horse Will Talk

Elliot Perlman

Fiction / Cultural / Australia

'I am absolutely terrified of losing a job I absolutely hate.'Stephen Maserov has problems. A onetime teacher, married to fellow teacher Eleanor, he has retrained and is now a second-year lawyer working at mega-firm Freely Savage Carter Blanche. Despite toiling around the clock to make budget, he's in imminent danger of being downsized. And to make things worse, Eleanor, sick of single-parenting their two young children thanks to Stephen's relentless work schedule, has asked him to move out. To keep the job he hates, pay the mortgage and salvage his marriage, he will have to do something strikingly daring, something he never thought himself capable of. But if he's not careful, it might be the last job he ever has... Warm, dramatic, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, with the narrative pull of a thriller, Maybe the Horse Will Talk is a love story, a reflection on contemporary marriage, and on friendship. It is also an unflinching examination of sexual...
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The Street Sweeper

The Street Sweeper

Elliot Perlman

Fiction / Cultural / Australia

Review“An extraordinary tale powerfully told, *The Street Sweeper reveals how individual people matter in history, how unexpected connections can change lives, and how the stories we hear affect how we see the world. It’s a tremendously moving work that deserves to be read and remembered.” —The Globe and Mail*“The Street Sweeper is an impressive literary achievement, complex in its organization, meticulous in its plotting and deeply satisfying in its emotional payoffs.” —The Wall Street Journal “Humane, compelling and convincing . . . artfully structured and well written.” —The Sunday Times“Street Sweeper . . . demonstrates how history and fiction can converge to tell stories that cry out to be remembered.” —The Telegraph (UK)“Perlman offers an affecting meditation on memory itself, on storytelling as an act of healing.” —The Guardian (UK)“An extraordinary tale powerfully told, The Street Sweeper reveals how individual people matter in history, how unexpected connections can change lives, and how the stories we hear affect how we see the world. It’s a tremendously moving work that deserves to be read and remembered.” —The Globe and Mail“An expertly told novel of life in immigrant America—and of the terrible events left behind in the old country.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)“Brilliantly makes personal both the Holocaust and the civil rights movement.... A moving and literate page-turner.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)“Perlman’s compulsively readable wrestle-with-evil saga is intimate and monumental, wrenching and cathartic.” —Booklist (starred review)“In the best kind of books, there is always that moment when the words on the page swallow the world outside — subway stations fly by, errands go un-run, rational bedtimes are abandoned — and the only goal is to gobble up the next paragraph, and the next, and the next…. [The Street Sweeper is] a towering achievement: a strikingly modern literary novel that brings the ugliest moments of 20th-century history to life, and finds real beauty there.” —Entertainment Weekly “A sprawling work, generous in its spirit and in breadth of imagination, unabashed in its liberal humanism.” —The Age“A rich, engaging story of New York. [Perlman is] an author of rare erudition and compassion. The Street Sweeper is his boldest work yet and, quite probably, the one that will win him a greater following.” —The Washington Post“[An] ambitious yet thoughtful novel.” —The Independent (UK) Product DescriptionFrom the civil rights struggle in the United States to the crematoria of Auschwitz-Birkenau, there are momentous stories everywhere. But only some survive to become history.Lamont Williams is a black man from the Bronx trying to return to a normal life after serving a six-year prison term for a crime for which he was wrongly convicted. Historian Adam Zignelik is an untenured Columbia professor whose career and long-term relationship are falling apart. When Lamont Williams strikes up an unlikely friendship with a patient at the hospital where he works as a janitor, he learns about the Sonderkommando--prisoners forced to work in the gas chambers and crematoria of the Nazi extermination camps. Meanwhile, Adam pursues a promising research topic suggested by a World War II veteran, a topic that might just save him professionally and even personally. When the lives of these two men intersect, history comes to life in ways neither of them could have foreseen.The Street Sweeper is an astonishing feat of storytelling that addresses the personal and the political as it sweeps across the globe, through the seminal events of the twentieth century to the present. Honest, hypnotic and redemptive, this is a novel that explores the responsibility of the historian, the weight of history on all of us, and the crucial role that bearing witness plays in breaking the cycle of human cataclysm.From the Hardcover edition.
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Seven Types of Ambiguity

Seven Types of Ambiguity

Elliot Perlman

Fiction / Cultural / Australia

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.From Publishers WeeklyBy 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. Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. From The New YorkerCheekily swiping the title of William Empson's seminal work of literary criticism, this second novel by Perlman, an Australian writer, presents seven first-person narrators—whose lives are all nudged off course by a man's abduction of his ex-girlfriend's young son—in a compulsively readable tangle. At the center is a psychiatrist who treats several of the characters, and whose narrative provides some basis for assessing the partial perspectives of the six others. The abductor's self-justifying rants about truth, literature, and poststructuralist theory win over his shrink and, it seems, everyone else. Still, if the individual stories of these characters are compelling, their attempts at Empsonian hermeneutics are less so. Copyright © 2005 The New Yorker
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Three Dollars

Three Dollars

Elliot Perlman

Fiction / Cultural / Australia

The groundbreaking novel about economic rationalism and its effect on good, honest people.At once humorous and dramatic, Three Dollars is about Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself, at the age of 38, with a wife, a child and three dollars. How did he get that way? And who is Amanda? He cared about people; he was, Amanda notwithstanding, a good husband, father and son. At any other time the world would have smiled on him. But this was the nineties and the world valued other things. Three Dollars chronicles the present breach of the social contract and its effect on a home near you. It is a brilliantly deft portrait of a man attempting to retain his humanity, his family and his sense of humour in grim and pitiless times: times of downsizing, outsourcing and privatising. It is about the legacy of Thatcherism and its effects on people and their relationships.'Few novels ever dare to fuse emotional and economic life with the passionate intelligence of...
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