Seven Types of Ambiguity

Seven Types of Ambiguity 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

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 CSeven 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.

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Seven Types of Ambiguity

  1. Elliot Perlman is an Australian author and barrister He has written two novels and one short story collection His work condemns the economic rationalism that destroys the humanity of ordinary people when they are confronted with unemployment and poverty This is not surprising in a writer who admires Raymond Carver and Graham Greene because they write with quite a strong moral centre and a strong sense of compassion However, he says that Part of my task is to entertain readers I don t want it to be propaganda at all I don t think that for something to be political fiction it has to offer an alternative, I think just a social critique is enough He describes himself, in fact, as being interested in the essence of humanity and argued that exploring this often means touching on political issues.Perlman often uses music, and song lyrics, in his work to convey an idea or mood, or to give a sense of who a character is However, he recognises that this is a bit of a risk because the less familiar the reader is with the song, the smaller the pay off.

753 Reply to “Seven Types of Ambiguity”

  1. A book about screwed up people and their screwed up lives It s like it was written specifically for me The thing is, this book has got some flawsg ones But for the most part, the flaws are mitigated by good writing and by ambitious insight into human motivation the factors that influence our behavior and interpersonal relationships It s like a Franzen novel, but with a psychological twist.The FlawsFirst of all, the connections in this novel are way too convenient I could get past the fact that A [...]

  2. This is one of my top fave favorite books It is an ambitious undertaking, but the author succeeds beautifully The story centers around one major event, as told from the viewpoint of seven different people who were all involved in the event It doesn t just tell the event over and over again but deals with what leads up to it and what follows it depending on which narrator you are dealing with Because the author chooses to divide the book into seven distinct part, by narrator, there is no confusin [...]

  3. Each type is a different character s perspective on the same situation.Type 1Interesting Not bad Totally engaging I have hope.Type 2Blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.Type 3Blah blah blah Blah blah blah Blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah notice, no change in diction, style, POV alt [...]

  4. I went into this with low expectations, expectations I m now slightly ashamed of, since they were born of prejudice Never having heard of it made me feel like it wouldn t be good ridiculous , and with the comparisons to Roth and Franzen, I expected prose that was unimpeachable but not exciting and an ambitious story that failed to deliver But Seven Types of Ambiguity is actually great Simon, the protagonist, kidnaps the son of an ex girlfriend though this isn t ever directly dramatized , and the [...]

  5. If I d had to guess, I would have said tour de force is one of those expressions we use, but the French don t Not that we do use it, it s one of those expressions you can t use because it s been watered down in that way, you know The coffee is awesome That kind of way.To my surprise, however, I see this book, which the French love, described by them as a tour de force I can t help thinking that when the French use this expression they probably don t mean it is a trivial thing, slightly better th [...]

  6. I wasn t really counting, but seven is a plausible tally for the types of ambiguity put forth here I bet a lot of novels these days feature that many just to maintain their modern lit cred What s unambiguous is that there were seven parts to the book with seven different narrators, each with a key part of the story to tell It centers around Simon who is still madly in love with Anna, an ex girlfriend who broke up with him 10 years ago He s a hopeless romantic, but one infused with enough sensiti [...]

  7. I love long books Most who know me know that I am a pretentious, pretentious man I don t love long books because I am pretentious and long books make me look smart I am pretentious because I explain why I am and why I am not pretentious see, I ve proven my point I love long books because they generally do a better job of capturing the complexity of life This rule does not apply to all books that I love Action adventure or fantasy stories should only include, as William Goldman puts it, the good [...]

  8. Akira Korosawa s film Rashomon is about a crime that is witnessed by several individuals who all have credible but polarized viewpoints of the event SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY is an intellectual Rashomonian potboiler, a colossal coil of colliding and deviating entanglements However, we KNOW how the crime occurred But do we really know who is guilty, beyond the obvious defendant It is a world of contrasts and overlaps, of paradoxes and semblances, of poetry and corporate shenanigans, gambling and g [...]

  9. I m not worthy of reviewing a book like this Really Seven Types of Ambiguity is huge, both physically and contextually Read this book if You like Rashomon like explorations of the subjective nature of truth You like overlapping narratives that do to obfuscate a given event than illuminate it Deep characterization is your bag You have ever harbored even a passing interest in critical theory You love Billie Holliday You are are passionate about health care issues this book explores Australia s sh [...]

  10. This is the type of book I normally love literary, meaty, lots of ideas, characters, and themes on which to reflect But something in this book just fell short for me The story is introduced by a psychiatrist, and is then told from the perspective of each of the main characters It s a good story, absorbing at times, and the characters held my interest But there were long stretches of philosophy, and discourses on things like counting cards in blackjack, theoretical physics, and complex business d [...]

  11. Final Analysis A book that acts like a fine wine is hard to find this one is such a book It keeps getting better after it is finished being read a very well written work, it is magnanimous, comprehensive, lyrical, and prosaically refined, with a sharp eye on bringing out the depths of the normal The only fault remains what I have referred to before and will, I think, call voice narration displacement I think I may have discerned that Perlman in fact wrote parts 1, 5, 6 and 7 immediately based up [...]

  12. This novel took me forever to get through I understand what the author was trying to do interlace plot with different charcterizations by intertwining them I just don t think Perlman executed it well I found the characters extremely flat and annoying I felt that Perlman at times was even showing off his writing ability through some of the characters Basically, he writes in extremely wordy prose, trying to achieve an intellectual air His use of first person in the different narrations excludes ra [...]

  13. It is surprising that I hadn t included this previously There was at the time of its publication a certain buzz about the book, one hued all Franzen like and I found out that it was availible in a local library outside of our county this was before reciprocity and I arranged for a friend to check out the novel and i quickly read such in the wake It was very bleh authorial wrinkles, people living suburban lives with a thoughtful poet at the core Okay.

  14. 16 November 2011 argh, this is the third time that I ve started this book The thing is, I haven t given up on it for any particular reason in the past interesting books have just come my way but I put it down a few weeks ago to read The Marriage Plot and now I m back to where I was the first two times it s just not compelling enough to woo me back I want to love it and I may even love it just a little bit, his writing is incredible and the story is interesting enough Maybe it s because it s rea [...]

  15. I got this book for Christmas two years ago from my family and was immediately intimidated by the size of the book, and the fact that it was given to me by my family, who know little about what kind of stuff I read.I was very pleasantly suprised to find that I was immediately hooked after the first chapter This might be my favorite, uh, modern dramatic novel ever.The story is really great and the characters are very interesting and real as well Perlman s voice is hypnotic He sounds like he s dru [...]

  16. A gripping and hard to put down page turner Like someone in my reading group said, this book was like reading juicy gossip, but only so since you also get a view into what each person is thinking Each part is told from a different character s POV, so once you have an impression of someone, that impression can easily change once the same character is viewed from another POV very interesting way of presenting a story I actually give it 4 1 2 stars, just short of 5 only because those are reserved [...]

  17. Deduct one star for yet another version of the tart with the heart of gold That male fantasy has legs than a centipede.

  18. This is by far and away the longest book I have ever reached the end of From the first two paragraphs I was hooked The way Perlman writes about the protagonist s endearing but ultimately over romanticised and distorted memories of his ex grabbed me immediately The image of the thoughtful, sexy woman, hair held with chopsticks, donning tortoise shell glasses, sipping diet coke and reading in the bay window is a fantasy I share in, albeit a fairly pathetic and cliched one.I found the changing narr [...]

  19. If you love words and imaginative phrases, this is a book that cannot be missed With remarks like, you would love the way he sees you, Perlman at once writes a compelling story and poetically delivers the near truths that our romantic selves imagine real Near truths about ourselves and the capacity of those we love.The story itself is a ambitious and boldly intellectual tale told from seven perspectives about kidnapping and lost love It s a little Jonathan Franzen, a little David Foster Wallace [...]

  20. Seven Types of Ambiguity is divided into seven chapters, each narrated by a different character At the center of the story is Simon Heywood, and he s obsessed with Anna who left him a decade ago Anna is unhappily married to Joe, but she stays in the marriage because of her son Simon kidnaps her son in an attempt to win her back, creating havoc that boomerangs through many lives, including his psychiatrist and his friend, a prostitute who has Joe as one of her clients The title is borrowed from l [...]

  21. Seven Types of Ambiguity is, without question, one of the best novels I have ever read With that said, I am having a difficult time coming up with a way to describe what it s about without giving too much away At its center, there s a kidnapping, but to say that this novel is about kidnapping is akin to saying that Don Quixote is about windmills There is a kidnapping, yes, but the true heart of this novel is in the characters and their varied reactions to it.Told in seven chapters, each narrated [...]

  22. Beyond masterful Over 600 pages of intellectual, emotional and intelligent brilliance It hurts to think how many people would not like, or even understand, this book On page 609, there is a discussion about unremitting acuity There is a division between those people who are burdened by the clarity with which they see the world and those who are not For those who are not, no semblance of emotional statis or equilibrium is threatened only by things particular to themBut what about the other group, [...]

  23. Well, I just realized that I meant to read the OTHER Seven Types of Ambiguity , which is something I wish I would have discovered before having spent time reading 623 pages of a book I wouldn t have read if I had been paying better attention That being said, this book was an interesting look at one event and its consequences through the eyes and experiences of several intertwined lives Now I might read the OTHER one and maybe get a new understanding of THIS one I stand corrected this IS the book [...]

  24. Even bitchy ole me can t find owt wrong with this book It s a triumph, really Smart without being pretentious, gripping, well written, set in one of my favourite places and the characterisation is superb, and that s understating it Difficult to believe it s his first novel, or even his third.Out of the 20 odd books I ve consumed in the last month and a half or so, this was the best The best this year even Maybe the best since I can remember Wish so much there was where that came from.Drool droo [...]

  25. In the wrong hands, this masterful psychological drama could have been a huge disaster Centered around the kidnapping of a little boy, there s a lot going on here complicated contemporary adult relationships, dysfunctional parent child relationships both past and present, infidelity, career challenges, the state of Australia s national health insurance, the law, psychiatry, sex, religion, gambling, Billie Holiday, Abel Meeropolon and on it goes And if these modern, somewhat commonplace life situ [...]

  26. If you are not with the zeitgeist, if you are a victim of it or if you resist it, you re out in the cold You are left to sell crafts at weekend re marginal, you dont count p169There is a lot of room for ambiguity in the convoluted relationships of the 7 people connected here by their secrets as much as any affinity EP in his fluid prose has unpacked for us seven perspectives, illuminating the complexity that riddles even the simplest facts I especially appreciate how, in this determi [...]

  27. There s the ambiguity of human relationships, for instance A relationship between two people, just like a sequence of words, is ambiguous if it is open to different interpretations The complexity of human relationships makes it possible for two people who went through the same experience to perceive and describe it in different ways.Seven Types of Ambiguity brings all the perspectives together to try to get a look at the whole picture.Simon Heywood is an unemployed teacher who decides to seek ps [...]

  28. This was definitely a page turner of a book It is split into 7 parts with 6 different narrators Of course, all these 6 narrators are linked to each other, whether they know it or not What I appreciated about this book I love a story told from different perspectives It s so intriguing to see how a different character views the same relationship or same scenario It brings the world to life in a accurate way we each experience it differently It also means you avoid boredom, as a new perspective ge [...]

  29. A magnificent book If the overlap in the stories and points of view of the different characters, and the ambiguity about what happened this creates is going to annoy you, either check yourself severely, or read something else, but don t project your problems onto the book Because of the way the story was told, I believe it was utterly necessary for the narrative, with each change of character s point of view, to pick up, not quite write the previous narrator left off, but somewhat prior to that [...]

  30. Well Where to start This is obviously a lengthy and involved story one that s told through 7 different character s viewpoints.I have to say that for the most part I liked the differing viewpoints and think they served their purpose to illuminate the characters as you saw the same situation through different eyes.I definitely identified with Joe and Angel than anyone else in the story, and maybe that colored my experience of the book If you side with Simon and really love him as a character wil [...]

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