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Seven Types of Ambiguity

Length: 26 hrs and 53 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (3 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Following years of unrequited love, an out-of-work schoolteacher decides to take matters into his own hands to win back his ex-girlfriend, triggering a chain of events that neither he nor his psychiatrist could have anticipated. Told in seven parts, through the viewpoints of seven different characters, Seven Types of Ambiguity is an engrossing psychological thriller and a literary masterpiece.

©2017 Elliot Perlman; 2003 Elliot Perlman (P)2017 W F Howes Ltd

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Profile Image for Alison Harling
  • Alison Harling
  • 05-21-19

Not sure what I was expecting

I suppose I was expecting a sliding doors kind of narrative but I felt I was left hanging in narration was good I just don’t think this book was for me , not to say others may find it great just my opinion , I will say tho the actual writing was lovely and quite soothing given the context

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Profile Image for Dune LeFevre
  • Dune LeFevre
  • 03-11-19

interwoven masterpiece

If you're a David Mitchell fan - you'll love this. The character narratives are beautifully interwoven within this novel as well as Elliot's other works.
Well written. Well performed. I loved it!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • jdk
  • 03-27-19

Heavy Exposition

How much I'm willing to forgive a work it's stylistic flaws often depends on my empathy for its characters. In 7TOA Mr. Perlman overwhelms my mercy.

How do those who populate this text learn to know what they express? I too often caught jarring glimpses of Mr. Perlman's hand as he wrote their thoughts. Also, what are these long monologues?

I can tolerate abstraction, and saw some similarity with the structue of Sartre's No Exit. The cross linking of a very small group of emotionally related people and the events in their lives taking place in an unnatural world. A world inspired in Mr Perlman's youth he tells us in the post script included in the audio version.

He says he was terrified by what he learnt as an Associate in a court trying murder cases in the early eighties. He was horrified that randomly selected jurors are swayed by narratives and relationships rather than the cultivated dispassion of those trained in the law. It's this hubris and the power of those who hold such beliefs that frightens me. This is exactly why we have juries of ordinary people. 7TOA, like the courts, might benefit from more natural characters. An editor's red pen could also find use.

7TOA informs and entertains in parts. The jeweler gently casts the anguished long shadow of The Shoa. Information about the scourge of depression and suicide is insightful, but could benefit from delivery in the experience of a suffering and sympathetic character. The suicide shown is as a failure of character rather than collapse under the burden of psychopathology.

SPOILER ALERT!

The world of 7TOA is clearly a cis gendered male fantasy. Angela the beautiful hooker is more cobcubine than whore and strangely only gets money once she's taught to play the casino by a man. Anna, who has her eyes openned to the true romance of the world by her senstive, eccentric, genius, stalking, child stealing exlover Simon happily returns to his loving arms. Dr. Klemmer's daughter passively reevaluates her burgeoning political ambition once berated by the brat Sam. There's a unattractive comic fat girl who returns a phone for the reward, and privilege, of being flattered and fucked by a stock broker. I take it we're meant to laugh as he nuzzles her pendulous paps.

7TOA is a work of its times despite the inclusion of mobile phones- the nineteen eighties. Reread from here it seems to ask the question, "For what might we forgive a man the theft of a child?" It answers, "If the thief romantically loves the child's mother." This moral fails in our new world where we continue to learn the degree and extent of mostly male, sexual violence and abuse. Male appetites, even for romantic love no longer excuse such behaviour. The risk of harm is too great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Mrs
  • 06-13-18

Overlong, repetitive and predictable

I’m sorry..I stuck this through waiting for a payoff. It never came.

Perhaps I don’t get it..but to me it was a dull listen.

The afterward explains it a little with the author revealing his political tendencies and cherry picking of faults from the other side of politics.

Well voiced, but disappointing content.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-06-18

Great but not without being problematic

Loved it but found Simon's attitude to Anna unambiguously painful. Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope is dangerous, extreme and unrealistic.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-13-19

Have patience

The story as a whole and the various perspectives written into the story was very interesting but felt like the author got bored at the end and wound it all up in a confusing way making me backtrack listening again to parts to
work out who was who. Dissatisfying ending.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-28-18

Made it through

I was excited for another thriller, but realised perhaps long form novels are not for me. By about half way I was beginning to be interested in the book, but it wasn’t particularly gripping. Once listening to it, I enjoyed the book, but I was never eager to start playing it again, and only would, because i needed something to listen to while driving.

Glad to be introduced to some of the concepts, I feel more intelligent having listened to it.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-22-18

amazing

this book is really amazing. lived it a lot. narration is excellent. true to its title it takes you in minds of everyone and their motive. it's a must listen

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-19-18

Unique and spellbinding

Great book - didn’t want to stop listening, really held my interest till the very end.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Leona
  • 04-22-18

really thought provoking

making me analysis much of myself and the world out there. well worth listening to. will listen again to pick up what I missed first time round.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful