Englischsprachige Literatur

Perlman Elliot

Seven Types of Ambiguity

Faber&Faber, London 2005


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. Psychology seems to be another field of his expertise.

And he lays it all out in 600 more or less boring pages. I would never have followed his far fetched and wide stretched story, had not the blurb promised me a surprising finale, in which all the loose ends would be tied together. Not true, sadly enough. Just another ”heartbreaking work of staggering genius” (Eggers), a bit like “Special topics in calamity physics” (Pessl), but just not such a good plot.

So what is it all about? We learn about a harmless kidnapping gone wrong with grotesque consequences, told by seven different people. But don´t you think there might be any thrill in that. Perlman likes to say everything in at least seven different sentences, so instead of ambiguity the prevalent impression is of redundancy.