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Paperback The Reasons I Won't Be Coming Book

ISBN: 0330361619

ISBN13: 9780330361613

The Reasons I Won't Be Coming

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Format: Paperback

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Book Overview

The stories in this collection explore the complex worlds of lovers, poets, lawyers, immigrants, students, and murderers. They tell of corporate betrayals and lost opportunities, and of the... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Diverse stories for lovers of love

I recently read a book review which said, to paraphrase, that love can have happy endings, but love stories cannot. There's no better example of this than Elliot Perlman's collection of short stories, The Reasons I Won't Be Coming. They're not all about love, but the bulk of them are, and those are the ones that stayed with me, too. 'Good Morning, Again', for instance, is the account of a man who wakes up with a new lover next to him - but remembers the one who had his heart, who went before. 'Spitalnic's Last Year' is the tale of a university student who is searching for love - but both his desire to be in love and the often misguided objects of his affection both serve him poorly. What I loved about this collection was how different they all were - in theme, in length and in style. I had picked up this book after loving Perlman's "Seven Types of Ambiguity," and was not disappointed here. In fact, I would say that perhaps the writing here is even richer, more poetic. The author has to be less focused on drawing the reader in to the narrative (although obviously that is important, too) than on drawing the reader in with his words. And what fine words they are.

Even Twenty-Two Point Two Percent Ain't Bad

Elliot Perlman's collection of short stories, THE REASONS I WON'T BE COMING, was a Christmas gift that I put on my stack of books to be read. I'm not sure how it worked its way to the top of the pile so quickly, but after reading the wee introductory offering, "Good Morning, Again" I had to read the other eight. I found all nine to be good stories, and, as other reviewers have pointed out, the final piece was an excellent representation, and perhaps even a stand-alone work, but for me, the story that was the most powerful and complete was "I Was Only in a Childish Way Connected to the Established Order." Besides being well crafted, with most of the characters highly developed, it was a story describing the allusiveness of sanity. Examining what is crazy, and what is normal through the eyes of a poet is nothing new, but here Perlman takes a fresh approach, moving from a blissful city life to the stress and strain of a country existence.

more entertaining wisdom from Perlman

Though these stories are perhaps not as creatively sophisticated as Perlman's novel, SEVEN TYPES OF AMBIGUITY (shich I strongly recommend), they are nonetheless compelling and satisfying in their own right. My understanding is that he wrote them prior to SEVEN TYPES . . . , so they offer a glimpse into the tremendous potential that was to be fuly realized in the longer work. That said, I thoroughly enjoyed this collection. Perman's voices are memorable, and his themes are poignant. The first and last stories, for example, are two of my favorites, yet they are completely different in style, setting, plot and characterization. In this way, I believe that the shorter literary form serves Perlman's talent for versatility well. Indeed, it is exciting to consider what he will give us next.

A great book

The first few stories here are best left quantified as 'good' or not in terms of personal tastes rather than the type of subjective judgments usually found on reader review pages. I liked them all -- but since the styles vary quite a bit, you may end up with two or three favorites, while others may not work as well for you. But keep reading. Get to the last story, a novella called 'A Tale in Two Cities'. This entry alone makes the book worth substantially more than the price of admission -- and more importantly rewards your decision on how best to spend valuable reading time. It stands alone as one of the best short stories I've ever read. 'A Tale in Two Cities' is objectively superb writing as it combines the suspense of well crafted crime fiction with serious literature. Perlman accomplished this delicate feat to a startling degree in his novel 'Seven Types of Ambiguity', but he may have topped even that excellent work here. You'll get so caught up in the story that you may not even realize, at first anyway, that you are experiencing nothing less than an artful telling of the effects of the Holocaust, oppression in Soviet Russia and the modern day conflict in the Middle East. In both physical and emotional terms none of the characters are left unscathed by history. As this goes on and the story unfolds, we get to know a modern family and see the strains that addiction can cause. These large themes are set inside of a good old fashioned detective story (complete with a cameo by a barmaid practically saying in perfect noir dialect 'yeah, so what's it to ya copper?' and a brilliantly funny Private Investigator). It all keeps the reader engrossed until the final skillful conclusion. Yes, all the stories in this book are good and varying themes and styles are explored. But in the finale, Perlman speaks with what is undeniably his best voice. Stories like this are why I love great fiction. Based on that alone I can not recommend this book any higher.

big crush on elliot perlman

Elliot Perlman is an AMAZING writer. i can't wait for his next book. Seven Types follows one elaborate story through the eyes of seven different people. While this page-turner is full of eloquent prose, Perlman also weaves his very liberal politics into all of his stories -- I wouldn't necessarily recommend his works for those on the far right.
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