The Reasons I Won't Be Coming

The Reasons I Won t Be Coming The nine smart thoughtful stories in this collection explore the complex worlds of lovers poets lawyers immigrants students and murderers They tell of corporate betrayals and lost opportunities

The nine smart, thoughtful 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 obsessions, hopes, fears, and vagaries of desire.New York Times Book Review Editor s Choice Carefully imagines, entirely believable Perlman manages to packThe nine smart, thoughtful 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 obsessions, hopes, fears, and vagaries of desire.New York Times Book Review Editor s Choice Carefully imagines, entirely believable Perlman manages to pack whole lives into a few paragraphs Perlman s plots seem effortless, which makes his surprises all the affecting Washington Post These stories are like walking down the hallway of an old hotel and eavesdropping on sad confessions It s hard not to be moved These stories are love letters, really, and their protagonist, we come to learn, is none other than the human heart.

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The Reasons I Won't Be Coming

  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.

325 Reply to “The Reasons I Won't Be Coming”

  1. im so used to reading a certain type of book that i always forget there are writers out there writing about ordinary situations, quietly these are stories for adults, like the way people used to make movies for adults i didnt like the earlier ones, but the longer ones at the end were better i am looking forward to reading his longer novel and, yes

  2. Review in Elliot Perlman s style I liked the book She didn t, but she lent it to me anyway I offered her another chance to read it again, but she was always working In fact, it is not too dramatic to say that I enjoyed the book immensely But she never understood me When I think about it now I realised that I have invented her image alone When we first started we would read together I didn t think she enjoyed her administration work But now I think she takes comfort in it I ll read the book again [...]

  3. Take your time, and take it one at a time.This book, as you may have seen took me from July to tonight, March 9, to finish It is not a book you pick up, and read a bit each night before you go to sleep.My recommendation is to take it one story at a time, each one intensely Do not be discouraged if there is a story you do not like This is the way of short story compilations.I am relieved to have this book be over Each story has been milling in my mind for the past 8 months, and now for a long tim [...]

  4. My husband picked up this book, looked at the title, then to me and said, Whiskey dick Nope.Whiskey dick, while a valid reason for not coming, does not appear in this book.A collection of nine short stories some of them I hated, like Good Morning, Again, although it was well written, I just didn t care Some I liked I was only in a childish way A father takes the heat for his childI only loved one of them The Hong Kong Fir Doctrine.In The Hong Kong Fir Doctrine, a lawyer knocked up his beloved Sh [...]

  5. I was a bit concerned about this after reading a bunch of negative reviews on here, expecting perhaps some unpolished early writing exercises I need not have worried This is a great collection of stories Perlman is obviously at his best which you may or may not like when he has hundreds of pages to stretch out in, but each of these stories captures some facet of his writing style that I enjoy, from complicated ambiguity to contrived connectedness He lays the legal stuff on a bit thick at times, [...]

  6. Good, but it really should have been called instances of melancholy or characters filled with sadness or a story filled with the day to day despair of life, followed by another

  7. I went to Primary School with Mr Perlman and we were quite good friends until we went to different high schools and drifted apart He has done very well for himself as a writer and has even had a film made of one of his novels I haven t read that novel, or any of his novels I made what may have been a mistake and read these stories first I felt they were pretentious and quite badly written so haven t been able to bring myself to read of his stuff Other people I know love him and he did give a ve [...]

  8. I truly enjoy Perlman s quiet writing style Small observations and clean descriptions The wow factor is just in that, the sheer simplicity.

  9. Perlman s writing style is the kind of deceptively simple literary pulp that might finally bring intelligent books back into vogue The mass produced mush that often clots the shelves of bookstores has its place, but it has also made works of genius tiresome affairs for most people No one likes to be talked down to, least of all by an inanimate object.Perlman s writing follows in the footsteps of authors like Cheever and Carver, men who throw their ten cents in but make it look like two These are [...]

  10. I borrowed Bryan s promo copy of Perlman s first collection of short stories originally published before Seven Types of Ambiguity and brought to America after that novel s success The collection, though not without promise, lacks energy There s something wan and lackluster about many of these stories The best are In the Time of the Dinosaur and Manslaughter In Dinosaur a young boy tells the story of his parents divorce, although he s mostly preoccupied with his report on dinosaurs Manslaughter h [...]

  11. Worth the price of the paperback, if only for three or four particularly good Most of the stries, unfortunately, while they re not necessarily bad, just aren t all that interesting I don t think I gave quite so discerning a read as it maybe deserved, but it seemed that a recurring theme was that of intimate relationships turning out not to be quite what they appeared to be or what one would expect them to be And not in any extravagant way, just sorta musing on the mundane after being married for [...]

  12. I took a long time to get into any of these stories In fact, the only reason I kept reading at all was because it was the only I book I had with me on public transport between different appointments I stuck with a story until almost at a destination, only to find I didn t really want to continue it Put the bookmark at the beginning of the next story and started that on the next journey.Then finally on p.127 I read I have been alone before but this is worse because now I have your to remember and [...]

  13. This book consisted of 9 short stories One of which was interesting with a decent ending, one of which was semi interesting with a bad ending and by bad I mean not good reading material, not sad or incomplete and 7 that were pretty much terrible In several of the stories the author s pretentiousness in wanting to sound extremely intelligent interfered with him making sense at all In reading all of the reviews on the back and the one blatantly displayed on the front, I couldn t help but feel that [...]

  14. I skipped a few stories simply because I honestly do not get what the stories are about and they are just too boring to continue Like after a few pages I begin to think to myself what the hell am I reading.However stories like Again in the Time of Dinosaur, I was only in a Childish Way connected to the Established Order, Spiltanic s Last Year and A Tale of Two cities my favourite among all are very good and page turner I do appreciate the writer trying to write about different genre in a very in [...]

  15. I had mixed reactions to this collection I enjoyed the first piece, Your niece s speech night but found the ending unsatisfying, a complaint I often have with short stories.The next 5 stories didn t engage me at all It wasn t until I got toward the end of the book where the stories were longer that I began to enjoy it, mostly I was only in a childish way connected to the established order and A tale in two cities I can never resist Russian poetry or Stalin influenced fiction.The only reason I pu [...]

  16. The Reasons I Won t Be Coming is Perlman s new collection of smart and thoughtful short stories They explore the complex worlds of lovers, poets, lawyers, immigrants, students and murderers Witty, vulnerable and honest, they display the same preoccupations that made Perlman s novel, Seven Types of Ambiguity, one of the most notable publications of 2004.We met Elliot Perlman when he visited the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver You can listen to him talk about The Reasons I Won t Be Coming here [...]

  17. I enjoyed these stories, but I was hoping for a little after Seven Types of Ambiguity The stories were smart, but some of them perhaps a little too much so Some went on longer than it felt they should and some seemed full of themselves than the need to get something across A Tale in Two Cities is some really nice writing though, and even if I expected that doesn t mean I didn t like the book.

  18. Started out great and promising I loved the short stories at the beginning the one about the little boy and dinosaurs in particular The longer stories at the end dragged on I felt like Perlman had put blinders on me so I couldn t see the whole picture I kept thinking I had missed something because I didn t understand what was going on sometimes His ability to condense the story was limited.

  19. The perfect book to get the tears to flow when nothing else will do Only need to read one or two of the stories before everything feels somehow resolved The stories have a poignant sadness yet there always seems to be a point or two in each story that brings a smile or laugh with ironies or situations that somehow remind of endearing memories relationships that will never be forgotten and can never be replaced.

  20. I m always impressed by well written short stories, especially when they end up being as satisfying as a novel I loved most of the stories in this boook some were better than others, as with any collection I actually didn t even know they were short stories when I picked it up I ordered because I loved his novel Seven Types of Ambiguity and Carla gave this one four stars It did not disappoint I am thinking of recommending it for book club Sort of a different type of book.

  21. This was a masterful book I found myself sucked into each of the stories The characters were real, and complex Each story felt like a whole, complete little world and the author polished them up to show us I don t like short stories usually, because they frequently feel somehow incomplete, but these were whole in and of themselves The language is elegant and yet I didn t get wrapped up in it it just flowed along perfectly How can I explain these are verbal tone poems.

  22. The first and last stories in this collection were my favorite, but not necessarily for the content or even a level of maintained interest Perlman successfully creates unique, but cohesive voices for characters in a variety of troubled situations Fear and honesty are prevalent in these voices and the characters had an impressive real quality If you could read a stranger s thoughts, it would look like Perlman s writing.

  23. I loved reading these stories All were rather somber and all dealing with someone working through a loss of some kind I will not go into further specifics, but I enjoyed this theme and thought Perlman studied it from many creative and diverse perspectives Finally, I enjoyed the writing style writing as art comes across much better in a well written short story than it does in a novel.

  24. Stories that don t offer endings but break seemingly midstream to leave you wondering what will happen to the characters I love that kind of fiction it s so much like real life.

  25. Australian books flush in the opposite direction.Probably why this was better upon second reading.I give A Tale in Two Cities four koalas

  26. It has a very dreamy and romantic touch to each of the stories that is written inside the book Simple, moving stories.

  27. I have read this book through a few times It s beautiful, moving, serious, sad, and real It just feels like real life, the characters are so believe able My favorite author.

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