Maybe the Horse Will Talk

Elliot Perlman

Maybe the Horse Will Talk
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Maybe the Horse Will Talk

Elliot Perlman

What if the only way to keep your job was to antagonise your boss?

‘I am absolutely terrified of losing a job I absolutely hate.‘
Stephen Maserov has problems. A onetime teacher, married to fellow teacher Eleanor, he has retrained and is now a second-year lawyer working at mega-firm Freely Savage Carter Blanche. Despite toiling around the clock to make budget, he’s in imminent danger of being downsized. And to make things worse, Eleanor, sick of single-parenting their two young children thanks to Stephen’s relentless work schedule, has asked him to move out.

To keep the job he hates, pay the mortgage and salvage his marriage, he will have to do something strikingly daring, something he never thought himself capable of. But if he’s not careful, it might be the last job he ever has…

Warm, dramatic, and at times laugh-out-loud funny, with the narrative pull of a thriller, Maybe the Horse Will Talk is a love story, a reflection on contemporary marriage, and on friendship. It is also an unflinching examination of sexual harassment in the workplace and an exposé of corporate corruption that taps directly into the pulse of our times.

‘Australia’s outstanding social novelist’ (Times Literary Supplement), Elliot Perlman ‘…has many things working in his favor as a novelist: curiosity, erudition, daring and a gift for seducing readers into going along with him for the ride. He’ll get you where you want to go…‘ (Washington Post)


It’s a long time since Elliot Perlman’s last novel The Street Sweeper and it’s so good to see him back. Perlman’s work looks at social issues through the prism of a mighty fine story. He’s looked at the social impact of economic rationalism, greed and mental health, racism and the Holocaust. Now he turns his eye to corporate lawyers and #MeToo.

Stephen Maserov, a former teacher, has retrained as a lawyer to give his family financial security. He’s now a second-year lawyer for a big corporate law firm but lives in fear that he won’t get tenure. Meanwhile, his wife, who was complicit in the career change, has asked him to move out because of the hours he’s working. By chance and chutzpah, Stephen stumbles on a chance to save his job and career path. Along the way he encounters an array of eccentric characters who’ll join him in his exposure of the corrupt corporate world. Can a sexual harassment case lead to justice? Will Stephen win and the little man triumph?

Maybe the Horse Will Talk is a funny, biting and yet warm look at contemporary Australia and modern relationships. It’s good to have Perlman back!

Mark Rubbo is the managing director of Readings.

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