Maybe the Horse Will Talk by Elliot Perlman

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.