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Seven Years

3.37  ·  Rating Details  ·  715 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Alex has spent the majority of his adult life between two very different women—and he can’t make up his mind. Sonia, his wife and business partner, is everything a man would want. Intelligent, gorgeous, charming, and ambitious, she worked tirelessly alongside him to open their architecture firm and to build a life of luxury. But when the seven-year itch sets in, their exha ...more
ebook, 275 pages
Published March 22nd 2011 by Other Press (first published 1998)
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Jul 23, 2014 Warwick rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

Well this is one of those novels that just makes me wonder if professional reviewers are completely fucking high – or if we even read the same book.

I thought the plot was tedious and oppressive, the characters deeply unlikeable, and the prose stylistically barren. I am giving it two stars because most of this is deliberate and therefore competently done – Stamm is apparently one of those writers who thinks that the best way to reflect the disorientation of the modern world is to write books tha
Araz Goran
لم يكن العنوان موفقاً بالمرة ،لم يكن للسبع سنوات أي تأثير على مجريات الرواية بشكل عام..

الرواية تحكي عن صراع داخلي مرير يواجهه رجل في علاقته من إمرأتين ،صراع عنيف يحول حياة الرجل إلى مأساة حقيقة يعيش فيها كالمشرد والتائه ويبحث عن مخرج دائم ليعود إلى حالته الطبيعية ، الرواية خالية من التشويق ، مجرد سرد لحياة الرجل بأزمنة متقطعة وتنقل بين أحداث الحاضر والماضي وإن كانت تحكى بواقعية ومشاعر صريحة خالية من التزييف والتلفيق، شعرت بالفعل أنها مشاعر صادقة ونقية جداً بالرغم من عدم تقلبي لفكرة الرواية ولكن
Accessible, seductive, sober, a style that is as direct and clean as a knife. There is a hint of layering and depth through references to Le Corbusier and Aldo Rossi, but these fizzle out and turn into little more than local colour, the protagonists have to make a living after all, and the boom and bust cycle in the building industry is a handy complication.
But will German speaking culture ever manage to shake off the fascination of dichotomies? Either or. Science or mysticism. Dionysus or Apol
mai ahmd
Mar 12, 2013 mai ahmd rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: روايات

تدور هذه الرواية على لسان الشخصية الرئيسية وهو طالب في فن العمارة يتزوج من صديقة له تدرس معه سونيا مثال للفتاة الكاملة التي يحلم بها الرجال .. إيفونا تدخل على الخط وهي فتاة يتعرف عليها أليكس في مغامرة مشاغبة مع مجموعة من رفاقه فتصبح كلصقة على الجرح ..

إيفونا بولندية مهاجرة غير شرعية قبيحة كما يصفها الكاتب (وإن كان قد عدل عن ذلك في بعض المقاطع ) لا تملك أي سمة من سمات الجمال شخص يكاد يكون غير مرئي وهي بذلك تشكل النقيض من زوجته الفوضى التي تعيشها إيفونا المنساقة بلاأي حد تجاه إليكس تذكره بطفولته وح
La nueva novela publicada en España del suizo Peter Stamm, nos habla de esa clase media alta de europeos que lo tienen todo pero aun así no alcanzan la felicidad, algo que sí logran las clases bajas, inmigrantes sobre todo.

La historia de ‘Siete años’, ambientada en Munich, está narrada en primera persona por su protagonista, Alex, que se la está contando a Antje, una amiga suya y de su esposa, Sonja. De esta manera sabremos cómo llegaron a estar juntos Alex y Sonja, ambos arquitectos, que mantie
Feb 04, 2012 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this was the easiest prose I've ever read in a book that was simultaneously pretty deep. I read it because a reviewer compared the author's work to Camus. Which was foolish, no one touches Camus. But it was a good book, an easy book in many ways and the characters were unusually credible. This is especially notable as they represent sorts of extremes in behavior (the mistress incapable of refusing, the wife orchestrating every aspect of her life, the husband claiming no responsibility or ...more
Sette anni è un romanzo che propone una situazione analoga a quella di Non ti muovere, della Mazzantini, non nei dettagli, naturalmente, ma nella sostanza sì. Anche qui abbiamo un uomo che, nonostante abbia tutti i motivi per essere appagato, resta invischiato per anni in un rapporto non ben definito con una donna molto diversa da lui, con la quale non ha praticamente nulla in comune e ancor meno da dire. Un rapporto sicuramente avvilente per lei, benché questa non sia la sua opinione, e da cui ...more
May 04, 2013 Jafar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was intrigued by the review of this book in New York Times and decided to read this Swiss writer. The book starts off rather well. Alex, an architect living in Munich, is married to Sonia, another architect and his university classmate, who is bright, driven, and very attractive. But he finds his marriage to be more like a project, with a never-ending series of milestones: build a house, build a business, become successful, make and raise a baby, etc. In college, he had a brief and meaningless ...more
Oct 28, 2014 Bert rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a novel that says isn't human desire odd and unpredictable, and isn't it a little disappointing too. Or it's a novel about a guy who marries a woman he doesn't love, and the stuff that happens when that happens. Sure Sonia's beautiful, but her ambition and non-existent sense of humour are a major hard-off. Ivonna is kind of great though, she felt real and tragic and pathetic, and she is what makes this novel weird and more interesting than it sounds. Peter Stamm isn't trying to write lik ...more
Sep 11, 2012 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much, although, unlike, say, "Almondis", I was quite relieved to leave the world that had been created in the book when I finished the last page, as it was very oppressive and, at times, very uncomfortable to read. However, I think that this was certainly one of Stamm's aims when he wrote it.

This was a very literary novel - much more so than some of the others that I have read - and I really enjoyed exploring the themes and philosophies that were clearly entwined in the
most all have some sort of addiction, maybe it's to crafting gross macrame do-dads, or cigarettes, heroin, booze, sex, bacon, running, reading, spanking, getting spanked, love, happiness.....
but what if you were addicted to yourself? sure sure, an old greek tale, but really, what if, the only way you can be happy is to indulge in yourself, to your appetites, your sex, your love, to the utter length of screwing over your family, friends, colleagues, lovers, children? and then tell us the story ho
En slags anti-kärleksroman. Boken utspelar sig mestadels i München under 1980-talet. Huvudpersonen i boken är arkitekten Alexander. Under studietiden träffar han Sonja som han senare gifter sig med. Alexander inleder sedan en affär med en polsk gästarbeterska, Iwona.

Alexander och Sonja lever det goda livet, men beter sig som om de går på lithium. De trivs inte med tillvaron i stort eller med varandra, men de vantrivs inte heller, så de fortsätter.

Inte heller den djupt religiösa Iwona verkar vara
Sep 20, 2014 Ayah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
غير راغبة في الكتابة ... الموتيف نفسه لا يروقني ... لكن اتعاطف تماما مع ايفونا
Friederike Knabe
Alex is caught between two women: one, Sonja, highly desirable, intelligent and independent, and Iwona, drab, quiet, uneducated and totally dedicated. Sonja makes him feel inadequate and constrained, with Iwona he feels confident and free. He is married to one, but cannot let go of the other ... In his recent novel, SEVEN YEARS, Swiss author Peter Stamm explores the complications of intimate human emotions and relationships, seen primarily from the perspective of the man in the middle. While at ...more
Nov 28, 2012 Vishy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading Peter Stamm’s brilliant ‘Unformed Landscape’ a week back, I thought I should read another Stamm book. I decided to read ‘Seven Years’. Here is what I think.

‘Seven Years’ is a story told in the first person by an architect called Alex. The story flits between two time periods – the present when Alex is married to Sonia and has a daughter called Sophie, and the past when Alex was still a student at university. Alex describes how his architectural career evolved since those times. He
Apr 21, 2011 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gosh, I'm not sure what to think of this book. I stuck with it largely because of a positive New Yorker review, but it took me a lifetime to read (partly because of my sleep situation with the two kids).

The rough storyline is that a man is married to a beautiful, ambitious, intelligent, successful woman, who is a bit sexually inhibited. He has an affair that he rekindles every few years with a woman who is almost her opposite. The story is told from his perspective, and it is supposed to be a s
In essence, Seven Years is about the universal search for happiness. To find it is not as easy as it seems. What constitutes happiness for one person (material wealth, fame, achievements in sport, to name a few things) could mean something entirely different to the next person. The title refers to the so-called "seven year itch", or the tendency to re-evaluate a relationship after a cycle of seven years. Hence, in this novel the quest for happiness implies finding lasting love.
The author paints
Robert Wechsler
This is the sort of novel I'm usually grabbed by, a novel that combines intellectual conversation with an obsessive relationship. I made it almost halfway through the novel, and despite good writing and Hofmann's excellent translation into English, I was drawn neither to the intellectual conversation nor to the obsessive (partly because so cruel) relationship. Nor to the narrator. Is having someone who is so little formed (due primarily to youth) really a good idea? It’s a bildungsroman novel wi ...more
Anna Maria Ballester Bohn
Wollte eigentlich vier Sterne vergeben, aber ich bin so knauserig in letzter Zeit. Nicht unbedingt mitreissend, und die Figuren gehen nicht ganz so in die Tiefe, wie ich es mir gewünscht hätte. Trotzedem schafft es Peter Stamm einer Geschichte, die uns eigentlich anwidern oder wenigstens langweilen sollte, Poesie und Licht zu geben, wie die Gebäude, die Alexander nur für sich entwirft. Einige Moment sind hart, aber die Zartheit - oder Zärtlichkeit - überwiegt. Dabei kommt nie Kitsch heraus. So m ...more
Sep 09, 2011 Tajma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really wish there were half star ratings here. In the absence of that, I had to give this novel 4 stars. While I wasn't always drawn to picking it up, I really did enjoy the story. I like the author's style and the subject matter. It is so much more than the age old argument of why people have affairs, a subject that has been exhausted. Relationships are complex and marriage even more so. This author is not at all afraid. I appreciated that.
Nino Frewat
Dec 22, 2014 Nino Frewat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave the book 4 stars but I will not read it again. I think this book made me realize what a 4-star rating is: a book which I enjoyed *at the moment* a book I have nothing negative to say about, but one that I will not spend the same amount of energy and time to re-read.
This book is more neutral / grey / monotonous than I expected it to be. I can say its the story of a couple from their student days in Munich studying architecture to their middle-age life and the changes in-between. It doesn't
Catherine Woodman
There was not a person that I liked in this book--the male protagonist is involved sexually with a woman he doesn't not like or love, but he seems unable to stay away from her--he treats her poorly and she continues to pine for him. His wife sticks with him even when things go from bad to worse. This was a NYT notable book, which I totally don't agree with.
Dec 08, 2012 Jill rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh. Main character is thoroughly are all the other characters.
I have a difficult time relating to people who take zero responsibility for their own actions.
I get the whole existentialist angle, but it just doesn't work in this novel...ended up totally inspid instead.
May 05, 2014 Kaixin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written in a simple manner. Much like reading a point-form report, haha. Through the events, the reader is made to ponder questions, which may or may not have answers in themselves.

The male protagonist is also portrayed as pretty weak/cowardly/unlikeable. But his weakness also helps us reflect on our own flaws.

What is love? Do you love A? Do you love B? Should you settle with someone for practicality reasons, or because it's what others expect of you, or for love itself? Is there such a thing
Aug 09, 2014 stacie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Written in the first person, the main character is this sullen / depressed guy who marries the perfect woman but doesn't love her and has an affair over the years with another woman that he never really said anything to. I kept expecting this book to get better but it didn't. He needed counseling. He and his wife needed counseling. He never vented to his friends about how he was feeling. And for those reasons, I didn't like this book -- unless the book is about opportunities lost. I would be int ...more
May 26, 2013 Noor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
رواية جميلة
غريبه, تطرح اسئلة عميقه
عن النفس البشريه بين ماترغب وبين الطريق الذي عليها اتباعه
Dec 01, 2011 Rafa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tiene cosas pero le sobran muchas.
Nov 04, 2015 Haaike rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Na de Franstalige Zwitser Joël Dicker in juli, besloot ik ook eens een boek van de Duitstalige kant te lezen: ik koos Sieben Jahre van Peter Stamm over hoofdpersonage Alex, die een schijnbaar perfect huwelijk heeft met Sonja, maar dat op het spel zet voor Iwona. Klinkt nogal "Mooi en Meedogenloos", niet? Maar de omslagtekst beloofde een verhaal over verlangen naar het leven en over hoe geluk eigenlijk werkt, waardoor het mij wel de moeite leek.

De openingszin was er eentje van de soort waardoor j
Mar 10, 2014 Jos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: contemporary
Seven Years features a variation on the topic of men having sex with women they are ashamed of being seen with. Here, it's Iwona, an unattractive wallflower whose distinguishing characteristics are her catholic upbringing in Poland and her unquestioning subjugation to Alex.

As there's no logical explanation to having sex with somebody you're ashamed of there's no explanation to Alex' behaviour as well. He's married with Sonja, an attractive, intelligent woman from a well-off background whom he me
Dec 09, 2012 Feerena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-this-book
Jeder mag seine eigene Meinung zu haben, und die möchte ich auch niemandem absprechen. Aber ich habe es satt, in Kritiken zu seinen Werken immer nur Gemecker über seinen Stil zu lesen. Inzwischen sollte doch klar sein, dass er nun einmal so schreibt - dafür muss man einfach nur ein wenig über ihn lesen -, und ich persönlich bin unsagbar dankbar dafür. Selten liest man so feinfühlige Geschichten, die von den Dramen im Kleinen zeugen. Zumindest scheint es so - eigentlich türmen sie sich hoch auf w ...more
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Peter Stamm grew up in Weinfelden in the canton of Thurgau the son of an accountant. After completing primary and secondary school he spent three years as an apprentice accountant and then 5 as an accountant. He then chose to go back to school at the University of Zurich taking courses in a variety of fields including English studies, Business informatics, Psychology, and Psychopathology. During t ...more
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“Du bist, was du liebst, nicht wer dich liebt. [...] Was ich damit sagen wolle? [...] Dass ein Mensch, der liebt, immer schon gewonnen hat, egal ob sich seine Liebe erfüllt oder nicht.” 4 likes
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