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The groundbreaking classic about economic rationalism and its effect on good, honest people.

At once humorous and dramatic, THREE DOLLARS is about Eddie, an honest, compassionate man who finds himself, at the age of 38, with a wife, a child and three dollars. How did he get that way? And who is Amanda? He cared about people; he was, Amanda notwithstanding, a good husband, father and son. At any other time the world would have smiled on him. But this was the nineties and the world valued other things. THREE DOLLARS chronicles the present breach of the social contract and its effect on a home near you. It is a brilliantly deft portrait of a man attempting to retain his humanity, his family and his sense of humour in grim and pitiless times: times of downsizing, outsourcing and privatising. It is about the legacy of Thatcherism and its effects on people and their relationships.


Remarkably well written... funny, moving, and constantly surprising... It is impossible not to care what happens to Eddie, Tanya his wife, and Abby, their adorable daughter... Perlman is echoing Auden’s cry, “We must love one another or die.

Time Out UK

Perlman moves deftly from the personal to the political, from intellectual debate to near farce to edgy tenderness. His novel gradually builds into a study of a whole generation, a sad, angry, disconcertingly funny reflection of the way we live now.

Times Literary Supplement

Few novels ever dare to fuse emotional and economic life with the passionate intelligence of this one.


Constructed like a catchy pop song... a quirky cautionary tale that feels like a wake-up call...

New York Times Book Review

A brilliant fictional commentary on the human consequences of economic rationalism. Verdict: Encore! Bravo! More please!

Sunday Herald Sun

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback


    October 3, 2011

    Vintage Australia

    400 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook


    September 28, 2011

    RHA eBooks Adult

    400 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

Also by Elliot Perlman

Seven Types of Ambiguity
The Street Sweeper
The Reasons I Won't Be Coming


Crimes of the Father
Into the Water
Best Laid Plans
Night School
The Woolgrower's Companion
The Traitor’s Girl
After You
Lake Hill
The Light Between Oceans
Congo Dawn
The Handmaid's Tale
Anything Is Possible
Men Without Women
The Good Mother
The French Perfumer
The Mistress
The Course Of Love
Seven Types of Ambiguity