The Safety of Objects: Stories
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The Safety of Objects: Stories

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  2,414 ratings  ·  175 reviews
The breakthrough story collection that established A. M. Homes as one of the most daring writers of her generation Originally published in 1990 to wide critical acclaim, this extraordinary first collection of stories by A. M. Homes confronts the real and the surreal on even terms to create a disturbing and sometimes hilarious vision of the American dream. Included here are...more
ebook, 208 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Penguin Books (first published 1990)
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In linea generale, non mi è piaciuta per nulla questa raccolta di racconti. La seconda stelletta è dovuta solo al fatto che alcune idee sono davvero interessanti, benché non ben sviluppate.
Lo stile è disadorno, scarno, ma non arriva a essere efficacemente essenziale. Ossia, la “nudità” delle parole non compensa con l’esattezza quel che perde in ricchezza espressiva. Può non sembrare, ma anche saper essere sintetici è un’arte. Suggerire o suscitare un’idea, un sentimento o un’emozione è spesso pi...more
Tematiche ripetitive e - immagino volutamente - disturbate.

Un racconto con gente nuda. Ok.
Due racconti con gente nuda. Va be'.
Tre racconti con gente nuda. Hum.
Quattro racconti con gente nuda. Ancora?!
Un racconto sulla sessualità di un ragazzo. Ok.
Due racconti sulla sessualità di un ragazzo. Va be'.
Tre racconti sulla sessualità di un ragazzo. Questa non mi è nuova.
Un racconto sul non riconoscere più il proprio coniuge. Ok.
Due racconti sul non riconoscere più il proprio coniuge. Uff.
Tre raccont...more
Raza Syed
This uneven collection of A.M. Homes' short stories begins bangingly with the deadpan tale of a stagnant married couple who rekindle their spark by lighting up a crack pipe. A subsequent vignette about an abducted boy who induces a sort of buyer's remorse in his kidnapper is somewhat less effective but nevertheless intriguing. The rest of the stories are frequently too similar in their quietly desperate neurasthenia, eventually blurring together in a single high-pitched whine that's all posturin...more
Janet Mitchell
Apr 19, 2008 Janet Mitchell rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: short story lovers, lovers of the weird
I have really started to enjoy more and more short fiction. I heard about this book on NPR and think that parts of it were turned into a movie, but I could be wrong. I just loved the openeness of the characters. It is very depressing, so don't read it when you are down. Read it when you think your life and family is crazy. It should perk you right up, hopefully. Because if your family is this weird, you are in trouble or maybe you should write your own book and make more money, which would also...more
Jeanie Zwick
Jun 13, 2007 Jeanie Zwick added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lev
I recently discovered Homes. She's an excellent storyteller - a whimsical and vivid voice.
Jim Breslin
The Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes is a fascinating collection of odd suburban tales. Written in a simple style, these stories are laden with symbolism that reveal a disturbing depth. A couple experiments with drugs after shipping their kids to the grandparents, a fat girl sunbathes nude in her backyard, a boy has a sexual affair with his sister’s Barbie doll.

I first read A.M. Homes last summer. Her short story Do Not Disturb was listed as one of the best short stories of all time. When I read...more
This is one of the rare books that I liked more at the beginning than at the end. The first story was wonderful, the majority of the rest were pretty mediocre.

Homes is a beautiful and clean writer, but the some of her stories seems exploratory rather than personally reflective...She has an obvious interst in childhood psychology, teenage sexuality, and sexual taboo. I understand that at the time this was published, it was a bit of a fad. Even I really liked, "Welcome to the Dollhouse" and "Happi...more
Questo libro per me è stato come uno schiaffo in faccia.
I racconti hanno più o meno tutti qualche cosa che manca, come una voce che fatica ad uscire, che rimane vagamente afona, non incisiva non chiara, vorrebbe urlare al mondo qualche cosa che rimane come intrappolata.
La sicurezza degli oggetti, un titolo in cui ho cercato di trovare una chiave di lettura, un significato, un denominatore comune, ma non ci sono riuscita, solo in parte per lo meno.
L'elemento che accomuna queste storie è il vu...more
A series of depressing and twisted short stories that verge on, or, in the case of the short story "A Real Doll," sometimes dive head-long into magical realism. Emphasis on the "realism" because these stories have the dry, unfinished, unresolved, everyone-has-problems-and-that's-the-way-it-is outlook that Wes Anderson does well and so many other storytellers do so very poorly.

Unfortunately, I count this as on the "poor" side: any pleasure that comes from reading this book is either as admiratio...more
Stories exploring the strangeness that lies just beneath the surface of things. The subject matter ranges from crack cocaine to kidnapping to childhood sex games and Homes handles it all with a frankness, a willingness to stare unblinkingly at the taboo, that makes the stories almost perversely readable. There’s a somberness to the collection; the strangeness emerges as a symptom of, or reaction against, the characters' feelings of alienation, desperation, or general unhappiness. And yet there i...more
Bree Neely
Technically perfect, but holy crap this woman can write some depressing shit. Very unpleasant to read one story after the next that make you want to claw your eyes out and run screaming into the night.

As far as writing goes, however, she's amazing.
Shannon Adelaide
I love AM Homes' work, and this book of short stories is no different. A quick read, the first and the last stories are absolutely staggering. She manages to take the usual and show how there really is no such thing.
I love A.M. Homes! The End Of Alice was great and was the first book I read by her. Safety Of Objects is now my second and I have to say I'll soon be diving into the rest of her books. Now onto how I feel about this collection of short stories. They're often bizarre and uneven. Some were really, really good while others fell flat. I still loved them all and loved the book. My favorite were probably the first about the crack smoking married couple and the last about the boy dating Barbie. I read...more
very well written. so effectively depressing - i debated if i should take away a star because it made me feel so low. but it's so successful in creating that lonely, almost nasty suburbia.
Nico-jan van de Koot
Deze bundel uit 1990 is ok, twee verhalen zijn er echt goed(Chunky in Heat en A Real Doll) de rest is matig, maar de thema's die ze in "may we be forgiven" uitwerkt tot een roman zijn al wel aanwezig. Seksuele spanning op het randje van het sociaal aanvaardbare, schaamte, geweld, onderdrukt antisociaal gedrag en afgunst, maar ook liefde, verliefdheid en opofferingsgezindheid spelen in bijna elk verhaal wel een rol. Als promo hebben ze in dit boek het eerste hoofdstuk van "may we be forgiven" als...more
"Elaine takes the boys to Florida and drops them off like they're dry cleaning..."
to be in love with a barbie doll. ah. childhood.
Sarah Schantz
I found this collection of short stories after I did a google search for books about suburbia. I bought it as part of the research I am doing for a book I've been trying to write for quite some time (I did not grow up in suburbia, nor did I ever even really go there aside from when I worked as a housecleaner in Minneapolis). It wasn't until a few stories in that I realized I'd seen the film adaptation that was made from some of the stories in this book. The Safety of Objects, as a movie failed i...more
Raffaella Foresti
“Chi è questa lei che sembra avere una così tormentata propensione, una così strana inclinazione per la carne più fresca, da mettersi a raccontare una storia che indurrà qualcuno di voi a sorridere e ridere ma che farà bruciare altri dalla voglia di porre fine a questo incubo, a questo orrore? Chi è? Ciò che più vi sgomenterà è apprendere che costei siete voi o io, uno di noi. Sorpresa. Sorpresa. E forse vi chiederete chi sono io per intromettermi, per pormi come suo e vostro tramite. Mio è l’el...more
Joe Krudys
The stories in The Safety of Objects involve either messed up people, people in the process of becoming messed up, or people doing messed up things. Actually, pretty much all of the stories involve all three.

I read this book as Music For Torching showed up as a Goodreads recommendation, and upon reading a few reviews, I saw that a lot of people absolutely hated the ending of the book, which naturally made me want to read it as soon as possible. I saw that the book was based on one of the short...more
Becky Everhart
Jun 07, 2008 Becky Everhart rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: English majors
I watched the movie adaptation and became obsessed much in the way as when I first watched Donnie Darko. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book, and when I finally did, I was not disappointed overall. Although the book was written in 1990, few details seemed dated. Even then, things like the girls with big hair and the struggle to figure out what CD players are all about seem reminiscent to my own experiences if not totally relatable in my current life. Reading the book was like getting the...more
Edward S. Portman
La sicurezza degli oggetti è una raccolta di racconti, tutti abbastanza brevi, molto diretti, che non si perdono in lunghe descrizioni o periodi pomposi, una prosa tranquilla e a tratti davvero scarna: bombe che finiscono di ticchettare un attimo prima dell’esplosione. Tutti i personaggi si muovo nello stesso mondo fatto di fantasie, di congetture, di azioni che non vengono fatte ma solo pensate, ipotizzate, e che si evolvono in piccole storie parallele che i protagonisti si divertono a leggere,...more
Eliza Victoria
The American suburbia has always been much maligned. Think Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm, think The Stepford Wives, think Desperate Housewives. In suburbia, everything is perfect, and everyone is lonely – because of, despite of.

A.M. Homes’ short story collection The Safety of Objects, first published in 1990, uncovers the bizarre in places where everything is supposed to follow the rules. In “Looking for Johnny”, a man, possibly crazed, kidnaps a young boy and later on tells him that he is not the...more
Anna Prejanò
Qual è la sicurezza degli oggetti? L’aveva già colta in pieno Guido Gozzano quando descriveva il buon salotto dei nonni traboccante di ricordi:

Loreto impagliato e il busto d’Alfieri, di Napoleone,
i fiori in cornice (le buone cose di pessimo gusto!)

il caminetto un po’ tetro, le scatole senza confetti,
i frutti di marmo protetti dalle campane di vetro,

un qualche raro balocco, gli scrigni fatti di valve,
gli oggetti con mònito, “salve”, “ricordo”, le noci di cocco,

Venezia ritratta a musaici, gli acqu...more
It's was tough to get what I didn't like about this work into a single word or phrase, but eventually, after a story called The Bullet Catcher, I decided on "Passionless". And that's the way Ms. Homes writes. The narrative is so bland and uninteresting one is forced to un-suspend their disbelief. In the first story about a couple who gets a break from the kids the tone is absolutely necessary, it fits the story perfectly. But that's why it was first, after a few more stories one begins to fall a...more
Read this yesterday, as I write short stories and I pick up short story books to see how mine compare...this got rave reviews
remarkable, awesomely well written says ruth rendell
the village voice said ' alarmingly good, it's hard to say who Homes' predecessors are Dahl, Salinger and Rachel Ingalis come to mind'
Holy shit I thought, this will be amazing.
I liked the way some of them were written, I say some because though character and place were different in each of the ten shorts there was a samey...more
Ryan Smith
Imagine a brand new building; a skyscraper, even. It's big, shiny, modern-looking, and so on. Then you step into the lobby and realize that on the inside the entire thing is really made of recycled particle board. That's the best way I can think of to describe how I feel about this book.

One review said it was simply flat -- I couldn't agree more. I think this is a book of really interesting premises that don't go anywhere interesting after the second paragraph. On paper (ha ha) these stores shou...more
The Safety of Objects was a book that reminded me how good short stories can be. Until a few years ago, I thought I wasn't a short story fan because characters are the aspect that can make me fall in love with a story. But A.M. Homes creates vivid characters in mere sentences, even if some of those characters are a bit disturbing.

As with any short story collection, I liked some of these stories better than others. My favorites were Jim Train, Looking for Johnny and Esther in the Night. What Home...more
A quick, lurid collection of stories of suburban malaise and matrimonial breakdown that feels every bit like its pub year, 1990. There's an overheated Phil Donahue Show-type of squinchiness to many of these stories, as we take a closer look at Crack Smoking In Suburbia, Child Abduction, Morally Indefensible Endurance Contests, and End Of Life Issues. Within many of these uncomfortable situations, though, Homes finds the intrinsic humanity and helps us hear the heartbeat of the person, the fear a...more
My Amazon review: The thing to love about this disturbing collection of short stories is their ability to reach deep down into the churning gut of suburbia and pluck out the darkest desires, fears, and perversions we all harbor in our deepest and most private of selves. While no readers will admittedly identify with any of Homes' characters or situations there is no doubt that all readers will, on some level, find something that sounds familiar.

Homes is incredibly skilled at picking apart the dr...more
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A.M. Homes (first name Amy) is the author of the novels, This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack, as well as the short-story collections, Things You Should Know and The Safety of Objects, the travel memoir, Los Angeles: People, Places and The Castle on the Hill, and the artist's book Appendix A: An Elaboration on the Novel the End of A...more
More about A.M. Homes...
This Book Will Save Your Life May We Be Forgiven The End of Alice Music for Torching The Mistress's Daughter

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“I liked the fact she understood how we all have little secret habits that seem normal enough to us, but which we know better than to mention out loud.” 14 likes
“I’m trying to find some piece of myself that is truly me, a part that I would be willing to wear like a jewel around my neck.” 3 likes
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