Pickle's Reviews > Music for Torching

Music for Torching by A.M. Homes
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Nov 22, 2008

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Read in November, 2008

I find A.M. Homes' writing style very funny as opposed to annoying, which is my impression of most books I've read set in the suburbs with ANGST as their theme. Nothing in here approaches the sublime level of comedy found in "Adults Alone," where Paul and Elaine also appear, with the exception of maybe the first chapter, when they impulsively try (and somewhat succeed) to burn down their own house by kicking over the BBQ grill. I liked the "Nazi drunk" neighbor (as described by another character) Mrs. Hansen--she's probably the most likable character in the book. The relationship with Elaine's parents never really went anywhere; if I were Homes' editor, I would have written this into the margins of the manuscript. The book kind of sputters out, but I guess can't really think of any way this book could have ended appropriately... maybe minus the cheap cop-out moment on the last page. Still, I really enjoyed reading this; it's the kind of book you look forward to picking up because it reads very smoothly. I especially liked the memorable description of one girl's room as "vagina pink."
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