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The Safety of Objects

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3.8  ·  Rating details ·  3,366 Ratings  ·  248 Reviews
The Safety of Objects kidnaps readers into a world of emotional science fiction where reality and the surreal mix in a disturbing vision of the way we live now. As skillful as it is scary, this is a breakthrough collection that gives new meaning to the words angst, anxiety, and anorexia.
Paperback, 173 pages
Published November 5th 1991 by Vintage (first published 1990)
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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
Jim Breslin
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Arwen56
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
K.
The very first sentence of the very first story is a winner ("Elaine takes the boys to Florida and drops them off like they're dry cleaning.") and the rest of the book continues to delight from there. That's the beauty of Homes's writing; the sentences are simple, barely descriptive, and yet evocative.
ADULTS ALONE
"They are alone together, trapped in their bed." If that isn't the saddest true story of many couples with children, I don't know what is. #smarmychildfree

When your life is looking disa
...more
Ben
Jul 25, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Ardesia
Feb 25, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sp, racconti
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
Janet Mitchell
Apr 19, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  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
Emily
Jul 14, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love A.M. Holmes! She writes the most messed up things - I feel guilty for liking them so much sometimes but they are wildly entertaining! I really struggle with short story collections though because I find them so uneven. There is rarely a collection where I say, "Wow, all these are so great!" and those stories that are not as good seem to drag down the whole collection for me.
Cat
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: big-l-little-l
Disturbing and anxiety inducing, but incredibly intimate view of inner lives. The voices in the stories are extremely realistic, and revealing deeply private thoughts. The first story, Adults Alone is a precursor to Music for Torching.
Erika
I think Homes has found the deepest secrets of humankind and made them terrifyingly ordinary and shockingly real.
Jeanie Zwick
Jun 13, 2007 added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lev
I recently discovered Homes. She's an excellent storyteller - a whimsical and vivid voice.
Julia Long
May 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This beyond brilliant short story collection is definitely in the running for my fav book of all time. I'm humbled by this thing. I'm so ecstatic and horrified that it exists. Oh, God. I love it so fucking much, Jesus H Christ. It literally changed my life. I still think about it every day. It haunts me in the best and worst way. I was genuinely disturbed by it but also deeply and painfully inspired. If you can handle it, read it. I'll admit, I see why a lot of people can't take it. I have anxi ...more
Elisha
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Beem Weeks
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A. M. Homes is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. This one here is a collection of short stories covering many different lives. There are all sorts of quirky characters involved in odd situation that really aren't as odd as they seem. Homes shines a light into the darkest corners of American suburbia, exposing the real goings-on within these outwardly tight-knit neighborhoods. Kids behaving badly, parents behaving worse than the kids. A. M. Homes is as daring an author as can be found ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Some short stories are good because they have a twist or surprise in them, or are full of casts of quirky characters. These are the other kind, the type that you'll keep thinking back to because they were full of messed up people doing bizarre things, but somehow they resonate with you, and suddenly you want to go hide in your linen closet and write love letters to yourself.
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.
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.
Daniel
Jan 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A.M. Homes is a superb writer. Her stories of the perverse always enchant and disturb in equal measure.
Rebecca
May 17, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-it
"Elaine takes the boys to Florida and drops them off like they're dry cleaning..."
Catie
Mar 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
to be in love with a barbie doll. ah. childhood.
Estefanía
Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loves-it
Pensé que The End Of Alice era un caso particular, pero qué gran hallazgo esta autora. La mente de A.M. Homes es retorcidísima en serio y lo maravilloso es lo bien que le sienta a su talento.
Luci
Apr 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Josephine Edwards
Feb 17, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
pretty uneven but that's alright, Rly strong beginning and Ending. can't stop thinking about the Barbie story.
Robert
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I like A.M. Homes. Her reading and discussion of Shirley Jackson's The Lottery on The New Yorker Fiction Podcast is amazing. This collection, her first from the early 90s, is quite good. Despite men coming off horribly in every one of these stories (that's sort of her brand), she does so many interesting things with concept and weird humor. I may even read another collection of hers.

I do have one major quibble: the first story in the collection, "Adults Alone," is overall an awesome story in te
...more
Brett
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
every time I read something from AM Homes I feel like I need a shower and a weeks worth of Charlie Brown Christmas specials. There's something distinctly wrong with her fascination of childhood and just post childhood sexuality, one can only speculate as to how weird her childhood must've been...after all, fiction isn't born in thin air. The fact that she makes it readable at all is her talent I suppose. I mean, The End of ALice, - loathsome and offensive, yet I cannot look away.
Kitty
I wish I could read this for the first time again, but you can't go back! The second read was still amazing, but that first read, as a teenager, changed the scope of what writing was for me. Fever dream after fever dream.
Sharron Wildig
Nov 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of short stories, worth reading but I hadn't read the cover before buying it and I prefer one continuous novel. Nevertheless I could not put the book down. Slightly unusual but at the same time "normal" accounts of suburban life, from behind the curtains.
Samantha Krohn-White
Whacky, weird, and wonderful.
Nadia
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An interesting mix of imaginative short stories.
Baglan
Feb 13, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
"A Real Doll" FTW
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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...

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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.” 19 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.” 6 likes
More quotes…