Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now flip flip flip Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more

The Safety of Objects
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£8.46+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

VINE VOICEon 14 August 2013
Ok, I'm not a fan of short story collections. when I pick up a book I like to get into it, get to know the characters, and go on a journey with them. I don't like the stop-and-start-again nature of short story collections.

So, when the second chapter came along, I was hit by that usual sinking feeling of "oh no, it's a collection of short stories, isn't it!".

Whilst I still think there should be a law that all short story collections should have to say as much, clearly, in their title and on their cover, to avoid such accidental purchases, I did, probably for the first time, actually enjoy this collection.

There was something cohesive about it, which made the stories all seem part of a whole, as if it was a novel, just where each chapter had different characters who never met. You could, though, imagine them meeting, or passing through in the background of each other's lives.

It also helped that each of the stories was engaging and a great read with interesting characters, and that each story was of a similar length, so you got a feel for how much to invest in each one (unlike some collections, where the stories can vary from very short to several chapters).

I'd actually even recommend it to others, and will definitely be getting some of the author's other works.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 17 December 2013
I think the best way to describe this book is, you know your own very private thoughts, the ones you'll never speak of, they're your own special thoughts which will never be shared. These thoughts can be fun, dark, shocking, erotic, but for your own self respect you'll never share them. A.M Homes invites us into peoples lives and you get to read these deep, dark, amusing, disturbing thoughts.

As with everything I've read of hers, I couldn't put the book down once started. Thought provoking and embarrassing from the point that there are times and situations that came back to mind from within my own deeply shrouded inner self.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 19 April 2013
A. M. Homes is clearly a talented writer with the ability to vividly describe a whole range of situations and experiences. She has an eye for detail that is unrivalled and can inhabit the mind of diverse people from a middle aged male lawyer to an eight year old girl. I enjoyed several of these stories and found them engaging and interesting. However, I found the last few stories to be disturbing and pornographic dealing with child sexuality and abuse in astonishing detail. I could not finish a couple of them. I was torn between admiration for Homes' writing and revulsion at some of her subjects. Other than the phrases 'erotic obsession' and 'perverse' there was no warning about the graphic content of these stories. So be warned.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 1 January 2013
A great, readable collection of dark stories. Although the subjects can be regarded as quite controversial, within each story there is something deeply human and moving.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 29 November 2014
Short stories with a very quirky twist
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 28 August 2014
Perfect - as new
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 24 January 2013
I don't normally like short story collections, but this was perfect for reading on the tube. The characters were very well written for such short stories, it didn't feel like they were missing anything, and each snapshot of suburban life is disturbing but believable. I was thinking about them long after I put the book down.
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 5 September 2013
What an awful collection of short stories. No real beginning and no real end to any of them. Some were self-induglent stream-of-consciousness stuff about nothing (why was that person stuck in the linen cupboard?) and some seemed to be half-thought-out concepts that were maybe being considered to go into novels at some unspecified point in the future. I found myself speed-reading it towards the end just to get through it and on to the next (and, on balance of probabilities, better) book on my Kindle.

Would have given it one star, but for this attack of brilliance:

"Jill's been inside every house in the area and keeps a running score of who has what in terms of cars, large-screen televisions, walk-in freezers, etc. Jim thinks if she could keep her mouth shut she'd make a killing as a burglar."
One person found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
on 20 June 2004
A.M. Homes has painted a dark and bizarre picture of suburbia, knocking down that whole fantasy of how the suburbs are pure and clean. She has put together a twisted collection of stories that are subtle, outrageous and downright disturbing. This is not an easy read for those who have weak stomachs or are extremely sensitive. However, if you're looking for something a little more darker and sinister, "The Safety of Objects" just might be the thing for you.
When you think of "suburbia," you think of somewhere that is safe, quiet, boring and normal. These stories take place in a neighborhood that could very well resemble somewhere where YOU live. The truth is that this "normal" neighborhood is contaminated with bizarre behavior and unbelievable stories. There's the couple who decide to do drugs when their kids are away from home. There's the kid who was abducted by a kidnapper, only to end up being a big disappointment to the abductor. There's the mother with the son that is in a coma after a car accident, and she doesn't know what should be done. And let's not forget about the little boy who has an extreme obsession with his sister's Barbie doll. These are only some of the stories you will uncover in this unrelenting and unapologetic read.
Homes has a great way of getting straight to the point without using any extra or unnecessary words. Her writing reminds me a little of Raymond Carver, only more twisted and graphic. She's able to create some very interesting and creepy characters without having to give you their complete life story. While there are some stories that I like more than others, I found myself enjoying the entire book. Just when I thought I had read some pretty twisted and disturbing stuff, I started to realize that I hadn't seen nothing yet after I started reading this book.
I cannot stress this enough; this is NOT recommended for those who are extremely sensitive and get offended easily. These stories are dark, graphic and unforgiving. Some stories aren't as extreme as others while there are some that'll make you feel downright guilty for reading. I had a hard time reading some of these stories, but A.M. Homes' craft is done so well that you can't help but continue reading. People who like Chuck Palahniuk are bound to get a kick out of these stories. My favourite stories in this collection are "Looking for Johnny," "Jim Train," "The Bullet Catcher," "Esther in the Night," and everyone's favourite cult classic, "A Real Doll," which is the funniest and most deranged story in the entire collection.
"The Safety of Objects" is a humorous and chilling read that you will have a hard time forgetting. It's great to see something that is supposed to be viewed as innocent such as "suburbia," and see it transformed into something much more sinister and terrifying. If you're a fan of the short story and aren't afraid to venture into some of the darkest and tragic corners of fiction, then this is something you should consider picking up. I will never forget these stories. They are forever imprinted into my brain. -Michael Crane
2 people found this helpful
|0Comment|Report abuse
TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 14 September 2009
Somewhat disappointing given the tremendous depth and sense of realism of her last collection of short fiction Things You Should Know, these stories are slighter and have a rather obsessive air - focusing mainly on pre-adolescent fantasies. One boy has a relationship with his sister's Barbie doll, another boy is abducted but the abductor does not molest him, merely wanting a boy to be a father to, or so it appears. The writer, as always focuses her formidable attention onto the seething undertow beneath the crust of ordinary life; but the briefness and insignificance of these stories leave one wanting more. Two stories about men who are, in differing ways, locked into lives that are slowly driving them crazy, and a woman who kills her comatose son, typify this rather more conventional sense of the desperate horrors of suburban America.

Though it can't be said that Homes is running out of steam, one has come to expect more of the coruscating originality and extraordinary writing intelligence she displayed in Music for Torching and The End of Alice.
|0Comment|Report abuse