In Music for Torching, the controversial author of The End of Alice lays bare the foundations of marriage and family life at the end of the century. Flash-frozen in the anxious culture of a suburban subdivision, Paul and Elaine (the couple first featured in Homes's collection of stories The Safety of Objects) have two boys and a beautiful home, yet they find themselves thoroughly inexplicably stuck. Obsessed with "making things good again," they spin the quiet terrors of family life into fantastical frenzy that careens out of control, doing and saying all the things we dare not, throwing into full relief the chasm between our public and private selves. From a strange and hilarious encounter on the floor of the pantry with a Stepford-wife neighbor, to an ill-concieved plan for a tattoo, to a sexy town cop who shows up at every inopportuune moment, to house cleaning team in space suits, to a mistress calling on the cell phone, to a hostage situation at the school, Homes creates characters so outrageously flawed and deeply human that they are entirely believable. With Music For Torching, A.M. Homes brings her unnerving emotional intensity to the heart of America, creating a new and dangerous territory that is distinctly her own.
New York : Rob Weisbach Books, 1999
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357 p. ; 25 cm
From Library Staff
This was the book that attracted me to A.M. Homes who is now one of my favorite authors. It's certainly not for everyone, but if you are drawn to dark, wickedly satirical examinations of suburban normality, you just might get sucked in. And if you don't know how this one ends, you might just be b... Read More »