Stock Image

MUSIC FOR TORCHING (SIGNED)

Homes, A. M.

3,331 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 068816711X / ISBN 13: 9780688167110
Published by Morrow, New York, 1999
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Kathleen Simpson (Simi Valley, CA, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since July 15, 1998

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 35.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: Free Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

A 358 page novel based on a short story that appeared in New Yorker Magazine. SIGNED by the author on the title page. First edition, first printing. New and unread. Dust jacket is enclosed in a clear mylar cover. Book will be carefully packed and shipped in a box. Bookseller Inventory # 12185

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: MUSIC FOR TORCHING (SIGNED)

Publisher: Morrow, New York

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

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.

Review:

As Quentin Crisp used to say, "Don't keep up with the Joneses! Drag them down to your level!" This could be the motto of the suburbanites in A.M. Homes's fourth novel, Music for Torching. Homes has a subtle eye and ear for suburban reality, but beware: she is no mere satirist of what James Joyce called the "muddle crass." Behind each neat, bright lawn, vile lives writhe in darkness. On the surface, Paul and Elaine are conventionally competitive middle-aged, middle-class people with banal yearnings for French doors and a new deck. They have two strapping boys. Their neighbors Pat and George are prodigies of efficient family life. But alone with Elaine, Pat drops the Stepford Wife mask and stages loveless orgies atop the throbbing washer, amid the Downy and Fantastik and Bon Ami. Meanwhile, Paul beds a local wife and a sinister mistress. The nice old man down the street downloads Internet child porn. Local kids join the Boy Scouts and bite off teachers' fingers. It's all about lurid misery and false fronts: a minor character is named Claire Roth, surely alluding to the bitter relationship in Claire Bloom's Leaving a Doll's House and Philip Roth's I Married a Communist.

Paul and Elaine first popped up in Homes's collection The Safety of Objects, as a couple having the happiest night of their lives smoking crack while the kids are away. Their happiest night here is when they tip the barbecue and burn their house halfway down. The story proceeds with a nightmare zombie logic from there, with a funny-scary ironic tone. "Paul notices that the color of her eye shadow is Fiction, and her lipstick is called Sheer Fraud.... 'What happened to the dining-room table, Elaine? Why'd you chop it to pieces?'" he wonders. "The damage was irreparable," his wife replies. Homes describes nice people doing not-so-nice deeds in luminous, precise prose way better than Bret Easton Ellis, as well as Joyce Carol Oates, and occasionally within range of John Updike. But Homes is really the evil spawn of Grace Metalious and Quentin Tarantino. --Tim Appelo

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Modern Fiction and Mystery. New and used. Many signed. For further information, please contact me at 805-582-0162.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Kathleen Simpson, 2992 Chippewa Avenue, Simi Valley, CA 93063. Telephone and
fax number 805-579-9656. E-mail is mkthpms@aol.com. Shipping and handling via
Media Mail. Priority mail available upon request. Shipping and handling is
quoted for heavy books and foreign orders. Full refund for books returned in
as-shipped condition within 10 days of shipping date, for any reason. Books can
be held for 10 days with E-mail or telephone request. Prices are subject to
change without notice until receipt o...

More Information
Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. See Terms of Sale below.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

PayPal