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A.M. Homes is the author of four novels â€” In a Country of Mothers, The End of Alice, Music for Torching, and Jack â€“ and two collections of short stories, The Safety of Objects and the recent highly acclaimed Things You Should Know. She is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and teaches in the writing programme at Columbia University. She lives in New York City.
Photograph Â© Marion Ettlinger
Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 7 March 2007.This review is provided by bookgroup.info.The cover of this book is a triumph of marketing over good sense. The title is, I guess, a parody and, along with the doughnuts (sorry, donuts), it makes the book look like yet another diet manual. All very smart, but it doesnât do justice to what is a hugely enjoyable and amusing story about a man who has the misfortune to be very rich and living in one of the most affluent and beautiful places in the world. Richard Novak has amassed a fortune by trading on the stock market and lives in a house on millionaireâs row in LA. But somewhere along the way he has shut down emotionally and withdrawn from the world, his only contact being through the internet and with the various people who service his house needs. It takes a physical crisis and a visit to A & E to start his journey back to being a fully-feeling human being. Richard the recluse suddenly finds himself a local super-hero who saves a horse (hoisted out of a hole by a movie star with a helicopter), a woman kidnapped by a psycho and a man drowning at sea, amongst others. His ex-wife keeps turning on the television to see him at the centre of yet another drama. It is very funny and there are some telling off-camera moments, like the childâs birthday celebration in a restaurant where the child, given a knife to cut the cake, repeatedly stabs it while his parents look on, bewildered.Through his random acts of generosity, Richard becomes involved with some great characters and goes some way towards redeeming his self-centred loveless years. He also, poignantly, begins to repair the pain he caused by abandoning his son, Ben.So, ignore the cover and the really rather embarrassing endorsement by Mark Haddon (â€œWeird and warm and wise and really rather wonderfulâ€), and read it. It wonât change your life but itâll certainly give you some pleasurable hours as well as an insight into California life as the apotheosis of consumer culture.
This review is provided by bookgroup.info.The cover of this book is a triumph of marketing over good sense. The title is, I guess, a parody and, along with the doughnuts (sorry, donuts), it makes the book look like yet another diet manual. All very smart, but it doesnâ€™t do justice to what is a hugely enjoyable and amusing story about a man who has the misfortune to be very rich and living in one of the most affluent and beautiful places in the world. Richard Novak has amassed a fortune by trading on the stock market and lives in a house on millionaireâ€™s row in LA. But somewhere along the way he has shut down emotionally and withdrawn from the world, his only contact being through the internet and with the various people who service his house needs. It takes a physical crisis and a visit to A & E to start his journey back to being a fully-feeling human being. Richard the recluse suddenly finds himself a local super-hero who saves a horse (hoisted out of a hole by a movie star with a helicopter), a woman kidnapped by a psycho and a man drowning at sea, amongst others. His ex-wife keeps turning on the television to see him at the centre of yet another drama. It is very funny and there are some telling off-camera moments, like the childâ€™s birthday celebration in a restaurant where the child, given a knife to cut the cake, repeatedly stabs it while his parents look on, bewildered.Through his random acts of generosity, Richard becomes involved with some great characters and goes some way towards redeeming his self-centred loveless years. He also, poignantly, begins to repair the pain he caused by abandoning his son, Ben.So, ignore the cover and the really rather embarrassing endorsement by Mark Haddon (â€œWeird and warm and wise and really rather wonderfulâ€), and read it. It wonâ€™t change your life but itâ€™ll certainly give you some pleasurable hours as well as an insight into California life as the apotheosis of consumer culture.
A razor-sharp story collection from a writer who is always "e;furiously good"e; (Zadie Smith, bestselling author ofSwing Time).With her signature humor and compassion, A.M. Homes exposes the heart of an uneasy America in her new collection - exploring our attachments to each other through characters who aren't quite who they hoped to become, though there is no one else they can be.In "e;A Prize for Every Player,"e; a man is nominated to run for president by the customers of a big box store, while he and his family do their weekly shopping. At a conference on genocide(s) in the title story, old friends rediscover themselves and one another - finding spiritual and physical comfort in ancient traditions. And in "e;Hello Everybody"e; and "e;She Got Away,"e; Homes revisits a Los Angeles family obsessed with the surfaces and frightened of what lives below.In the nearly three decades since her seminal debut collectionThe Safety of Objects, Homes has been celebrated by readers and critics alike as one of our boldest and most original writers, acclaimed for her psychological accuracy and "e;satire so close to the truth it's terrifying"e; (Ali Smith). Her first book since the Women's Prize-winningMay We Be Forgiven,Days of Aweis a major new addition to her body of visionary, fearless, outrageously funny work.Audiobook Table of Contents:Brother On Sunday, read by Mark Bramhall Whose Story Is It and Why Is It Always On Her Mind?, read by Kimberly Farr Days of Awe, read by Rebecca Lowman Hello Everybody, read by Devon Sorvari All Is Good Except for the Rain, read by Cassandra Campbell The National Caged Bird Show, read by Mark Bramhall, Cassandra Campbell, Will Damron, Kimberly Farr, Rebecca Lowman, Fred Sanders, and Devon Sorvari Your Mother Was a Fish, read by Cassandra Campbell The Last Good Time, read by Will Damron Be Mine, read by Rebecca Lowman A Prize for Every Player, read by Will Damron Omega Point, read by Kimberly Farr She Got Away, read by Devon SorvariCover Photograph: ';White Sands National Monument' The Estate of Garry Winogrand, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco
In Ziua Recunostintei doi adolescenti, Nate si Ashley, raman in grija unchiului, un istoric linistit si retras, dupa ce tatal ajunge la inchisoare pentru ca si a ucis sotia, pe care a prins o in flagrant delict tocmai cu fratele lui.Romanul ncepe n forE A - E i apoi se dezlA nE uie cu adevA rat. Numi amintesc cnd am citit ultima datA un roman cu o asemenea intensitate narativA ; o relatare necruE A toare a unui an catastrofal, violent, comic E i sumbru totodatA , aducA tor de profunde schimbA ri n viaE a unei familii americane disfuncE ionale. Dea dreptul uimitor."e; Salman RuShdie
Jack is a teenager who wants nothing more than to be normal - even if being normal means having divorced parents and a rather strange best friend. But when Jack's father takes him out rowing on a lake and tells his son that he's gay, nothing will ever be normal again. Out of Jack's struggle to redefine 'family', comes a work of enormous humour, charm and resonance, the most convincing, funny and insightful novel about adolescence since The Catcher in the Rye.
For Claire Roth, an established psychotherapist with an adoring husband and children, her new patient - Jody Goodman, a witty and attractive young filmmaker - is a welcome diversion from her predictable life. Jody, successful, yet uncertain, is disarmed by Claire's interest and approval. Gradually, the boundaries between friendship and family, between love and compulsion, start to blur - especially when one of them starts to believe fanatically that some things simply cannot be coincidences, and that what they share, in fact, is the deepest bond of all. In a Country of Mothers is a transfixing psychological thriller, and with it A.M. Homes forces us to confront our own judgements about sanity, danger and desire.
Things You Should Know is a collection of dazzling stories by one of the most talented and daring young American writers, whose distinctive narratives demonstrate how extraordinary the ordinary can be. A woman pursues an unconventional strategy for getting pregnant; a former First Lady shows despair and courage in dealing with her husband's Alzheimer's; a teacher's list of 'things you already should know but maybe are a little dumb, so you don't' becomes an obsession for someone who wasn't at school the day it was given out; and adult tragedy intrudes into a childhood friendship. The stories are full of magic and strangeness and humour, but also demonstrate an uncanny emotional accuracy and compassion.
The stories in The Safety of Objects are both bizarre and believable, very funny but also frightening and sad. A girl's blonde Barbie doll seduces her teenage brother in an intense episode of erotic obsession; a couple go off the rails and smoke crack while their children are staying with their grandmother; and a lawyer seeks revenge on his boss by urinating into his potted plant every evening.
Winner the Women's Prize for Fiction 2013. Harry is a Richard Nixon scholar who leads a quiet, regular life; his brother George is a high-flying TV producer, with a murderous temper.They have been uneasy rivals since childhood.Then one day George loses control so extravagantly that he precipitates Harry into an entirely new life. In May We Be Forgiven, Homes gives us a darkly comic look at 21st century domestic life - at individual lives spiraling out of control, bound together by family and history.The cast of characters experience adultery, accidents, divorce, and death. But this is also a savage and dizzyingly inventive vision of contemporary America, whose dark heart Homes penetrates like no other writer - the strange jargons of its language, its passive aggressive institutions, its inhabitants' desperate craving for intimacy and their pushing it away with litigation, technology, paranoia. At the novel's heart are the spaces in between, where the modern family comes together to re-form itself.
The End of Alice treads the thin line between the evil and the everyday and caused a major controversy when it was first released in the US. The story centres on the correspondence of two paedophiles: one, the narrator, is a middle-aged child-killer serving his twenty-third year in prison; the other, his slang-speaking, sweet-seeming admirer, is a nineteen-year-old girl intent on seducing a young neighbourhood boy. Slowly, through these letters, the narrator's dangerous character emerges.
Paul and Elaine 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 a fantastical frenzy that careers well and truly out of control. As A.M. Homes's incendiary novel unfolds, the technicolour hues of the American good life become nearly hallucinogenic: from a strange and hilarious encounter on the floor of the pantry with a Stepford Wife neighbour, to a house-cleaning team in space suits, to a hostage situation at the school. Homes lays bare the foundations of marriage and family life and creates characters outrageously flawed, deeply human and entirely believable.
On the day that A. M. Homes was born in 1961, she was given up for adoption. Her birth parents were a twenty-two year old woman and an older married man with whom she was having an affair. Thirty years later, out of the blue, Homes was contacted by a lawyer on behalf of her birth mother, and they began to correspond; her biological father contacted her soon after. These two individuals and their effect on the adult Homes are strange and unexpected, and the story spirals into something utterly raw and hilarious, heartbreaking and absurd. Along the way, Homes describes the clash between her childhood fantasies of her birth parents and the disappointing reality. She writes about the experience of experiencing biological resemblance for the first time (in 'My Father's Ass') and the addictiveness of the genealogical research she embarks on. She reflects on the significance of DNA testing and having two mothers and two fathers and unearths profound truths about her family and herself. Finally, she writes movingly about her own baby daughter and the way she has recently helped to mend Homes' fractured life.
A.M. Homes was given up for adoption before she was born. Her biological mother was a twenty-two-year-old single woman who was having an affair with a much older married man with children and a family of his own. THE MISTRESSS DAUGHTER is the riveting story of what happened when, thirty years later, her birth parents came looking for her.Homes relates how her birth parents initially made contact and what happened afterward (including a harrowing account of her birth mother stalking her and appearing unannounced at a reading). She goes on to explore what she was able to reconstruct about their lives; who they had been and who they later became. Her birth mother, a complex and lonely woman who never married, dies in 1998; her birth father, who initially makes overtures about inviting her into his family, never does. Homes becomes obsessed with the family histories of both her biological and adoptive parents. She spends hours poring through newspaper archives and genealogical websites on an ersatz archaeological dig, hiring researchers to help uncover the hidden family narrative in a twenty-first-century electronic search for self.THE MISTRESSS DAUGHTER is a brave, profoundly moving consideration of identity and family and, like all of A.M. Homess work, is daring, heartbreaking, and startlingly funny.
Richard Novak is a modern day everyman, a middle-aged divorcee trading stocks out of his home. He has done such a good job getting his life under control that he needs no one, except his trainer, nutritionist and housekeeper. His life has slowed almost to a standstill, until two incidents conspire to hurl him back into the world. THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE beautifully captures the strangeness of life through its depiction of the weirdness and instability of LA, a surreal city of earthquakes, wildfires, mudslides, feral chihuahuas and doughnut-sellers with big dreams. And it reveals what can happen if you are willing to open up to the world around you. Since her debut in 1989, A. M. Homes has been among the boldest and most original voices of her generation, acclaimed for the psychological accuracy and unnerving emotional intensity of her storytelling. Her keen ability to explore how extraordinary the ordinary can be is at the heart of this touching and funny new novel, her first in six years.