Red Ant House: Stories and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $13.95
  • Save: $1.39 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Red Ant House: Stories Paperback – April 7, 2003


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$12.56
$0.15 $0.01


Frequently Bought Together

Red Ant House: Stories + Invisible Cities
Price for both: $23.24

Buy the selected items together
  • Invisible Cities $10.68

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

The Bone Clocks
David Mitchell's hypnotic new novel crackles with invention and sheer storytelling pleasure. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 179 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books; First Edition edition (April 7, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0618269258
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618269259
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,305,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Cummins is less circus ringleader than freak-show barker in this debut collection of 12 stories, as she entices patrons to peek at the secret lives and survival skills of the downtrodden and disenchanted. Her dark, offbeat style and ability to make the reader uncomfortable are on full display in the title story, in which two loner neighborhood girls-one scrawny and homely, the other mouthy and mean-form an alliance and plan to strip naked for money. Cummins often perches kids in peril, with unreliable guardians who are as ineffective as the mumbling, rarely seen adults in a Peanuts cartoon. In her more accessible tales, the enemy is visible: Karen, a white girl living with her family on an Indian reservation, is tormented by a Navajo girl, Purple, in "Trapeze." In "Crazy Yellow," unsupervised eight-year-old Pete meets his new neighbor, an off-kilter man who is "not in control of his circumstances." And in "Headhunter," a drunk driver on a steep mountain pass forces Ginny into a dangerous game of chicken. In her more surreal stories, fear is less tangible, lurking somewhere between dream and reality: a supernatural force weighs down on a young brother and sister in "Blue Fly"; a sinister hypnotist begs his client to "give me something you truly value" as he eyes her teenage daughter in "The Hypnotist's Trailer." Cummins doesn't always create convincing alternate universes-her deliberately off-kilter prose sometimes falters and her attempts at interior logic aren't always consistent-but these are mostly clever and entertaining experiments.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

In her debut short story collection, Cummins details the lives of characters that exist on the periphery, whether it be geographically, socially, or economically. An unpopular student at an Indian reservation school joins the gymnastics team to become more outgoing, only to forge a combative relationship with her spotter; a torn dress predicates the end of childhood for turn-of-the century siblings; an anonymous factory piece worker details the events of her day. Cummins clearly relishes taking the reader into the unfamiliar, and we get glimpses into the unknown worlds of an antelope reserve, the mysterious interior of a hypnotist's trailer, and the thought process of a young girl as she waits to meet the sexual predator who has been calling her. Throughout, Cummins refuses to condescend to her characters, instead creating full-blooded portrayals despite their unsympathetic actions or the bleak circumstances in which they find themselves. Her work has gathered praise in previous appearances in the New Yorker and McSweeney's, and Cummins will deservedly gain more appreciative fans with this finely wrought collection. Brendan Dowling
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
6
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
0
See all 9 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peggy Vincent on December 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
These stories of drifting, down-and-out, disenfranchised characters searching for redemption read with the bleakness of the landscape of one of Georgia O'Keeffe's Southwestern paintings - which is no coincidence as that is the setting. The circumstances of each of these stories are odd, a fact that adds to their drawing power. We get to peek behind the scenes within a hypnotist's trailer as well as within the mind of a child waiting to meet a man who may be a pedophile.
Author Cummings' stories take place in the realm of endless deserts and bleached skies, and her brilliant prose sears with the power of a relentless sun.
Super-fine.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on May 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ann Cummins sets most of the twelve stories in her debut collection, RED ANT HOUSE, in small desert towns and reservation communities that dot the American Southwest --- locales surrounded by "miles and miles of sand" and not much else. This extreme setting, which she evokes through tactile details, informs almost every aspect of the book, creating an atmosphere of hostile uncertainty, determining the course of characters' actions, affecting and even invading them: "The inside of the cab felt like sand, and so did the inside of her mouth," Cummins writes in "Headhunter." "The tops of her arms had separated into hundreds of little lines, and her hand, when she touched it to her tongue, tasted like salt . . . The absence of moisture gave the landscape an edge, like glass."
Cummins, who studied and now teaches creative writing at Northern Arizona University, uses this jagged terrain to create tension in her stories and evoke the desolation of its inhabitants. She renders this landscape in rough-hewn prose that bursts with short, targeted sentences and blunt declarations of brutal insights. The result is a collection of textured stories that are shorn of all unnecessary words and details: they are rangy but precise, unpredictable but seemingly ineluctable.
Several of the stories here, including "Bitterwater" and the standout "Trapeze," are about whites living on reservations, "company people" who feel like outsiders and who chafe at the wide-open boredom of the desert. They feel constantly on their guard, never at home in their own homes, and always looking beyond the horizon for a means of escape.
Theirs is an anywhere-but-here mentality. In the short "Dr.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By James Sloss on April 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
2003 is shaping up to be a really great year for short story lovers. Already this year John Murray published "A Few Short Notes on Tropical Butterflies," ZZ Packer published "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere," and now Ann Cummins gives us the terrific "Red Ant House." These stories are the best single collection I've read since Flannery O'Conner published "A Good Man is Hard to Find." The characters are real and the stories are memorable. I've read Cummins in the "New Yorker" and in the "Best American Short Stories," but it is a real treat to have 12 of her stories in one book. She's just about as good as it gets when it comes to short stories. Happy reading!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 21, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you like impeccable prose combined with the dark details that make us all human, mixed in with a little surrealism, this collection is for you. Ann Cummins is a masterful writer--no wonder she gets the great quote from Dave Eggers!--and I will look forward to her future work. Each one of these stories packs a very powerful punch and will leave you emotionally affected, no matter how tough you think you are. :)
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By OilCanBoyd on April 1, 2003
Format: Paperback
Ann Cummins is fantastic! I read the title story in McSweeney's and then flipped when I found out about this collection. Her stories, mostly concerning working class folk, are both tender and brutal. the OilCan highly recommends
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again