Book Reviews

Book Review: A History of Objects: A Collection of Short Stories

cover of the book A history obejcts by carl pizzati

Book Title:

A History of Objects: A Collection of Short Stories


Carlo Pizzati


Rs. 318

Where to Buy:


Literary and Contemporary Fiction


HarperCollins Publishers India

ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-9354892462




This book reviewer received the book at no cost in exchange for an honest review.


“Every object is a piece of information that always comes with an embedded pair of instructions.”
― Joey Lawsin, Originemology

The book A History of Objects is a collection of contemporary short stories centered around certain objects. These innocuous objects turned out to be pivotal in some stories and in others form a vital part of the story. Hence, a hard drive, a VHS tape, a splinter, and a candy box are objects in just of few of the twenty-three stories in this collection.

All the titles for the short stories are the object that will be part of the story.

A diaper becomes the center point of why one person becomes a vegan. A hand santitizer throws a family into turmoil…

The locations vary from India to Italy to the US. Some stories are funny, others make you think. Objects as simple as a Hand Sanitizer can cause animosity. Modern art becomes an object of light humor when a coconut scraper becomes a prized possession. You will find there are some stories with 3-4 page stories and others with ten pages or more.

My Review:

The Hard Drive starts us off on the journey through an array of human emotions triggered by harmless objects. It is literally where it all begins…

“I remember a file with the word ‘Objects’ in the title. What did it contain?” and so begins our introduction to the short stories. He recollects the stories, the mysteries that must be in the files that he has destroyed and must now reinvent.

“I am looking at my desktop screen with all the neatly organized folders labelled NON-FICTION, HEALTH, TRAVELS, PROJECTS IN PROGRESS…”

I really like the easy way the book is written. Author Carlo Pizzati has used simple words in an easy to read style that as a result, makes the book a pleasant afternoon read. I curled up on a couch in a corner and read the book non-stop. The stories are entertaining with dark humor, love, philosophy and a host of other human emotions at play.

Read about the human tragedy that is the pandemic, which still holds us in its grip in The Mask. It is set in Italy during the worst of the crisis in 2020. Another story set in California is about a mother, son and their cats, The Leash. The story The Splint leads us to a secret in London no less. India is the location for the opening story – The Coconut Scrapper.

At first, I felt a shiver at the end of The Driver’s License; later, I felt sad at the ending of The Diaper. I went through so many other emotions with every story I read. Envy plays a role in The Sweater that also tests friendship, for instance. The locations are different but the emotions are international.

The author says in his notes that some of his friends and acquaintances may see themselves in the stories and not mind the emotions that this will bring on as “Life is fleeting; we leave nothing behind and are soon forgotten. You might as well leave a story”

In Conclusion

I liked everything about A History of Objects. There was nothing not to like. It is easy to read, keeps your interest, and reflects the emotions we experience or see around us in our daily life. As a result, I ended up reflecting on the various emotions the book brings to life. This slim book is easy to hold when lounging around. Something I think is important because my book reading is usually in a lounging position!

About the Author:

Carlo Pizzati is the award-winning multilingual author of ten works of fiction and non-fiction in English and Italian, and a journalist for la Repubblica and la Stampa. He has lectured at New York University, Columbia University, Yonsei University (Seoul), Università Ca’ Foscari (Venice), and Università La Sapienza (Rome). Carlo lives with his wife Tishani Doshi near a fishermen’s village in India where he writes features, editorials and political analyses about Asia and more.

The author is involved with several projects for girls, national and collective identity in Asia and in India along with civil rights issues, global warming, how technology and religious conflicts affect society.

Read more about Carlo and his work on his website.

The book review is powered by The Blogchatter Book Review Program

Looking for a book review of an Indian Author? Check out the latest drama involving the beloved characters from the Mahabharatha in The Misters Kuru: A Return to Mahabharatha here.

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