The Garden of Last Days

The Garden of Last Days

3.2 40
by Andre Dubus III
     
 

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“So good, so damn compulsively readable, that I can hardly believe it.” —Stephen King, Entertainment WeeklySee more details below

Overview

“So good, so damn compulsively readable, that I can hardly believe it.” —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly

Editorial Reviews

Esquire
“Muscular and disquieting and turn-the-pages-so-fast-you-tear-them good.”
Boston Sunday Globe
“Storytelling of the finest kind . . . [an] incandescent and absorbing novel.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
A very fast and entertaining read. . . . Every passage is expertly, elegantly achieved.— Madison Smart Bell
Philadelphia Inquirer - Madison Smart Bell
“A very fast and entertaining read. . . . Every passage is expertly, elegantly achieved.”
Madison Smart Bell - Philadelphia Inquirer
“A very fast and entertaining read. . . . Every passage is expertly, elegantly achieved.”
Publishers Weekly

This fascinating novel is a powerful look at connection and love played out inside of a strip club in Florida. The central character is April, a stripper forced to bring her child to work because her babysitter has a panic attack. A male narrator seems a poor choice, as a strong female performance would have captured the essence of the story far better. Dan John Miller reads clearly and with good pacing, but his deep monotone lacks emotion. While the writing is certainly first rate and the characters completely realistic, Miller fails to capture the listener's attention. A W.W. Norton hardcover (Reviews, Mar. 17). (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
An explosive narrative employs a Florida strip club as a tinderbox of tensions on the weekend before 9/11. In similar fashion to his previous bestseller (House of Sand and Fog, 1999), Dubus shows a profound empathy as he gets inside the heads of a number of characters, with coincidence, chance and a clash of cultures building to a shattering climax. Through quick-cutting chapters (few longer than ten pages, many as short as one or two), he propels the action while providing the back stories that have brought these characters together for a night that will change their lives. April is an uncommonly sober-minded stripper and single mother who saves all her earnings to secure a better future for herself and her three-year-old daughter Franny. Jean is April's landlady and Franny's babysitter, a widow who shares her house more for the company than the extra income. She is also prone to panic attacks and may be a hypochondriac, an alcoholic or both. On the night in question, Jean is hospitalized and can't watch Franny. April reluctantly takes Franny to work, leaving her in a closed office while she goes to dance for customers. One of the clients is Bassam, a Muslim who pays extravagantly. Bassam berates April as immoral even as he lusts after her, and he keeps her from checking on her daughter. (Later his subplot has the most trouble meshing with the others.) Another customer is AJ, separated from the wife he has beaten and the son he loves, and now bounced from the club for getting too physical with one of the dancers. As their fates become inexorably intertwined, Dubus does a masterful job of allowing the reader to understand, if not forgive, why each character does what he or she does. Inthe process, he explores intricacies of faith and fate, love in its many dimensions (from maternal to sexual), the transactions through which men and women exert power over each other and the culture that shapes the characters and destinies of these individuals. Difficult to put down, impossible to forget. Agent: Philip Spitzer/Philip Spitzer Literary Agency

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393335309
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
06/01/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
632,579
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.20(d)

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