House of Sand and Fog: A Novel

House of Sand and Fog: A Novel

by Andre Dubus III

Paperback(Reprint)

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393356342
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 10/02/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 114,266
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Andre Dubus III is the author of Gone So Long, Dirty Love, The Garden of Last Days, House of Sand and Fog (a #1 New York Times bestseller, Oprah’s Book Club pick, and finalist for the National Book Award), and Townie, winner of an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. His writing has received many honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Magazine Award, and two Pushcart Prizes. He lives with his family north of Boston.

Hometown:

Newbury, MA

Date of Birth:

1959

Place of Birth:

California

Education:

University of Texas at Austin

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House of Sand and Fog 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 287 reviews.
Peanut-Butter More than 1 year ago
In a nutshell, House of Sand and Fog is a struggle over a house. While this doesn¿t may not sound like a very compelling tale, hidden within these pages is a struggle well worth putting some time into cracking open. In this novel, Andre Dubus III presents the stark differences between two nationalities and two lifestyles. Through the struggle over ownership of a house, Colonel Behrani, Kathy Nicolo, and Lester Burton experience their own personal struggles with the American dream, redemption, and what one wants versus what is right.
Kathy Nicolo is a recovering drug addict who was recently left by her husband and thinks that her family considers her a failure. Her life is falling apart and she is possibly suicidal. Through a mistake by the government, her house is wrongfully taken from her and sold in an auction to Colonel Behrani. Behrani was rich and well respected in his homeland of Iran. However, when revolution broke out, he and his family were forced to flee to America where he is unable to find work. He lost his money and his status as a result and sees Kathy¿s house as an opportunity to regain this. Lester Burton fits into the story on Kathy¿s side. A married police officer who was present when Kathy was forced from her home, Lester sympathizes with Kathy and finds himself pulled into the conflict as he falls in love with her.
The book is presented so that each side can argue its points. Each chapter flips from Kathy¿s point of view and Behrani¿s. In this way, there is no clear hero or villain in the story. You actually over time can choose which character is in the wrong and will find yourself rooting for either Kathy or Behrani to get the house. The problem here is that none of the characters are very likeable. Kathy¿s a miserable slob who let her life slip from her fingers because of her apparent lack of good choices. Lester isn¿t half-bad, but would go against everything he vowed not to do and walk out on his wife and kids just like his father. Behrani is an egotistical and power-hungry old man who would risk everything just to get his status back while claiming its all for his family.
Yet that¿s life. People are not perfect and Dubus has created characters with many flaws who hardly even try to do the right thing and likeable or not, this makes them all the more real. House of Sand and Fog is the story of ordinary battles fought by ordinary people. This is its brilliance, because it is easy to relate to these characters. Dubus puts you in the character¿s mind and allows you to sift through the character¿s perspective on the world. The intimate connection Dubus creates between the reader and his characters makes it almost impossible not to sympathize with them.
The book starts slow and about as interesting as a quarrel over a house sounds. Soon after, though, the character¿s struggles grab you. Even as the plot appeared unmoving, I found that I didn¿t want to put the book down. The characters personal struggles made me keep coming back to find out what would happen to them. And the book only gets better as it goes along. I wasn¿t ready for the twist near the end, and once I got there, Kathy, Behrani, and Lester consumed my every thought. House of Sand and Fog is a book that everyone can enjoy. I highly recommend it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very well written, and each character was able to provoke a response (although I did want to strangle one of the characters). This book really illustrates the struggle people have in trying to achieve the American Dream, and the way that love influences our decisions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an intricate tale of tragedy and love with an insightful perspective on american race relations! Great read!
MariaSavva_Author More than 1 year ago
This book, a thriller, is based on a simple idea: two families fighting over the ownership of one house. I found myself intrigued and couldn't wait to find out what happened - who would eventually get the house?! Kathy did not come across as a very likeable character (I'm not sure if that was the intention?) so I found myself hoping that Behrani and his family would keep it. I thought the ending was a bit rushed and perhaps too unrealistic, but I'm still giving it 5 stars because I think it is a book that deserves to be read and it will keep you
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book thinking that it was going to be an interesting drama....I was wrong. EVERY character was irritating. They all did annoying things and it was hard to tell who the bad guys and the good guys were (not that it's a bad thing, but in this case it was). There were too many sex scenes that did nothing to support the plot. Some of the characters did unbelievable things that did not allow the plot to run smoothly. I must say, however, that towards the end somethings happened that I was not expecting. Overall, the book left many questions unanswered and the end was very dissapointing and unsatisfying.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book seeing that it was an Oprah's Book Club novel and hearing praise for it's 'magnificent plot.' Sadly, I was terribly dissapointed. The story really captivated me for about the first two thirds of the novel, but after that point the plot was rushed, the main characters acted almost unrealistically rash, and the book ended in the most confusing/frustrating manner. I don't recommend you read this if you are a pessimistic person!
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful, well written book! It reminds us that we can alter our entire life by making one careless, selfish choice.
lawrence on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Pretty much the worst book I've ever read. Not one of the characters deserves any sympathy from the reader.
teacherteacher on LibraryThing 7 months ago
I was skeptical of the author and his wife as readers at first, but it works. I haven't seen the movie, but I'm not sure I want to. I wouldn't want my image of this powerful story ruined by Hollywood.
aliastori on LibraryThing 7 months ago
Haunting characters and story. Outstanding read.
nosokomos on LibraryThing 8 months ago
ordinary people (is anybody really "normal"?) that end up meeting in a dark, dark place. This is a chilling story but one that is frighteningly very believable...What i found interesting was that, while none of the characters were perfect, I could side with them all for the feelings that they had.
anne_in_co on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Beautiful read- loved it!
melindam on LibraryThing 8 months ago
OK, but not as good as hyped up to be. Kinda of a dark beach read.
Periodista on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Ticks up the tension like a precision-engineered timepiece. Character is destiny. Or character plus circumstances equals destiny.Found the POV of the immigrant colonel more convincing than Kathy's. Could be that I don't know much about the nature of addiction and falling off a speeding wagon.
lberriman on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A very tormenting story.
booksandbosox on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I really did not like this book when I first started it. It took me about 100 pages to get into it, but after that, I found it okay. I thought it was very well-written. I wouldn't use the word enjoyable to describe this because it's an incredibly depressing book. It's hard for me to really say what I feel about this one. I guess I liked it but I had a lot of problems with the plausibility of many of the developments in the book (e.g. the romance between Kathy and Lester and pretty much everything about the ending). I really did not enjoy the ending but in a way, it seemed to be the inevitable conclusion. I can't really imagine another ending to this tragic tale. I don't know. I'm really confused about my feelings on this one. Perhaps it was just too unsettling for me to admit that I actually liked it more than I disliked it.
brigitte64 on LibraryThing 8 months ago
It`s hard to read a book with no hero at all, not even a leader, and it didn`t got better at the end. Left me with a very frustrating feeling.
ImpudentAngel on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This book was like watching a train wreck in slow motion. I started it months before I finally picked it up and finished it. Tragic and compelling. I was angry at the main female character from the beginning, and felt compassion for the family who came to occupy her house, although there was fault on their side as well. The ending was terrible.The author certainly knew how to command the reader's attention. He did a good job of showing two opposing sides of an argument. The writing was very good, it was the story itself that bothered me.
kateiyzie on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Hard to pinpoint what made this the best book in a long time. The main character, an Iranian was immediately fascinating, and you were on his side within a couple of pages. The atmosphere seemed ordinary--modern-day California, but the author's descriptions made it dreamy for me. Tried to be sympathetic to the irritating woman who loses her house, but I was rooting for the Iranian already. The ending was hard to accept, and I wished for a different outcome.
andersonden on LibraryThing 8 months ago
A very engrossing novel. The characters and their clashing cultures and mindsets are very detailed and almost spellbinding. I read this in a two day binge. The story concerns a dispute over a house that was seized for non-payment and then bought by an Irani family with the last of their money for an investment. The original owner inherited the house from her family but she loses it to the county after her husband abandons her. The third main character is the sheriff's deputy who falls in love with the owner and tries to help her get the house back. The tension is high throughout the story; you are never quite sure what to expect. Great read.
mzonderm on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I tend not to like books about people who seem incapable of making good decisions. And one of the characters in this book is definitely like that. She just never seems able (or willing) to take any responsible action. Realistic this may be, but it's also annoying.Another main character, on the other hand, tends to make good decisions. Decisions that are responsible financially, good for his family, and on the right side of the law. And yet, things don't turn out well for him either.If this is a book the purpose of which is to show how quickly things can spiral out of control, then it succeeds. Good decisions or bad, no-one wins here. Too many of us, who manage to have lives that are more or less in control, this is a valuable thing to learn about. But this is an awfully depressing education.
mzebra on LibraryThing 8 months ago
Probably not the best book to be reading while in the process of purchasing a foreclosed home...An error at the tax agency forces one woman, Kathy out of her house. At the same time a hard working Persian man, Behrani takes advantage of a house that has been auctioned off. Both main characters in this book are stubborn. Lester is the deputy who takes part of forcing Kathy out of her home. He has a wife and a father of two. He goes ga-ga for Kathy and will do anything and everything to get Kathy back in her home. Mr. Behrani is willing to sell back the home he purchased but only for a profit. Lester and Kathy are convinced that Behrani family is wealthy and does not need the house. The story switches back from Kathy and Behrani narrating. Kathy who is struggling and can barely afford to stay in cheap motorlodges ends up bunking up at a fishing cabin with Lester. She falls off the wagon and more trouble ensues. All of this could have been avoided if Kathy hadn't thrown away those notices from the tax bureau!
dgoo on LibraryThing 8 months ago
This is a pretty dark and depressing novel involving a snowball effect of bad decisions among several parties.
sweetiegherkin on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I read this, or rather listened to the audio version, some time ago so this review is based on past impressions. I recall that I was expecting more because it received such good reviews. It's told from two points of view - a woman who loses her beloved house and the man who moves into it with his family. I was kind of okay with this novel until the end, which pretty much ruined it for me. On the plus side, the audio version was well done.
jayne_charles on LibraryThing 8 months ago
I liked this slow burner which focuses on three people caught in what might have been a mundane legal dispute but which spirals shockingly out of control as the story reaches its conclusion. The writing is dense, every little detail keenly observed. Not a fast read, but an enjoyable and illuminating one.