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I found this audiobook absolutely riveting -- almost perfectly read, with the important twist of having separate male and female voices, given that the book is mostly a series of interior monologues from the various characters. Yes, you know they are all spiraling down to disaster, but the author has caught the internal voices of the characters very well, sometimes exquisitely. The Irani ex-colonel is particularly finely wrought, but I found the others well done also. The book is a meditation on the many different ways we organize our relationships with others, and how many different ways those relationships can fall apart. Father, mother, husband, wife, child, sibling, lover, immigrant, native, boss, subordinate, trainee, soldier in a strict military hierarchy -- Dubus manages to explore and say something interesting about all of these ties, with a bit of political and economic commentary that is subordinate to the more important themes. An amazing audiobook, one of the most satisfying I have listened to. My only criticism -- the brief interludes of music between sections are jarringly inappropriate. One caveat to this review: I have not seen the movie, so I came to the book without any movie-induced preconceptions.
11 of 11 people found this review helpful
I believe the relatively low customer rating of this book is misleading. Just because the story is a TRAGEDY, doesn't make it any less of a wonderful literary effort. Just because a reader doesn't like the morality the characters, the story is nonetheless brilliant! I am a longtime Audible member. I have never been compelled to review a book before online. I feel that House of Sand and Fog is one of the best works I have had the pleasure to listen to. The back-and-forth voices of the male and female combatants work wonderfully. The reader is steered into the lives of two completely opposite characters to look through their eyes from conflicting points of view. Each adversary contributes to the deterioration of the problem that leads to a shocking crescendo. After listening to this book, I went to see the "critically acclaimed" movie. The film cannot hold a candle to the depth of this book. The characters lives are developed methodically and perfectly to the extent to where the reader can clearly feel their pain. Perhaps, this is why some find it hard to take.
Usually it is a mistake when an author narrates his/her own book. However, in this case the narration could not be more perfect.
16 of 17 people found this review helpful