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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family's dignity. Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice. Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge in an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog marks the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.
©2001 Andre Dubus III (P)2001 HarperCollinsPublishers Inc. All rights reserved.
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Critic Reviews

Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Adult Fiction, 2001
"We've got all the ingredients for an old-fashioned tragedy. Brilliantly written, and presented with feeling, this is one of the saddest stories ever told." (AudioFile)
"Dubus has created a novel that is nearly perfectly suited to the audio format....The reading by the author and his wife is sublime." (Publishers Weekly)
"Dubus sets out the growing confrontation with chilly ingenuity and a remarkably observant compassion....[A] fine and prophetic novel." (Los Angeles Times)
"Dubus writes gorgeous prose with a noirish edge." (Booklist)
"An enthralling tragedy." (Kirkus)
" clearly a talent to be reckoned with....House of Sand and Fog is a page-turner with a beating heart." (Boston Golobe)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lisa on 06-08-04

Astounding characterizations, and wonderfully read

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.

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11 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By JOHN on 04-18-04


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.


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16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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