House of Sand and Fog

  • by Andre Dubus III
  • Narrated by Andre Dubus III, Fontaine Dollas Dubus
  • 13 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.


What the Critics Say

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

I suspect I am going to be in the minority . . .

I suspect I am going to be in the minority, but I did not like this book. As the one other (so far) reviewer has said, no one in the book is likeable. I found that to be a bit disconcerting, but I do have to admit that the real world is not densely populated by all wonderful people. I never met a dog I didn't like.

To keep this very brief, my problems with this book revolve around several concerns:

[1] The complete ineptness of everyone in resolving the property tax problem early on and the string of negative coincidences creating the situation made for a less than believable basic premise for the book. Has something like this every happened? I suppose so, but . . .

[2] Is anyone in this book ever capable of making just one reasonably sensible judgement, one which does not inevitably lead to disaster?

[3] One positive. I want to hire those builders who built that roof deck so incredibly quickly. Those guys are not in business in my area.

Over-all, a book which seems highly over-rated to me. I enjoy Ben Kingsley's acting and I am sure he handles the Colonel's character very well but I will have to reserve seeing the film until some day when I am so overwhelmingly sunny and happy that I need to be brought down a few notches.
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- BogKid "I'm no kid, but I do live next to a cranberry bog."


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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- JOHN "Audible Member Since 2003"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-25-2003
  • Publisher: HarperAudio