Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Review: House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

House of Sand and FogTitle: House of Sand and Fog

Author: Andre Dubus III

Pages: 365

Source: Personal library

Rating: 5/10

Summary (From back of book):

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.

My Two Cents:

Even though I felt compelled to read this book, even staying up late to read a good chunk of it, I can't say I enjoyed it. I think I really just wanted to know what happened at the end, to see how everything played out.

A lot of my issue with the book was that two of the characters, Kathy and Lester, just made me so mad. I could not find any single shred of sympathy for either of them. I thought they both were terrible, reckless people and reading their sections of the book found me rolling my eyes on nearly every page. I don't know why I hated them so much, but I did. Ugh.

I think another part of my problem with the book was that I only felt any sympathy for Behrani. He not only was truly the one who did no wrong in the whole situation (Yes, you can argue he could have given the house back, but why should he have to pay for someone else's mistake?), but the whole action of the book just comes crashing in on his family. I spent the last 100 or so pages just so mad and sick that, had my desire to find out not won, I would have put the book down. It just angered me something fierce.

Now, I'm no prude, but I also took a lot of issue with the amount and description of the sex in this book. Do I know it happens? Yes. Do I know it's not always as chaste and pure as the driven snow? Uh, yeah. But I don't need to read about it every 30 or so pages. In detail. There are just so many other things that could have been done in those spaces, in my opinion.


Anonymous said...

I remember feeling the same way. His problems were not of his causing, but these 2 were so self-destructive and reckless. Bah! Couldn't stand them.

It was a great book to read though!

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