- 1 of 1 copy available at Town of Plymouth.
0 current holds with 1 total copy.
|Location||Call Number / Copy Notes||Barcode||Shelving Location||Status||Due Date|
|Pease Public Library||FIC DUBho||34598000228141||Fiction||Available||-|
- ISBN: 0393046974
- Physical Description: 365 p. ; 25 cm.
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Publisher: New York : Norton, c1999.
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|Subject:||Iranian Americans > California > Fiction.
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Publishers Weekly Review
House of Sand and Fog
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This powerfully written but bleak narrative is a mesmerizing tale of the American Dream gone terribly awry. Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah, now lives in exile with his wife and teenage son near San Francisco. Working on a road crew as a "garbage soldier" by day and as a deli clerk by night, Behrani is obsessed with restoring his family to the position of glittering wealth and prestige it once enjoyed. At a county auction, he sinks his savings into a bungalow seized for non-payment of taxes, and quickly moves his family into it, planning to resell the house at a sizable profit. But when the house's previous occupant, recovering coke addict Kathy Lazaro, resurfaces with valid claims for repossession, Behrani's plan begins to unravel, and with it his tightly controlled facade of composure. Tensions between Lazaro and Behrani quickly escalate into violence, as Lazaro's lover, a married police officer with a weak spot for lost causes, decides to take matters into his own hands. The book's horrifying denouement offers readers a searing study in the wages of pride. Dubus (Bluesman) writes with an authority regarding the American lower middle class that is reminiscent of Russell Banks and Richard Ford, and his limber imagination is capable of drawing the inner lives of three very different main characters with such compassion that readers will find their sympathies hopelessly divided. If the tragedy that he so skillfully orchestrates cries out to be leavened with a little less desperation and some quiet glimpse of hope, the keenly perceptive and moving narrative is proof that the son and namesake of one of our most talented writers has embarked on a dazzling career in his own right. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
House of Sand and Fog
Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
In an enthralling tragedy built on a foundation of small misfortunes, Dubus (Bluesman, 1993, etc.) offers in detail the unraveling life of a woman who, in her undoing, brings devastation to the families of those in her path. It was bad enough when Kathy Lazaro stepped out of the shower one morning to find herself evicted from her house, a small bungalow to be auctioned the very next day in a county tax sale; bad enough that her recovering-addict husband had left her some time before, and that she had no friends at all in California to help her move or put her up. Then she also had to fall for the guy who evicted her, Deputy Les Burdon'married, with two kids. Sympathetic to her plight, Les lines up legal counsel and makes sure she has a place to stay, but his optimism (and the lawyer's) hits an immovable object in proud ex-Colonel Behrani, formerly of the Iranian Air Force, who fled his homeland with his family when the Shah was deposed and who has struggled secretly in San Francisco for years to maintain appearances until his daughter can make a good marriage. He's sunken his remaining life savings into buying Kathy's house, at a tremendous bargain, planning to reinvent himself as a real-estate speculator, and he has no wish to sell it back when informed that the county made a bureaucratic error. Hounded by both Kathy and Les'who has moved out, guiltily, on his family and brought his lover, herself a recovering addict, back to the bar scene'Behrani is increasingly unable to shield his wife and teenaged son from the ugly truth, but he still won't yield. Then Kathy tries to kill herself, and Les takes the law into his own hands . . . . No villains here, but only precisely rendered proof that the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
Library Journal Review
House of Sand and Fog
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Through a careless bureaucratic error, Kathy Nicolo is evicted from her three-bedroom home in the California hills near San Francisco. Her marriage is over, her recovery from drug addiction is tenuous, and her income is almost nonexistent. Lester Burdon, the deputy sheriff who evicts her, also falls for her and vows to help her get the house back. Meanwhile, the house is sold at auction to Colonel Behrani, who hopes to resell it at enormous profit to help finance his return to his easy life in prerevolutionary Iran. The legal machinery grinds on slowly too slowly for the humans involved. The three main characters come from different cultures, religions, and social settings. The pleas, threats, arguments, and suggestions of each individual are incomprehensible to the others, escalating to a tragic and inevitable conclusion. Well produced, this book captures the hope, confusion, resolve, and uncertainty of all the characters. The frustration and anger are visceral, the tension intense. The actions of the players are made meaningful through the descriptions of their histories, cultures, and previous experiences. Read with feeling by the author and his wife, Fontaine Dubus; recommended. Joanna Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
House of Sand and Fog
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Reeling from her husband's abrupt departure, Kathy is living alone in the modest California bungalow she inherited from her father and has few material or emotional resources upon which to draw when a pair of sheriff's deputies appear like creatures in a nightmare and evict her. It's all a mistake, but before Kathy, a personification of fog, can straighten things out, Colonel Behrani, an exiled Iranian air force officer forced to work menial jobs to support his family, snaps up her home at auction for a third of its value, moves in, and prepares to resell it at a profit. Obdurate and full of fury and pride, Behrani is sand, and Dubus has set up a microcosmic conflict of profound cultural implication and tremendous dramatic impact. Narrating from both points of view, he renders each character utterly compelling and sympathetic. All Kathy wants is her home; Behrani cannot give up his dream, and they are headed for a resolution of stunningly tragic dimensions. Like Craig Nova, Dubus writes gorgeous prose with a noirish edge, holding his readers spellbound as hope and love are lost in fog and buried in sand. --Donna Seaman