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Oprah Book Club® Selection, November 2000: Andre Dubus III wastes no time in capturing the dark side of the immigrant experience in America at the end of the 20th century. House of Sand and Fog opens with a highway crew composed of several nationalities picking up litter on a hot California summer day. Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian military under the Shah, reflects on his job-search efforts since arriving in the U.S. four years before: "I have spent hundreds of dollars copying my credentials; I have worn my French suits and my Italian shoes to hand-deliver my qualifications; I have waited and then called back after the correct waiting time; but there is nothing." The father of two, Behrani has spent most of the money he brought with him from Iran on an apartment and furnishings that are too expensive, desperately trying to keep up appearances in order to enhance his daughter's chances of making a good marriage. Now the daughter is married, and on impulse he sinks his remaining funds into a house he buys at auction, thus unwittingly putting himself and his family on a trajectory to disaster. The house, it seems, once belonged to Kathy Nicolo, a self-destructive alcoholic who wants it back. What starts out as a legal tussle soon escalates into a personal confrontation--with dire results.
Dubus tells his tragic tale from the viewpoints of the two main adversaries, Behrani and Kathy. To both of them, the house represents something more than just a place to live. For the colonel, it is a foot in the door of the American dream; for Kathy, a reminder of a kinder, gentler past. In prose that is simple yet evocative, House of Sand and Fog builds to its inevitable denouement, one that is painfully dark but unfailingly honest. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Dubus's chronicle of the American Dream gone awry is distinguished by his sympathetic delineation of lower-middle class life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Editorial Reviews
Did not want to put this one down. Not necessarily a happy story, and almost predictable at the end, but then surprised me with a twist. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Momma B
I've never felt more betrayed by a book. I was immediately sucked in from the beginning, as I found Colonel Behrani's story to be utterly compelling. Read morePublished 7 days ago by J. Loftman
Massoud Behrani, 56, is a California garbage man. He used to be an air force colonel; in Iran; fled with his family when Khomeini took over. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Frank S. Robinson
This is a tale of almost criminal insight. Having done a little writing myself, I was overwhelmed by the author's vision. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ron Braithwaite
I just finished reading the book.
I really enjoyed and got immersed in reading the first half in getting to know the characters. Read more
I did not like this book. There was a lot of stuff in this book that really had nothing to do with the story and could have been left out. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hilton Harris