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Sky Full of Sand Hardcover – October, 2003

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Like a cold lake, this novel by the author of such books as Cinder and Year of the Zinc Penny is best entered by a plunge. Bleak, brutal, demented and cruel, the El Paso world inhabited by Uriah Walkinghorse shocks the system, sets nerve-ends tingling, numbs, then drags you into its thrall. Uri is suspended somewhere between a "normal" existence and a descent into the bizarre and desperate world that surrounds him. Strained but strong ties still bind him to his odd assortment of adopted siblings-black and white and Korean-who include a school principal, an addict, a delivery driver and a corporate lawyer. At 42, he has lost his wife, abandoned his quest for a master's and manages derelict apartments of derelicts in exchange for rent. His one accomplishment was a bodybuilding title, Mr. West Side, and he still maintains a diet and exercise program. DeMarinis's exceptionally sharp wit slashes through the prose as Uri undertakes an odyssey through a world of kinky sex, drugs, high finance and the most vicious, most wasted dregs of humanity on either side of the border. The argument between a huffer and a doper over which addiction is better is brilliantly macabre. Alternately trapped and fueled by futile dreams of a better life, Uri stumbles, perseveres and survives. DeMarinis somehow manages to invest even the most degenerate of characters with recognizable humanity in spite of his savage and bitter satire.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Dennis Mcmillan Pubns; First edition (October 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0939767473
  • ISBN-13: 978-0939767472
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,108,913 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Humourous, outrageous, and entertaining though sad crime novel by the author of "Year Of The Zinc Penny": set in El Paso, Texas/Juarez, Mexico, it's about about a landlord of a seedy motel/apartment complex who gets involved with a drug money -laundering scheme at a local bank because of his involvement in a local dominatrix sex club. These scenes early in the novel remind me a little bit of the orgy scenes in Stanley Kubrick's film "Eyes Wide Shut." It is hard to imagine a human sensibility that is not offended by some aspect of this novel. Uriah Walkinghorse, the chief character,a divorced former champion steroid-using body builder, who at age 42 is trying to keep his body in shape,has a master's degree and comes from a family of adopted siblings, one of whom is a successful world-travelling lawyer, one a UPS driver, a black sister, and a hopelessly drug- addicted brother. Numerous secondary characters including his father and mother, the drug kingpin/bank president and a bar owner, and sex scenes carry the plot forward with numerous twists and turns, including several notable scenes in Mexico and in New Mexico. A very good playful time despite numerous gangland-style killings, drownings, and assorted thugs and addicts,some of them called "huffers", and numerous scenes in the apartments of some of the dregs of society. The contrast between these sad people and those who profit from the drug trade is notable and a little bit reminiscent of Orson Welles' 1950's film "Touch Of Evil", and also of Kim Basinger's more recent film "L.A. Confidential" about the L.A. underworld in the 1950's. ( although there are few cops in this novel). Also for better or for worse it is reminiscent of other more recent violence-soaked films about drug dealing like "The Punisher" or Cate Blanchett's "Veronica Guerin" or even "Heaven."
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My first DeMarinis and I couldn't recommend it more enthusiastically. I loved this man's prose so much I bought another one of his novels before I finished this one and I'm going to leap into it as soon as I finish this "review." I'm not cut out to write a proper review; I'd say this was as outrageous as Hiaasen but without farce, shades of Crumley in setting and tone but a distinct and enthralling style of his own. TRY IT. Reading is believing; when I got to the end of free sample I couldn't buy the remainder of the novel fast enough.
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By new mommy on February 17, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't understand how this book is not being published anymore! In Europe it's actually a "hidden" secret and many people are trying to find the book so I bought it several times to send to Europe as it's almost impossible to find there in English.
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