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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- ASIN : B00421BN7M
- Publisher : W. W. Norton & Company; Reprint edition (March 31, 2011)
- Publication date : March 31, 2011
- Language : English
- File size : 766 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 380 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 0393046974
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #64,420 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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For much of the book, the story is compelling. The two main characters, though not especially likeable, evoke the reader’s sympathy. After all, they were trying to improve their lot, taking the right steps and making reasonable choices, until a fluke of fate intervenes. The situation the author has created places them into a crucible that tests their character and reflects the human condition.
But great tragedies drive the lead characters inexorably toward their doom. Given their human flaws and the circumstance, they have no way out. As this book moves toward its conclusion, I found myself wondering if these characters would really take the steps needed to fall further, or if the author was expediently taking some short cuts to complete the story.
Though this story was well written throughout and presented a great premise, I felt the story a bit contrived despite the strong start, and therefore found the tragedy less compelling.
For me, this book started out strong, and I couldn’t put it down. I thought the plot was unique and the characters well defined. As the story progressed, the character’s actions became, to me, a little over-the-top and unbelievable, which is why this was just an okay read for me. People who like drama or contemporary fiction may like this book.
And then the story itself! I found myself rooting for one side but then easily switched back, because Dubus III shows the human nature of every character, who, although flawed, have their heart in the right place.
Amazon to how one tiny decision, one wrong turn, can escalate into something that spirals completely out of control.
One of the key areas where the book was better than the movie was the introduction. I know this may sound shocking to those who have read the book and seen the movie, but I found Kathy's eviction from her bungalow lackluster. It functioned in the movie as allowing the audience to become sympathetic to Kathy and cast Behrani as a villain (of sorts) in all our minds (initially), however the novel takes a much kinder view of Behrani and creates a more balanced picture of the two main characters. Unfortunately for the book there was not enough time for certain character development that the movie had, in particular Nadi and Lester. Both characters in the movie were established in the background. Nadi as Behrani's demure wife in a country she did not want to be in and isolates herself in memories while quietly (sometimes) resenting her husband for his role in their fleeing. And even though Lester is given a little more information for his motivation to help Kathy, plant drugs and his despair over leaving his wife he did not have enough time to adequately develop like he did in the movie.
Ultimately I believe that the novel created a more well-adjusted view of both where it allows the reader to see both Kathy and Behrani as villains in each other eyes, yet by the next chapter we are sympathetic with either Behrani or Kathy once more. I decided on giving House of Sand and Fog four stars rather than five for small issues like being a little too obvious (I know that I watched the movie beforehand and I have the same issue) by heavy handily foreshadowing one background character and a few events, however despite that it was quite an enjoyable read.