[[ read online pdf ]] House of Sand and FogAuthor Andre Dubus III – Vivefutbol.co

On A Road Crew In California, A Former Colonel In The Iranian Air Force Sees A Way To Restore His Family S Dignity In An Attractive Bungalow Available On County Auction But The House S Owner, A Recovering Alcoholic And Addict Down On Her Luck, Will Fight For The One Thing She Has Left And Her Lover, A Married Cop, Will Be Driven To Extremes To Win Her Love In This Masterpiece Of American Realism And Shakespearean Consequence, Andre Dubus III S Unforgettable Characters Careen Toward Inevitable Conflict, Their Tragedy Painting A Shockingly True Picture Of The Country We Live In Today


10 thoughts on “House of Sand and Fog

  1. says:

    And that s what I wanted obliteration Decimation Just an instant smear of me right out of all this rising and falling and nothing changing that feels like living In the beginning there was Kathy Nicolo She is an addict who has been through a drug rehabilitation program She has been flying straight for a while She cleans houses for a modest living She spends most of her free time watching movies, one after the other All is going okay until she has a dispute with the county over the house her father left her and her brother They claim she owes back taxes She goes down to the county offices and gets it sorted out , but she continues to get letters from the county office which she promptly throws away without opening Anybody who has ever dealt with any level of bureaucracy knows that issues are not always sorted out the first time The problem is that Kathy doesn t have much experience dealing with anything She avoids, evades, and hits the escape hatch any time anything gets too real The next thing she knows the cops are on her doorstep explaining to her that she has an order to vacate Her property has been seized She meets Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon as he is escorting her off her property She can tell by the way he is looking at her that he is attracted to her She is pretty, waifish, and vulnerable He has a wife and two kids, but every time he makes love with his wife it feels like he is making out with his sister They are best friends, comfortable with each other, and like a lot of people he interprets that to mean the spark is gone from the marriage Kathy, as he soon finds out, is much than a spark She is like a full on raging forest fire The county sells her property quickly This is where Colonel Massoud Behrani enters the plot He and his family were lucky to escape Iran when the Shah is ousted He was high enough up in the government to see his name appear on the blacklists His wife has never really forgiven him for the circumstances that have made them immigrants in America They did escape with some money, but much of that has been eaten up by keeping up appearances with the community of Persians in California Behrani works two crappy jobs, one picking up trash along the highways and the other as a late night convenience clerk Both jobs that are difficult to hire Americans to do at any price For our excess we lost everything It is no wonder to me that immigrants excel in the United States They take chances They work hard They don t expect anything for nothing Behrani is no exception and when Kathy s house comes up for auction he takes the last of their savings and buys the house As it turns out he is also lucky that only two other bidders show up and he buys the house for a fraction of the value Now I say lucky, but I always feel we make our own luck Luck never just happens, you have to give luck a chance to reward you In his mind he can already see the real estate empire that this first house will help finance Kathy and Lester hit it off I felt a little better as I pulled the T shirt over my head and caught the faint scent of vomit and gun oil Me and Lester They are screwing like bunnies and when they are together everything is fine, but when they are apart it becomes readily apparent that their relationship is built out of sand He starts thinking about how easily she fell into bed with him She starts thinking he is going to go back to his wife and kids Kathy really hates the idea of Colonel Behrani and his family in HER house The county admits it made a mistake, but the sales transaction with Behrani is legal He would have to agree to sell the house back to the county for what he paid for it His visions of a hefty profit float up into the fog Kathy isn t adhering to the program And I knew to any of my counselors back East my life wouldn t look very manageable I was drinking again, and smoking I was sleeping with a man who d just left his family, all while I was supposed to be getting back the house I d somehow lost I knew they would call the drinking a slip, the smoking a crutch, the love making sex as medication, and the house fiasco a disaster my lack of recovery had invited upon itself, and on me Embracing those addictions is making her unstable world spin faster while her mind spins slower It is an unusual situation with all parties being victims of an unresolvable issue with the county Given what we know about Behrani he isn t who Kathy thinks he is Kathy isn t really who he thinks she is either As the plot advances we also find out that Lester isn t who anyone thinks he is either Of course, Kathy is like nitroglycerin in his head It always amazes me how one little mistake can lead to such complete chaos Andre Dubus III keeps adding snakes to the plot until it is all so twisted together that only the sword of Alexander the Great will untie it Dubus reveals all the characters, even the second tier characters, with such depth that I felt like I know these people My mind even now is still weighing all the ramifications from everyone s decisions as if this is an ongoing crisis that is still yet to be resolved Andre Dubus has done his homework on this very American novel.I enjoyed the real estate aspects of the plot I also liked the way that Dubus has us ride along with each character giving us free access to their inner thoughts, their hopes, and desires He also shows how many chances people get to turn their life around The many hands that are outstretched to keep them from falling too far Sometimes it just doesn t matter how much help someone receives they continue to make the same bad decisions until tragedy overtakes them sometimes with equally tragic results for others They made a movie out of this book in 2003 I ve not seen the film I, as usual, skipped the film until I had a chance to read the book From what I ve read about the movie they significantly changed the ending, leaving some very important and pivotal scenes in the book out of the plot of the movie I m not discouraged because I know that films are a different entity from the book that inspired them I will report back after watching the movie If you wish to see of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit also have a Facebook blogger page at


  2. says:

    When the Shah of Iran is ousted and a revolution breaks out in the country, Colonel Massoud Behrani, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force, and his family, once respected and well to do residents in their country, become nothing else but vulnerable immigrants to the United States where the only status left for them is to be called foreigners for the rest of their lives, even though they become full citizens He works two jobs, as a trash picker along the highways by day, and as a late night clerk in a distant convenience store He does it all to keep up appearances, as well as keeping his wife happy in their Iranian community in San Francisco Actually, he spent most of his money to keep up this appearance for his daughter s sake To make sure that she will marry the right man When that happens, he is free to look for cheaper living conditions and save up some money for his son s university fees He watches the auction notices in the newspapers for houses coming under the hammer Kathy Nicolo, a rehabilitating drug and alcohol addict, loses her home by accident She already lost her husband Apart from that, she has also lost her self respect and will to succeed in anything, a long time ago She profiles perfectly Any strenous event is dealt with the narcotic way, although she has been trying to change her life after rehab and succeeded until now.Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man with two kids, along with the tax agent, is tasked to throw her out of her house Like two peas in a pod, they connect hormonaly and turn their dreary lives into a mutual magical homp and romp fantasy with the usual consequences For the first time Kathy has someone who wants to fight in her corner But both of them have lost the ability to think with the right brain Cognitive and hormonal thinking are two very different things after all The duo decide to get her house back The house is now owned by Colonel Massoud Behrani What struck me about this book, is the ease and wisdom behind the characters Dubus gave them souls, as it should be We can think what we want and stagger from the harsh reality, the spotlight on society, but we cannot deny any human being a right to own a soul and be respected for who they are I wanted to dislike this book It scared me in the sense that this could happen to anyone, including me It is one of the reason, I suspect, why many readers react negatively to the story They simply cannot handle the truth and depth of the multiple leveled situation The American realism, which does not differ that much from other western countries, are disturbing in the sense that it doesn t reflect a what if situation as much as it portrays the harshness of a truth that can happen to anyone If you lose your compass and discipline, you lose your way Things go fast and furiously wrong It s that simple But sometimes things happen to you while you re busy making other plans, as John Lennon stated It is a very well written book in every way and on all levels Absolutely worth the read, and for the first time I actually agree with an Oprah choice But those readers who have tried her recommendations, already know that she chooses arresting stories with difficult themes This one is no exception Whether we like it or not, this author puts heart and soul back into statistics and left us enlightened but sad in the end The official blurb states In this masterpiece of American realism and Shakepearean consequence, Andre Dubus III s unforgettable characters careen toward inevitable conflict, their tragedy painting a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today. I loved this first encounter enough to try this author again.


  3. says:

    House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus IIIHouse of Sand and Fog is a 1999 novel by Andre Dubus III It was selected for Oprah s Book Club in 2000, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, and was adapted into the 2003 film, House of Sand and Fog.The novel begins by introducing Massoud Behrani, a former colonel exiled from Iran after the Iranian Revolution Because his background is military rather than professional, he has not been able to establish a career in the US and works as a trash collector and convenience store clerk With savings, he pays the rent on an expensive apartment for his family and for an elegant wedding for his daughter, and his fellow, successful Iranian exiles do not know that he holds low skilled jobs Meanwhile, Kathy Nicolo, a former drug addict who is still recovering from her husband abruptly leaving her, has been evicted from her home, long owned by her family, because of unpaid taxes the county wrongfully claimed she owed When the house is placed for auction, Behrani seizes the opportunity and purchases it He bets his son s entire college fund, planning to renovate the house and then resell it for much than he originally paid as a first step on the way to establishing himself in real estate investment He moves his family from their apartment into the house Meanwhile, when Kathy moves out, she meets Deputy Lester Burdon They go through the system, hiring a lawyer to fight Kathy s wrongful eviction, but although the County admits the error, Behrani insists that he will not return the house unless he s paid what it s worth, not merely the low sum he paid at auction 2003 1381 368 9643282104 1383 1386 20 1357 .


  4. says:

    uuuugh i hated this book BUT before i start trashing it, i ll say that there is one thing i liked about it the author s ability to give two completely different viewpoints and make the reader understand and empathize with them both all i ll say about the plot is that it s about two people fighting for the ownership of a bungalow that in itself should have stopped me from picking up this book boringgggggg i found myself rooting for each character at different times, for which i give credit to the author but when i look at the book as whole, i absolutely hated it first, the characters were put in the most absurd and unrealistic situations, the whole book was soooo unbelievable, i literally had to force myself to finish it it was really a struggle for me to keep reading, i was so uninterested in the book, the only driving force was my curiosity to find out how the house dispute is resolved needless to say, the end is so pathetic but the whole book was a disappointment so i guess i shouldn t have gotten my hopes up i am planning on seeing the movie tho, just to compare it to the book as for recommendations, i emphatically DON T recommend it to anyone, i found it too boring but if you do read it or have read it before, i d like to know what you thought.


  5. says:

    Rating 4.75 of fiveThe Publisher Says On a road crew in California, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force sees a way to restore his family s dignity in an attractive bungalow available on county auction But the house s owner, a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck, will fight for the one thing she has left And her lover, a married cop, will be driven to extremes to win her love In this masterpiece of American realism and Shakespearean consequence, Andre Dubus III s unforgettable characters careen toward inevitable conflict, their tragedy painting a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.My Review Behrani An exiled colonel in the Shah s army Kathy A fucked up druggie living off her inheritance Lester A major idiot whose law enforcement career is his last best shot at staying off welfare.Not one of these people will leave this book better than they entered it Kathy s only home is the one she inherited, and the county says it s not hers any because she hasn t paid the taxes She has, though She s completely unable to function in the world because she s hazed on drugs for so long that even when she s clean she can t think straight That means she can t figure out how to prove she has complied with the law.Behrani can t get an American life going He has savings one hesitates to imagine where the money came from originally that barely keep him afloat, and jobs that demean him but are all a man with no skills except being an Army officer can get But his son s college money is sufficient to buy a distressed property at auction Kathy s home, as it turns out He plans to renovate and flip it, using this as a stepping stone to American Dream level prosperity.Lester comes in as the deputy assigned to be sure Kathy gets out of the home that s no longer hers Love at first sight Lame o Lester and Loser Kathysurely the white trash Romeo and Juliet Pretty much.Dubus drags us through the legal system as the parties battle out the rights and wrongs of the case No one here is a good person, just a greedy selfish prick who deserves what, in the end, is meted out to them by the author s just and pitiless exercise of karmic debt collection.NOT an uplifting book My withers were wrung about every twenty pages, and I took frequent breaks in order to console myself with excessive liquor consumption and sordid sexual escapades.I love a book that brings out the best in me.There s a scene where Lame o Lester gets his first ever BJ from Loser Kathy, which Dubus goes into in a bizarrely flat and affectless way that completely desxualizes the act, makes it a symptom of a pathology and not an erotic or intimate or even sexy development It s just part of the sickness pervading these broken, unfixable people s existences.Did you get that A man wrote about the thing most men want than food and only slightly less than air, and made it unappealing.Dubus is a master of his craft He is an artist He can do anything he wants with words to make them dance in the reader s head to HIS tune, screw whatever you were expecting, reader He can fashion a story that, in its outlines, sounds juicy and ripe with conflict, and make it a sharp object that will deflate whatever happy illusions were still in your head about yourself and this Murrikin Dream we re supposed to be having, reader And that is why you should read this book.


  6. says:

    There are certain stories we know are going to end badly yet we read them The suspense is unbearable even when we have a shrewd idea what the outcome is going to be yet we keep on turning the pages Why Do we think that after all, we may be mistaken, and all may turn out right Or is it a masochistic tendency to keep hurting ourselves, and sigh with dejection and despair laced by a sneaky sense of satisfaction when the ending is even worse than we expected I don t know Yet we do that and the stories which have the power to make us do so attain the pedestal reserved for great tragic works.This novel outlining the doomed and intertwined lives of Behrani, a former colonel in Iran and now struggling to have a life of dignity in the USA Kathy Nicolo, a pretty young woman given a raw deal by life and Sheriff Lester Burdon, who falls in love with Kathy against his better judgement is such a book.Read it, if you are up to it.13 02 2017The current anti immigrant hysteria going on in US brought this novel to mind, again This novel is the tragedy of an immigrant who came to enjoy the American Dream.


  7. says:

    I loved this book It was amazing I never thought I would get so wrapped up in a story where the main character was actually a house or should I say a bungalow as that is how it is mostly referred to in the book In the first few chapters it seemed obvious who the good guy and who the bad guy in the story were, but I quickly found that line blurred and throughout the whole book I didn t know who to root for, I wanted them both to win The reason I only gave this book four stars instead of the five it should have deserved was because this book WAS amazing until it ended It was possibly the worst, most unsatisfying ending I ve ever read I sat there staring at the book going That s IT That s how he s ending the book Did I get a copy missing the last chapter The ending was not worthy of the rest of the book.


  8. says:

    The reason I love this book is because it beautifully presents a problem from two sides, then let s the reader decide which side he or she supports This isn t foxnews The author transitions from chapter to chapter between the two main characters, using wonderful language for each, and then lets the reader decide Neither of the characters were perfect, but neither could be classified as bad guys Andre Dubois III is my favorite modern author, his short stories are also amazing.


  9. says:

    I have never had such a horribly visceral reaction to a novel The story unfolded tragically but the writing unraveled something worse The author only succeeded in presenting two sides of a story equally I didn t care about either one, or the little abode widows walk or not.To torture myself further, I watched the movie I am a fan of Ben Kingsley and couldn t possibly see how he would go blindly into such a disappointing set up You know how the movie is never as good as the book this is one time where I was truly wishing would break that mold But it didn t Come on, Jennifer Connelly as the alcoholic, down trodden and desperate protagonist I was picturing Mary Louis Parker think The Client, 1994 It left me wanting my time back.


  10. says:

    Andre Dubus III s second novel, House of Sand and Fog was adapted to film in 2003 by a Ukrainian Americana director by the name of Vadim Perelman Luckily, Perelman enlisted the help of Roger Deakins A.S.C., who s really just a wizard behind the camera Also, Deakins is the man partially responsible for why most of the films by the Coen s look so inimical and striking in that trademark, neo noir way that they do He s also quite talented at dancing around landscapes and interiors with his camera in such a way that the characters seem almost like magical wraiths Kingsley s tactfully understated performance helps a bit, but between an all too liberal use of fog machines, and an oppressively swelling musical score the film is forced along as a excessive exhibition of charged melodrama, and clich s about the American Dream Then again, Perelman s adaptation is a fairly literal reenactment of the story.Details seem fairly important to this particular tale because Dubus III is or less prodding the reader to come to some sort of moral conclusion Again, they seem important to the story, but they aren t always terribly consistent To begin with, there is Kathy Nicolo What we know about her barely takes up a page her husband recently left her, they were recovering drug addicts She s now living in the coastal town of Corona, in a house that was left to her by her father, and she cleans other people s houses in order to make ends meet That s about the bulk of the information that the reader is given at the onset The conflict that begins the story is that the county is auctioning off her house due to delinquent business tax payments because, you know, she s a recovering addict they never open their mail, right She s hastily evacuated from her house one foggy morning, and begins to take last second, desperate legal actions.Meanwhile, Colonel Mahsoud Behrani, a former SAVAK S zem n e Ettela t va Amniyat e Keshvar basically the Shah s secret police, a nasty little organization, even by secret organization standards member who fled to the United States when the Iranian Monarchy was overthrown by Ayatollah Khomeini during the Iranian Revolution in the late 70 s Mr Behrani has been working on a road crew in the Bay Area, as well as at a convenience store at night He does this in order to keep up the illusion and appearance that his family is still living as luxuriously as they did in their homeland Noticing an ad in the paper for an ocean side bungalow that is being auctioned off at a ridiculously low price, Behrani sees his standard American Dream type opportunity to quit working and manipulate the real estate market by buying auctioned off homes and selling them at four times what he originally paid And really, there s nothing wrong with that or is there Anyway, he buys it, and quickly begins remodeling it, with the intention of moving in autumn It s summer, correct So, Ms Nicolo might be a pathetic recovering drug addict, but it turns out that there is no reason that she should have paid a business tax in the first place, or rather, the county goofed on the exact address the details in the book get a little hazy There is another passage that confusingly describes it as a mere 500 property tax Regardless, the county had no right to auction off her house, so her lawyer threatens to sue The county tries to rescind the sale, but it s too late, and Behrani is not budging He perceives this as a blunder on the part of foolish American bureaucracy, and feels that Ms Nicolo must take it up with the county Aware of the fact that he can quadruple his profit by selling it himself, he only agrees to sell it back to her for that amount Kathy can sue the state, but that will take months, she s living out of her car, and well, she believes that it s still her house Taking pity on this hapless female, knight in shining armor Deputy Lester Burdon, the officer that came to Kathy s door on that fateful foggy day, has taken a liking to her, despite the fact that he s a father of two and still married Apparently, he s been waiting for this opportunity for a long time, and this downtrodden, homeless, recovering drug addict is exactly the woman he needed to help him realize how much of a domestic zombie he had been all this time This is where things begin to get really goofy Kathy has already been making too many visits to the house Behrani becomes aware of this, turns her away, and obstinately refuses to believe that he should give up the home for what he originally paid After years of service Burdon suddenly becomes a loose cannon for Ms Nicolo s sake one particular visit illustrates his racism well, you could call it racism, it s hardly that convincing in the book , and the worst possible results occur.Dubus III takes some liberties with what is an otherwise straightforward narrative nothing too liberal really He begins by switching back and forth between the first person perspectives of Colonel Behrani and Kathy Nicolo It s clearly an attempt to offer a balanced account of the moral conflict of the story After part two, he switches to third person narration, and intermittently returns to Burdon, Behrani, and Nicolo as the tension builds The prose style is mostly straightforward American realism, nothing too minimal, but nothing terribly nuanced either Voicing for Behrani, he s probably most at his most compelling as a stylist, but he has a terrible habit of running headlong into mundane details, mostly irrelevant to the story Many of the log cabin scenes read like lackadaisical journal entries As he must have felt somewhat awkward, telling part of the story from an Iranian American point of view, he plays it safe, tossing in the occasional stylistic riff, seemingly a result of a sufficient amount of research The important thing here is that Dubus III does manage to avoid a bias of any specific character s perspective, thus strengthening the conversational aspect of his moral storytelling capabilities.So then, in the end, is Dubus III suggesting that this is a small story of the complications inherent in pursuing the American Dream He seems to suggest that it can be profitable for some, and not so much for others the one s that don t profit There is also a familiar thematic quality found in the characters of Nicolo and Burdon who are or less suggested to be the bad guys here that was noticeable in his first book The Cage Keeper and Other Stories, people who could only be described as the relatively well intentioned in society who sometimes end up falling through the cracks Usually these people are ex cons or addicts who realize what they ve done wrong, yet who are also seemingly predisposed toward screwing up their lives, no matter how much they enact change, even for brief periods of time Actually, Dubus III s humanitarian preoccupations seem reminiscent of Hubert Selby Jr and Flannery O Connor, in that he shares a similar preoccupation with the obstinacy of human depravity In the case of certain characters of his, they can t help but continuously fail, and he wants to see them do so it doesn t seem to hurt that they also manage to bring level headed or impressionable people down with them Culturally speaking, this is a dodgy book Dubus III had very specific reasons for choosing an ex SAVAK member as one of his main characters To add a weak willed white female character such as Kathy to the story seems to indicate that he is beckoning the reader to make a seriously difficult judgment call concerning who the villain really is here whether Ms Nicolo is simply a weak woman, prone to blaming other people for her own irresponsibility, or whether it s that Behrani is a greedy misogynist a human relic of an inhumane empire that was trumped by the Iranian peoples refusal to live in constant fear It could be that while Kathy doesn t do anything wrong or immoral at the beginning of the story, her proclivity for irresponsible life choices, eventually turns a small mess, into an enormous one Either that, or substance abuse is to blame, but Dubus III doesn t seem to dwell on that specific issue intensely enough And there is also the issue of Bahrani s values, which could hardly be described as sympathetic to women this is apparent in his various descriptions of Kathy throughout the book the epithet mother whore is used quite a bit He s also been know to physically assault his own wife Actually, Lester Burdon s character doesn t display much sympathy for women or human life at all really But it would hardly be accurate to say that misogyny is the true villain here And in a very Selbyesque fashion, these three characters become so obsessed with their respective pursuits of happiness, that their purported selflessness is really something of a lie in the end It s just difficult to tell who Dubus III is siding with, or who s in the right Not that all novels should have such a morally tight conclusion, but toward the end, the reader can t help but wonder if he is even aware of ever having a specific moral point to begin with Although, a nymphlike Jennifer Connely plays Kathy in the Perelman film, which makes it a little convincing.