Friday, March 21, 2008

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III
365 pages
Finished 3/14/08

I've been wanting to read this book since the movie came out years ago - the movie looked fabulous, but I thought that I should read the book first. Fast forward how many years, and I still hadn't read it.

The book is told basically in two views - the first, Colonel Behrani, an immigrant from Iran struggling in America with his wife and teenage son. In Iran, the Colonel was a wealthy, well respected man, but in the US, he is just struggling to make ends meet while his wife still spends and tries to maintain the air of their old wealth. The Colonel buys a foreclosure house at the beginning of the book, and quickly moves in. The second view is that of Kathy, the person whose house was foreclosed on her. She is a recovering addict, and the selling of her house was done due to a tax problem with the county - something that was not her fault. The story then alternates between the two, as Kathy tries to get her house back, and the Colonel tried to regain his pride while keeping the house he bought in good faith.

To be quite honest, I kept going back and forth with this book. I loved the Colonel's story, and whenever it focused on him, I was really into the book. When the story went to Kathy, and her new relationship with a married sheriff, my eyes glassed over and I tried not to fall asleep. Kathy just wasn't an interesting or likable character.

The best part of the book by far was the last 50 pages or so. The ending was awesome - I honestly didn't see it coming. It was great, and that's really what made me end up liking the book overall (and give it a better rating than I was planning for the first 300 pages.

Three stars.

1 comment:

Charlie said...

I've had this on my pile for a while -- I saw the movie first, and it sounds like the characters at least were pretty faithful to the book. I'll have to give actually reading it a try!