House of sand and fog book review
House of Sand and Fog movie review () | Roger EbertThe longing to own a house by the side of the road is one of the oldest of humanity's stories. Perhaps for this reason it also functions as subtext in much of our literature, and now provides the momentum for Andre Dubus III's outstanding new novel, House of Sand and Fog. The speaker here is Colonel Behrani, formerly of the Iranian Air Force, now owner of a bungalow on a California hillside. But that's no angel in his house -- she's Kathy Nicolo, a recovering addict, who believes that the Colonel's bungalow rightfully belongs to her. Actually, through an error at the county tax office, she's right.
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Thank you! In an enthralling tragedy built on a foundation of small misfortunes, Dubus Bluesman , , etc. It was bad enough when Kathy Lazaro stepped out of the shower one morning to find herself evicted from her house, a small bungalow to be auctioned the very next day in a county tax sale; bad enough that her recovering-addict husband had left her some time before, and that she had no friends at all in California to help her move or put her up. Then she also had to fall for the guy who evicted her, Deputy Les Burdon—married, with two kids. Then Kathy tries to kill herself, and Les takes the law into his own hands.
Under the gray sky we passed one-story houses with small grass lawns. But no matter, if the town is a stand-in, the emotions in this book are not. As a side note, check out this link to see a picture of the house they used in the movie, which is now for sale.
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, more 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, depleting his son's entire college fund. He plans to renovate the house and then resell it for much more 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.