In this page-turning, breathtaking novel, the characters will walk off the page and into your life. And a small house will seem like the most important piece of territory in the world.
On a road crew in California, a former colonel in the Iranian Air Force under the Shah yearns to restore his family's dignity. When an attractive bungalow comes available on county auction for a fraction of its value, he sees a great opportunity for himself, his wife, and his children. But the house's former owner, a recovering alcoholic and addict down on her luck, doesn't see it that way, nor does her lover, a married cop driven to extremes to win her love and get her house back.
Dubus has an extraordinary ability to get us inside each of his characters, to see the world as it is for each of them. These are people with ordinary flaws, people just looking for a small piece of ground to stand on, driven by the same needs into inevitable conflict—a conflict in which even the reader, rooting for all of them, has no safe haven.
Unfolding relentlessly from its tense and colorful first lines, House of Sand and Fog is a narrative triumph. It turns both the traditional immigrant success story and a modern love story upside down with a heartrending outcome, in a masterstroke of American realism and Shakespearean consequence. It is an American tragedy, and a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.
“Andre Dubus III has illuminated one of the great issues of the end of this century—the collision of cultures—and he’s done it with a novel of extraordinary narrative power and stylistic beauty. House of Sand and Fog is a compelling and important book.”
“I loved this novel…I just did not want to put it down. It manages to tell both sides of the same story convincingly and honestly, and I know it had to be hard to write. But the good writing shines on every page, and it delights and saddens at the same time. This really is a fine piece of work.”
“House of Sand and Fog is a novel of terrible truths. Everyone here wants what we want—love, justice, a home—and all their good intentions collide, violently, inevitably, in a story of remarkable power and veracity and tenderness. Andre Dubus III has a keen and generous eye, and the great gift of bestowing dignity on even the most confused of his people. I cared for them all, and mourned their fates.”
“A mixture of classical tragedy perfectly imbued with film noir…House of Sand and Fog is the work of a writer who is the real thing.”
“Elegant and powerful…An unusual and volatile literary thriller.”
“It is rare these days to encounter a novel that follows the rules of Greek tragedy…Dubus is a taker of risks, and here he ups the ante by making his protagonist an immigrant trying to establish a foothold in America…A craftsman of character and dialogue, Dubus has dare to push his limits.”
“This is the achingly real tale of what happens when the American Dream goes awry…A poignant drama that is engrossing…A book full of longing, a vivid and exquisitely realized snapshot of America’s underside.”
“The most rending kind of war is not between two hatreds, but between two hopes…Dubus sets out the growing confrontation with chilly ingenuity and a remarkably observant compassion…[House of Sand and Fog is a] fine and prophetic novel.”
“Dubus proves himself both an exquisitely careful craftsman and a painstaking recorder of society…This is fiction that does not make a mockery of relevance. It speaks of our time and place with craft and sympathy, confronting us with an America that remains, after all, a land of ever-new collisions.”
“A smart, raw study in the clash of cultures…An utterly believable, riveting journey…[Dubus] has hit a nerve…At the center of House of Sand and Fog, as perhaps at the center of much of the world’s trouble, is the simple desire for a home…Dubus has written a story that one cannot help but care about.”
“Memorable…[an] affecting, subtle portrait of two hostile but equally fragile camps.”
“Exceptional storytelling, true to life…searing and insightful…You can’t help but be impressed.”
“This is a story, told in highly visual, descriptive language, about how people you might choose to be your neighbors are repeatedly trapped by circumstances and transformed by events until finally they can—and do—destroy one another.”
“Unputdownable…a page-turner that’s a mind-opener—a thriller with moral complexity, subtle commentary on global politics, and pretty good sex.”