Thursday, June 19, 2008

House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog House of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Reading this book is like being frozen to the spot while you're watching a train wreck about to happen. It's an emotional wringer. Ultimately, I have to say it's 3.5 stars out of 5. (SPOILER ALERT) I did pop out of the narrative a few times, mostly due to goofy stuff (such as inaccuracies about the SF Bay Area; eg, having BART in Pacifica?!). But really, the basic premise of the novel isn't plausible. I couldn't see the county evicting somebody one day and then auctioning the place off the very next day. No govt agency is THAT efficient! Thus I was very aware I was reading fiction the whole time. On the other hand, I thought the switching narrative viewpoints were handled expertly, and I liked how each of the major characters had flaws to the point of even being dislikable, but I still found reason to pull for each of them. Or at least I understood each of them and could empathize. Another problem is the Colonel commits suicide at the end: but if he's dead, how can he be telling the story? I also found it a little unbelievable that deputy sheriff Burdon (admittedly a good name for him) unravelled to the extent that he did. I'd still recommend the book despite its flaws.

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Hahn at Home said...

He's telling it from beyond.

I skipped the movie because I felt the same way.

Takes a foreclosed house about, oh, say, 15 months to get to auction here.

Joyce said...

Well, if he's telling his part from The Great Beyond, how can what's her name be telling the story from the here and now? (Oops, blew the ending since you're supposed to think she's dead until she wakes up in the hospital.)

I still am curious to see the movie because it was nominated for so many acting awards and won a couple, and the woman who played the Colonel's wife was reportedly phenomenal. I was thinking about renting and watching it with my partner....

But she might hate it; her taste runs more to Adam Sandler flicks. I wonder what that means about me! LOL

Hahn at Home said...

It won acting awards because Sir Ben Kingsley was in it - that's just a given anymore! Show a movie where British accents are involved and you got an Academy Award winner for sure!

Watch yours with the promise of a Sandler film festival after.