Friday, April 18, 2008

The House of Sand and Fog By Andre Dubus III

library book
Warning: Spoiler.

Massoud Amir Behrani, a former colonel exiled from Iran after a political uprising is now a trash collector and convenience store clerk. Kathy Nicolo, a former drug addict whose husband left her, has been wrongfully evicted from her home by the county.
Behrani buys the house at auction and plans to renovate and resell it for for a large profit. Kathy moves out and he moves his family in. Kathy meets Deputy Lester Burdon, and they become close while they work to get Kathy's house back. She hires a lawyer but is not successful. In the eyes of the law, the Behranis legally own the house.

Drunk and depressed, Kathy goes to her former home and attempts to kill herself twice, first trying to shoot herself and secondly overdosing on pills. The Behranis manage to stop her both times and they put her in a bedroom to sleep it off. Lester arrives, thinks the family has hurt Kathy, and locks the Behranis in their bathroom at gunpoint until they agree to sell the house back to Kathy. The Behranis finally agree to sell it back and Lester takes them to the county office. Massoud’s son gets a hold of Lester's gun and is shot by the deputies that that arrive on the scene. When Massoud finds out that his son is dead, he is overcome with grief and rage at both Lester and Kathy. He returns to the house, finds Kathy, strangles her and leaves her for dead. He then suffocates his wife, who was asleep in the bedroom. he puts on his old uniform and suffocates himself.

Kathy and Lester are imprisoned and awaiting trial at the end of the book.

How do I feel about this book? Good question. On one level I found it to be a very good read. On another level I was angered by the stupidity of the county and Lester V. Burdon. It was sad.

Oprah's Book Club, literature, tragedy

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