House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog

Book - 1999
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Tense with suspense from the first line, this is one of the great American realist novels. 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.House of Sand and Fog is a narrative triumph in which a traditional immigrant success story and a modern love story are turned upside down with brutal, heartrending consequences. It is an American tragedy, and a shockingly true picture of the country we live in today.
Publisher: New York : Norton, 1999.
ISBN: 9780393046977
Characteristics: 365 p. ;,24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Sep 04, 2019

Pub date Oct

Jun 05, 2019

Just recently found this book where it was being given away free. I started reading and began to wonder what is the point. My initial opinion is that Kathy does not have a leg to stand on. She threw away all of her bills and notices. Clearly she was negligent and no longer has a claim to the house. I suspect from reading reviews here on CML and other reviews that things do not go well for the 3 main people involved. But again, she absolutely is in the wrong. Probably won't finish the book, but just wanted to share.

Feb 05, 2016

One of my all time favorite books. I've read it cover to cover 3x. Great characters and what a unique and compelling story.

Sep 02, 2014

A serious work of literary fiction and a classic page-turner. No cheap thrills here; the suspense is generated by deeply rendered characters, beautiful writing and nail-biting pacing.

May 31, 2013

Shakespeare descibed it this way: "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing," Dubus describes it thusly: "all this rising and falling and nothing changing that feels like living," an existence that averages out to zero. If not a Great American Novel, House of Sand & Fog is at least a Great Californian Novel. His California coast is not made of beachbabes, but waves that serve as a reminder of this meaningless rising & falling. You know when he describes the protagonist as "heavy as sand" that this is not the airy sand that you let flow through your fingers on a beach; it is the sand of sandbags, of natural disasters and wars. ****************************************************** Both the book and the movie ooze Bay Area, and it's a testament to the writer that most of the lines in the movie are taken directly from the source. ********************** Ref: pg 180, 210

May 27, 2013

One of my favourite novels of all time, I had to read it in grade 11 for an assignment and it's one of the few times I've been grateful for assigned novels. Interesting themes and characters.

BrigidScott Jan 17, 2012

Great character development. Bravo!

Sep 24, 2011

Recommended by my girlfriend, this is and excellent story. A real page-turner with lots of twists and an unexpected ending.

Sep 20, 2010

A quintessential Shakespearean tragedy, agonizing yet exquisite

carolynv May 19, 2010

This is a great read. It draws you into the lives of the protagonists so well. Highly recommended.

View All Comments


Add Notices
Mar 19, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

Mar 19, 2008

Violence: This title contains Violence.

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Sep 24, 2011

RONALD NEWTON thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at LPL

To Top