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House of Sand and Fog audiobook

  • By: Andre Dubus
  • Narrator: Andre Dubus
  • Length: 13 hours 53 minutes
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • Publish date: November 11, 2003
  • Language: English
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House of Sand and Fog Audiobook Summary

In this riveting novel of almost unbearable suspense, three fragile yet determined people become dangerously entangled in a relentlessly escalating crisis. Colonel Behrani, once a wealthy man in Iran, is now a struggling immigrant willing to bet everything he has to restore his family’s dignity. Kathy Nicolo is a troubled young woman whose house is all she has left, and who refuses to let her hard-won stability slip away from her. Sheriff Lester Burdon, a married man who finds himself falling in love with Kathy, becomes obsessed with helping her fight for justice.

Drawn by their competing desires to the same small house in the California hills and doomed by their tragic inability to understand one another, the three converge in an explosive collision course. Combining unadorned realism with profound empathy, House of Sand and Fog marks the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction.

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House of Sand and Fog Audiobook Narrator

Andre Dubus is the narrator of House of Sand and Fog audiobook that was written by Andre Dubus

Andre Dubus III is the author of two previous books, Bluesman and The Cage Keeper.

About the Author(s) of House of Sand and Fog

Andre Dubus is the author of House of Sand and Fog

House of Sand and Fog Full Details

NarratorAndre Dubus
Length13 hours 53 minutes
AuthorAndre Dubus
Release dateNovember 11, 2003

Additional info

The publisher of the House of Sand and Fog is HarperAudio. The imprint is HarperAudio. It is supplied by HarperAudio. The ISBN-13 is 9780060735616.

Global Availability

This book is only available in the United States.

Goodreads Reviews


August 19, 2018

“And that's what I wanted: obliteration. Decimation. Just an instant smear of me right out of all this rising and falling and nothing changing that feels like living.” In the beginning there was Kathy Nicolo. She is an addict who has been through a drug rehabilitation program. She has been flying straight for a while. She cleans houses for a modest living. She spends most of her free time watching movies, one after the other. All is going okay until she has a dispute with the county over the house her father left her and her brother. They claim she owes back taxes. She goes down to the county offices and gets it “sorted out”, but she continues to get letters from the county office which she promptly throws away without opening. Anybody who has ever dealt with any level of bureaucracy knows that issues are not always “sorted out” the first time. The problem is that Kathy doesn’t have much experience dealing with anything. She avoids, evades, and hits the escape hatch any time anything gets too real. The next thing she knows the cops are on her doorstep explaining to her that she has an order to vacate. Her property has been seized. She meets Deputy Sheriff Lester Burdon as he is escorting her off her property. She can tell by the way he is looking at her that he is attracted to her. She is pretty, waifish, and vulnerable. He has a wife and two kids, but every time he makes love with his wife it feels like he is making out with his sister. They are best friends, comfortable with each other, and like a lot of people he interprets that to mean the spark is gone from the marriage. Kathy, as he soon finds out, is much more than a spark. She is more like a full on raging forest fire. The county sells her property quickly. This is where Colonel Massoud Behrani enters the plot. He and his family were lucky to escape Iran when the Shah is ousted. He was high enough up in the government to see his name appear on the blacklists. His wife has never really forgiven him for the circumstances that have made them immigrants in America. They did escape with some money, but much of that has been eaten up by keeping up appearances with the community of Persians in California. Behrani works two crappy jobs, one picking up trash along the highways and the other as a late night convenience clerk. Both jobs that are difficult to hire Americans to do at any price. “For our excess we lost everything.”It is no wonder to me that immigrants excel in the United States. They take chances. They work hard. They don’t expect anything for nothing. Behrani is no exception and when Kathy’s house comes up for auction he takes the last of their savings and buys the house. As it turns out he is also lucky that only two other bidders show up and he buys the house for a fraction of the value. Now I say lucky, but I always feel we make our own luck. Luck never just happens, you have to give luck a chance to reward you. In his mind he can already see the real estate empire that this first house will help finance. Kathy and Lester hit it off. ”I felt a little better as I pulled the T-shirt over my head and caught the faint scent of vomit and gun oil. Me and Lester.” They are screwing like bunnies and when they are together everything is fine, but when they are apart it becomes readily apparent that their relationship is built out of sand. He starts thinking about how easily she fell into bed with him. She starts thinking he is going to go back to his wife and kids. Kathy really hates the idea of Colonel Behrani and his family in HER house. The county admits it made a mistake, but the sales transaction with Behrani is legal. He would have to agree to sell the house back to the county for what he paid for it. His visions of a hefty profit float up into the fog. Kathy isn’t adhering to the program. ”And I knew to any of my counselors back East my life wouldn’t look very manageable; I was drinking again, and smoking; I was sleeping with a man who’d just left his family, all while I was supposed to be getting back the house I’d somehow lost. I knew they would call the drinking a slip, the smoking a crutch, the love making ‘sex as medication,’ and the house fiasco a disaster my lack of recovery had invited upon itself, and on me.” Embracing those addictions is making her unstable world spin faster while her mind spins slower. It is an unusual situation with all parties being victims of an unresolvable issue with the county. Given what we know about Behrani he isn’t who Kathy thinks he is. Kathy isn’t really who he thinks she is either. As the plot advances we also find out that Lester isn’t who anyone thinks he is either. Of course, Kathy is like nitroglycerin in his head. It always amazes me how one little mistake can lead to such complete chaos. Andre Dubus III keeps adding snakes to the plot until it is all so twisted together that only the sword of Alexander the Great will untie it. Dubus reveals all the characters, even the second tier characters, with such depth that I felt like I know these people. My mind even now is still weighing all the ramifications from everyone’s decisions as if this is an ongoing crisis that is still yet to be resolved. Andre Dubus has done his homework on this very American novel.I enjoyed the real estate aspects of the plot. I also liked the way that Dubus has us ride along with each character giving us free access to their inner thoughts, their hopes, and desires. He also shows how many chances people get to turn their life around. The many hands that are outstretched to keep them from falling too far. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much help someone receives they continue to make the same bad decisions until tragedy overtakes them sometimes with equally tragic results for others. They made a movie out of this book in 2003. I’ve not seen the film. I, as usual, skipped the film until I had a chance to read the book. From what I’ve read about the movie they significantly changed the ending, leaving some very important and pivotal scenes in the book out of the plot of the movie. I’m not discouraged because I know that films are a different entity from the book that inspired them. I will report back after watching the movie. If you wish to see more of my most recent book and movie reviews, visit http://www.jeffreykeeten.comI also have a Facebook blogger page at:https://www.facebook.com/JeffreyKeeten


February 19, 2022

House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus IIIHouse of Sand and Fog is a 1999 novel by Andre Dubus III. It was selected for Oprah's Book Club in 2000, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction, and was adapted into the 2003 film, House of Sand and Fog.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. He bets his son's entire college fund, planning 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. Meanwhile, when Kathy moves out, she meets Deputy Lester Burdon. They go through the system, hiring a lawyer to fight Kathy's wrongful eviction, but although the County admits the error, Behrani insists that he will not return the house unless he's paid what it's worth, not merely the low sum he paid at auction. ...تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و هشتم ماه آوریل سال2003میلادیعنوان: خانه شن و مه؛ نویسنده: آندره دبیوس؛ مترجم: مهدی قراچه داغی؛ تهران، پیکان، سال1381؛ در368ص؛ شابک9643282104؛ چاپ دوم سال1383؛ چاپ سوم سال1386؛ موضوع امریکائیهای ایرانی تبار از نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده20مداستان، در نخستین سالهای دهه ی نود، از سده ی بیستم میلادی، صورت می‌گیرد؛ «امیر مسعود بهرانی»، یک «سرهنگ نیروی هوایی شاهنشاهی ایران»، در پی انقلاب سال هزار و سیصد و پنجاه و هفت هجری خورشیدی، همراه با همسرش «نادیا»، و پسر نوجوانشان «اسماعیل»، به «آمریکا» کوچ می‌کنند؛ ایشان در «سانفرانسیسکو»، ناگزیر می‌شوند، برای ادامه ی زندگی به سبک اشرافی گذشته‌ ی خویش، به کارهای سخت روی آورند؛ با دیدن آگهی حراج یک خانه، در نزدیکی ساحل، به خرید خانه‌ ای کوچک و دنج، مبادرت می‌کنند، که از سوی شهرستان آن ناحیه، به حراج گذاشته شده، ساکن پیشین آن خانه، زنی جوان و افسرده، با نام «کاترین» است، که همسرش او را ترک کرده، و خانه از پدرش، به او به ارث رسیده‌ است؛ اما «کاترین»، به دلیل عدم توجه به پرداخت مالیات‌های سالانه، خانه را از دست داده، و اکنون «بهرانی‌»ها ساکن آن‌ هستند؛ «کاترین» و خانواده ی سرهنگ «بهرانی»، در واقع بدون آنکه هیچ‌ کدام تقصیری داشته باشند، در تلاش برای تصاحب آن خانه، با هم در تقابل قرار می‌گیرند؛ و ...؛تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 16/01/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ 30/11/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی


May 06, 2017

A young woman in California has lost her husband and now her house. The husband took off after just a couple of years of marriage. She lost the house due to a bureaucratic snafu about over-due taxes. She really didn’t owe the taxes but she simply threw out mail without reading it, so now the house has been sold out from under her and auctioned off to an Iranian immigrant family. She can probably get it back but it will take years of litigation and lawyers she can’t afford on her salary from cleaning houses for a Merry Maids type outfit. As an ex-alcoholic and ex-cocaine user, she’s living in cheap motels and heading back into a downward spiral until she meets a local cop and they fall in love; he falls harder than she. But he brings two big problems: he’s married with young kids and his idea of helping her is threatening the Iranians in various ways to get them to move out. He separates from his wife and they move into a friend’s hunting cabin.All three major characters are deeply flawed. She’s a bundle of issues – shall we say a hot mess? The bullying cop admits to previously framing a criminal by planting drugs on him (although for a good cause – he was a wife-beater). The Iranian was a colonel under the Shah and although not in SAVAK he hung out with those guys so we know he’s no prize. He is abusive to both his wife and son. And he is obsessed with making money off the eventual sale of the house so he refuses the county’s offer to give the house back with a refund of what he paid at auction. The young woman and the cop are very Trump-like in their attitudes toward the immigrants; more-or-less: “Look at them ARABS in their fancy cars in MY house playing FOREIGN music and speaking a FOREIGN language in their fancy clothes” etc. The cop understands they are not “Arabs” but she never gets it.There’s some good writing, as in this description of a truck stop: “…dark place full of independent truckers coming off days on the road alone, men who wore their loneliness on their shirtsleeves like a badge in need of a polish.” We’re treated to a lot of pithy Iranian idioms: ““if there is no snake at your feet, do not lift rocks at the side of the road.” I also think it’s one of the best depictions I have read of the trauma a woman goes though in having an affair with a married man. I recall this book coming out years ago (1999) and seeing it in the top-10 book rack at every supermarket and drug-store and thinking “that looks interesting.” And it is, but it’s also a bit slow in places. (They’re going back to the cabin AGAIN? To rehash everything once more?) Still a good read as it heads toward its tragic ending. It was an Oprah pick and was made into a movie in 2003. Photo from Zillow


February 13, 2017

** spoiler alert ** There are certain stories we know are going to end badly: yet we read them. The suspense is unbearable even when we have a shrewd idea what the outcome is going to be: yet we keep on turning the pages. Why? Do we think that after all, we may be mistaken, and all may turn out right? Or is it a masochistic tendency to keep hurting ourselves, and sigh with dejection and despair (laced by a sneaky sense of satisfaction) when the ending is even worse than we expected? I don't know. Yet we do that; and the stories which have the power to make us do so attain the pedestal reserved for great tragic works.This novel - outlining the doomed and intertwined lives of Behrani, a former colonel in Iran and now struggling to have a life of dignity in the USA; Kathy Nicolo, a pretty young woman given a raw deal by life; and Sheriff Lester Burdon, who falls in love with Kathy against his better judgement - is such a book.Read it, if you are up to it.13/02/2017The current anti-immigrant hysteria going on in US brought this novel to mind, again. This novel is the tragedy of an immigrant who came to enjoy the American Dream.


April 20, 2007

I loved this book. It was amazing. I never thought I would get so wrapped up in a story where the main character was actually a house (or should I say a "bungalow" as that is how it is mostly referred to in the book). In the first few chapters it seemed obvious who the good guy and who the bad guy in the story were, but I quickly found that line blurred and throughout the whole book I didn't know who to root for, I wanted them both to win. The reason I only gave this book four stars instead of the five it should have deserved was because this book WAS amazing... until it ended. It was possibly the worst, most unsatisfying ending I've ever read. I sat there staring at the book going "That's IT? That's how he's ending the book? Did I get a copy missing the last chapter?" The ending was not worthy of the rest of the book.


June 13, 2007

The reason I love this book is because it beautifully presents a problem from two sides, then let's the reader decide which side he or she supports. This isn't foxnews. The author transitions from chapter to chapter between the two main characters, using wonderful language for each, and then lets th


October 23, 2008

I'll spare reviewing the entire plot, since I see many posters have done a fine job already. My thought through this book was that Kathy was responsible for most of the problems in this story. She was the one who ignored the tax notices (having answered them would have fixed the clerical error), she was the one who went to the Iranians home after being told not to by her lawyer, and she didn't stand up to her boyfriend when the situation went completely out of control.Granted, her entire life was sad and filled with poor choices....the most of which was ignoring her tax notices.The end was sad and left me depressed, but I thought about it for a few more days. Mostly I just got cranky with Kathy's poor choices and how they rippled out to others.


October 05, 2019

Wow. What a book. I have to admit that his has been on my bookshelves for at least a couple years now. I have taken it down at least a couple times now, each time deterred by the vague premise. Not because it was vague, necessarily, but because what I could glean from it did not appeal to me. Immigrants? Another make it in America story? The Land of Opportunity? Very few out of the many books of this type are worth reading. Like books detailing lives during World War II, most notably concentration camps and Nazis. No offense should be taken when I say that these stories tend to be a dime a dozen. The problem is every writer, proficient or not, finds these to be the easiest topics, the emotional scenes, the psychological torment, already built in to the framework, ready to go. Well, that is where they go wrong. Good writing and a good story is not even about that. A good writer needs to make their own connection to their readers. Anyhow, this time around, I luckily focused more on the party about "a Shakespearean Tragedy". I thought about it. The typical immigrant story. But. Wait! How did I not notice before that it is most certainly not the typical (as far as fiction goes), seeing as it is a tragedy? A Shakespearean one, miserable? And so I began reading again. The first few chapters I had read before. But this time, knowing this was not simply another outline of some Middle Eastern man working physical wage labor in order to "Live the American Dream", but one that might actually end realistically, I read with much more excitement and vigor. And that thrill kept itself going for most of the book at a steady pace. Until the last fifty to one hundred pages, in which it was heightened three fold. How was this to end? I knew it was a tragedy, but who was going to die? Who was merely to have an unhappy ending? How Shakespearean was it? Completely would of course mean the death of everyone. A loose interpretation would mean at least a few characters. Who would die? Who would live? Who would merely be heartbroken and miserable? More importantly, how? And why would it all have to end this way? Why are the characters not taking other ways out? Why are they forcing circumstances to reach such an tragically inevitable finish? A conclusion at the end of this book affirming a belief I have long had in regards to films, television shows, and books alike from this nation: more tragic endings, please. It was such a welcome change to read a story with the exact opposite of the typical happy ending. A Shakespearean tragedy, modernized. Unlike other interpretations, there are no other Shakespearean elements aside from this. No retelling of a Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet. So simple, yet so ingenious. One of those things that causes one to ponder why it has not been done before (so well, to my knowledge). Perhaps this level of tragedy is not needed, but other writers seem unable to resist overshadowing any little tragedy so as to finish with an overall happy ending. And guess what? That is not real life. Quite often, terrible things happen. And that's that. Other countries get this. (Some countries even specialize in tragedies. Here's looking at you, Korea.) When are we to get on board? As I mentioned and I should be obvious, not only are these types of books sorely needed, but they need to be done right. I am not quite sure of the exacts, as far as the multitude of ways I am sure exist to interpret "right", though I do know that Dubus has one version down pat. *** Spoilers *** A short summary. Behrani, a respected Colonel in the Iranian Air Force, has immigrated to the States in order to escape a government equivalent to the SWAT Team. His wife, Nadereh (Nadi), daughter Soroya, and son Esmail, have come with him. Nadi was none too happy about it and still had the occasional crying fights with him about it (unfortunately ending in him sleeping and hitting her a few times). Esmail is an ideal son, respectful, obedient, loving, and trusting. Soroya is a newlywed and no longer lives with them. Much to Behrani's disapproval, she is embarrassed and offended by her family's low standing in their new country; she feels the need to make up for this by frequent stories of their former grace and wealth in Iran. Behrani currently works physical labor. He had switched places of employment several times, but nothing much changes. Embarrassed, he hides these facts from his own family, dressing in a full suit and tie every morning. He decides to invest everything his family has in real estate. Behind his wife's back, he purchases a nice bungalow in an auction, shocked by his good luck. He won it at one fourth of its market value. The plan is the resell it immediately to get his family in the black and on their way to real success. When her inevitably tells his wife they must move, then move again after he resells the new place, she is furious. Although she ultimately bows her head and followed his wishes, something integral changes in their relationship. It is not long before they all find out (though Behrani tries to hide this from his family) the reason for his supposed luck. Kathy Nicolo, the former owner of the house, was wrongly accused of not paying back taxes and had her home abruptly seized by the county. By the time they realize their mistake, Behrani has already taken full possession. Like many men, Behrani feels the responsibility of his family lies entirely on his shoulders. His downfall is his pride, his unwillingness to change things that worked in his home country but may not in his new one, and his stubbornness to do whatever it takes to achieve what he deems his family deserves, even in the face of great risk and logic that says otherwise. Stubbornly, he refuses to give in and sell the house back to the county, even after finding out that Kathy was indeed wrongly accused, her boyfriend Lester, a police officer, comes to threaten him, Kathy herself comes to the house in tears pleading, that this is all she has left (true to a certain extent; she is a recovering drug and alcohol addict and once this fiasco begins, she relapses), the inheritance from her father, Behrani's wife and son even encourage him to return the house to Kathy. Kathy is devastated to find Behrani making renovations, seeing the inside completely changed when she visits his wife, the family wining and dining wealthy Iranians on the front lawn, and, most of all, when he almost immediately puts it on the market for sale. One of the times when he returns home to find Kathy talking to his wife, he violently pushed and tackles her, yelling for her to leave his family alone, though Nederah is meanwhile in tears, calling him names and imploring him to stop, to leave her alone. The last time the two of them meet, he finds Kathy sitting in her car on the driveway, gun in hands, ready to commit suicide. Still, Behrani feels the house is rightfully his. He was fortunate enough to win the house for one forth its value in the auction and is determined to use the profit to get his family back to a wealthy or at least comfortable place, where he will never again need manual labor. How much is he willing to risk? Kathy has nothing to lose, it seems. But he does. In fact, as it turns out, he has everything to lose. In the end, Lester holds the three Behrani hostage in their own home, agreeing to let them go only when Behrani signs the house back to Kathy. Obviously, he would be completely naïve to believe this plan would ever work. As soon as Behrani does what he is being demanded to, he can immediately turn around, press charges, and get the house back. Not to mention ruining Kathy and Lester's lives forever. Now that he had nothing to lose, Lester pushes forward. Alas, once he is in the hostage situation, his two choices are to push forward and hope that Behrani does not press charges, or simply give up. In the final showdown, Nederah back at the house, he takes Esmail and Colonel Behrani to the courthouse and walks them in. In a moment of distraction, Esmail manages to grab his gun and turn it on him. Nearby screams, police officers in the vicinity turn their guns on him, demanding him to drop his weapon. He looks to his father for guidance, and in a look that he will regret until he dies, he tells his son to not let go of it. Second later, Esmail is shot. Lethally. And the regret "until he dies" becomes a mere few hours. He returns to his house, murders Kathy, suffocates his sleeping wife. Then, donning his Colonel's uniform, turns the gun on himself, laying down next to his wife. Meanwhile, in his shock and guilt, Lester confesses everything. He is incarcerated along with Kathy. A refreshing, tragic, most Shakespearean ending, no? Well, I loved it.


June 27, 2013

After finishing House of Sand and Fog, I read some reviews on Kindle. Most gave four or five stars but scattered among those were a few one and two stars with comments such as 'the sale of the house could have been prevented, the premise just wasn't plausible and landscape description was wrong.' The House was the center, the subject and even in the title of the book. The two main characters, an Iranian military colonel under the Shah who brought his family to America after the fall of the Shah otherwise they would be excuted; and a recovering addict (Kathy) whose husband left her. The third main character is a married deputy sheriff who falls in love with Kathy. The characters seem to circle the house as the center of their universe loosing sight (or never knowing) what is really important in their life. Eventually they end in the perfect storm. Their storm is due, in part, to "their tragic inability to understand one another" as stated on the back cover. The lack of cultural differences simply makes the lack of understanding even deeper and more profound. The book is written in the first person by some main characters and although it skips back and fourth, it was not confusing to me at all. Written in the first person gave me a clear picture of what the character was mentally going through. Metaphors weave throughout the book and I found Dubus' writing very skillful. A book to read when it's bright and sunny because it's not uplifting at all but nevertheless, it is very, very good. I stand with the five stars on this engrossing book and look forward to reading Dubus' memoir which came out earlier this year.


July 18, 2021

I read this book so long ago. I still find it memorable. The writing was remarkable.The movie adaptation was terrific.I should re-read it.


July 13, 2020

4.5 stars.Didn’t love the ending but the journey is very unique and messed up, just how I like my books!

Terrie (mostly "in" now)

July 21, 2020

“The House of Sand and Fog” by Andre Dubus III is a powerful read! It’s about cultural misconceptions and achieving the “American Dream”. The story is told through two different heart wrenching and believable perspectives. It was hard to put down and a bit painful to read. I saw the movie years ago and wanted a broader picture of the characters. The book did this for me! The characters were so “alive” through the writers words I felt I was there watching it all! As you read through the scenarios this writer portrays through the characters in this book, you know they are shockingly real! It’s a study of how swiftly everything can go wrong and everyone involved can change through lack of empathy and integrity. All of this could happen! Maybe it already has... I loved this book and highly recommend it to all!


June 12, 2007

This book was really good. Lol. Yeah, I put that so eloquently and explained my reasoning really well, didn't I? But no, really, this book was really good. Let's clear my only problem with it out of the way before I start on the stuff I truly enjoyed about the novel...Slow start. That's my only problem. It really took a while for things to kick up, but once they did it was a very exciting read. And even though I didn't like the slowness of the beginning part of the novel, I wouldn't have had it any other way because Dubus uses most of the beginning to set up situations and characters and make them all three demensional and believable, which was something I really enjoyed about the book. What was interesting about the book was the fact there was no clear protagonist in the idea of good guy vs. bad guy, which could have easily happened. Dubus has us constantly switching perspectives between our two main characters so we see behind their reasoning and begin to aggree with them. But before we can begin to side too much with one character, we're back with the other and beginning to side with them until we switch back. It may sound confusing right now, but Dubus does this gently so the switches are easy to follow.I would be interested to hear from those of you who have read this book about who you side with. Behrani? Or Kathy? I myself, once I finished the book, had no definite person I sided with. I thought they both deserved the house and both had very good reasons for having it. But then again I thought that neither should have the house, either because of their past actions or their current actions.The second part of the book was as fast as the first part was slow. So it sort of made up for the lack of action in part one.All together the book was wonderful, with characters you could sympathize with if not related too. Well-rounded and fully believable with their flaws. Brilliant plot and absolutely stunning writing. If you start to read this and find it boring at first, I will convince you to keep on going, because like I said before, what the first part may lack, the second part will more than make up for it.


January 05, 2022

Bleak HouseThis novel has achieved deserved popularity -- somewhat surprisingly since it is densely written and not a terribly easy read. Nevertheless, it is a gripping story, well told, and difficult to put down. There are parallel novels in American literature, but that does not detract from the merits of this book.The story is about an immigrant Iranian family, the Beharanis, searching for success in its adopted land, a lower middle class American woman, Kathy Nicholo, and a policeman, Lester Burdon. The story is told alternatively in the voices of Colonel Beharani, formerly of the Army of the Shah of Iran, Kathy, and occasionaly in the third person, of Lester.Kathy's home is seized in error by the office of the tax collector and she is evicted. The house is bought by Beharani at an auction for one third of its market value. The book is concerned to unravel the tangle.The unravelling does not succeed and tragedy results to all the major protagonists of the novel. There are elements of Shakespearean tragedy here and of American realism.The story will bear a number of reasons and the author, commendably, is absent in his own voice. I don't read the book as a social criticism of the United States. Instead, to me the story operates on a type of religious level. It shows the wellsprings of human behavior in greed, hostility, and ignorance and in the tendency we all share to be judgmental and overly moralizing when it comes to our fellows. There is a thin veneeer that separates the lives of most of us from tragedy and violence and in this story, alas, the veneer proves insufficient.The story teaches reflection, dispassion, and forbearance -- lessons valuable in 20th century American, in Iran, and in every other place and time.Robin Friedman

Frequently asked questions

Listening to audiobooks not only easy, it is also very convenient. You can listen to audiobooks on almost every device. From your laptop to your smart phone or even a smart speaker like Apple HomePod or even Alexa. Here’s how you can get started listening to audiobooks.

  • 1. Download your favorite audiobook app such as Speechify.
  • 2. Sign up for an account.
  • 3. Browse the library for the best audiobooks and select the first one for free
  • 4. Download the audiobook file to your device
  • 5. Open the Speechify audiobook app and select the audiobook you want to listen to.
  • 6. Adjust the playback speed and other settings to your preference.
  • 7. Press play and enjoy!

While you can listen to the bestsellers on almost any device, and preferences may vary, generally smart phones are offer the most convenience factor. You could be working out, grocery shopping, or even watching your dog in the dog park on a Saturday morning.
However, most audiobook apps work across multiple devices so you can pick up that riveting new Stephen King book you started at the dog park, back on your laptop when you get back home.

Speechify is one of the best apps for audiobooks. The pricing structure is the most competitive in the market and the app is easy to use. It features the best sellers and award winning authors. Listen to your favorite books or discover new ones and listen to real voice actors read to you. Getting started is easy, the first book is free.

Research showcasing the brain health benefits of reading on a regular basis is wide-ranging and undeniable. However, research comparing the benefits of reading vs listening is much more sparse. According to professor of psychology and author Dr. Kristen Willeumier, though, there is good reason to believe that the reading experience provided by audiobooks offers many of the same brain benefits as reading a physical book.

Audiobooks are recordings of books that are read aloud by a professional voice actor. The recordings are typically available for purchase and download in digital formats such as MP3, WMA, or AAC. They can also be streamed from online services like Speechify, Audible, AppleBooks, or Spotify.
You simply download the app onto your smart phone, create your account, and in Speechify, you can choose your first book, from our vast library of best-sellers and classics, to read for free.

Audiobooks, like real books can add up over time. Here’s where you can listen to audiobooks for free. Speechify let’s you read your first best seller for free. Apart from that, we have a vast selection of free audiobooks that you can enjoy. Get the same rich experience no matter if the book was free or not.

It depends. Yes, there are free audiobooks and paid audiobooks. Speechify offers a blend of both!

It varies. The easiest way depends on a few things. The app and service you use, which device, and platform. Speechify is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks. Downloading the app is quick. It is not a large app and does not eat up space on your iPhone or Android device.
Listening to audiobooks on your smart phone, with Speechify, is the easiest way to listen to audiobooks.