The Garden of Last Days. Andre Dubus III
April’s usual babysitter, Jean, has had a panic attack that has landed her in the hospital. April doesn’t really know anyone else, so she decides it’s best to have her three-year-old daughter close by, watching children’s videos in the office while she works.
April works at the Puma Club for Men. And tonight she has an unusual client, a foreigner both remote and too persona...more
But the execution is a big pile overwrought melodrama. My problem is that the prose is pedestrian and the story is drawn with a...more
Dubus knows charcters so well,it is as if he grinds the human being down to the original dust and then scattters that dust across the page.
The back jacket blurb for this novel does not do it justice. This not a book about "where were you September 10,2001?". This is a book about the choices we make everyday that keep us and everyone around us holding on to what is our reality,sometimes with the edges of our fingernails.
Does this book have a deeper human lesson to...more
But the reviewers loooooove it.
Amazon says that this book is 384 pages but my...more
In short, yes this was a book told from probably too many perspectives (I counted at least 9 distinct points of view), there was a bit of over-writing, and there is powerlessness/over-sexualization attached to some of the female characters. And the September 11th terrorist sub-plot borders on the ridiculous...but...I liked it.
I like a chunky book. I like a book with a strong sense of...more
Andre Dubus III opens The Garden of Last Days on a lazy Florida afternoon and we are introduced to April and Franny; a single young woman who works for a strip club and her three-year old daughter. April's usual babysitter, Jean, is in the hospital, a...more
This novel, "The Garden of Last Days," is senselessly slow and senselessly long. A wise man once said that no song should be longer than 4 minutes, unless there is a really good reason. I believe that a book should be no longer than 300 pages, unless...more
Dubus is an accomplished observer and has clearly researched his Floridian subjects well. Especially fascinating are his antiheroes, a down-on-his-luck contractor and father trying to find a way to do right in all the...more
The writing here reminds me of a watercolorist working: another muted color (character) added, then the edges softened with language into a seamless garment.
I was grateful for the short chapters because of the many characters.
I am not spoiling letting you know that some of those characters include some of the nineteen terrorists of 9/11, but that is a very small part of this novel and not really crystalized un...more
UPDATE: I have concluded that I will never finish this book and am removing it from my "currently reading list." Having read about 2/3s of it, I cannot stomach another page. I don't need this kind of stress in my reading life.
Although even the terroris...more
Most of the story In the Garden of Last Days plays out at the Puma Club for Men, a strip club in Sarasota, FL. Dubus a...more
Another ensemble story tracking four POVs spiraling out from one night at a strip club before Sept. 11, where, you guessed it, one of the hijackers hires a stripper (heroine of story) for a private hour in the "Champagne Room." It seemed cheap and phony to drag 9/11 int...more
King's made some great recommendations in the past and helped me discover the joys of reading Laura Lippman (for which I will be eternally grateful).
But as for "Garden of Last Days," it was more of a miss than a hit. I enjoyed the story, but maybe my expectations were ratcheted up a bit too high after hearing King heap praise on the novel. It's a story with 9/11 firmly at the center, though...more
Then the narrative began to fall apart. It's a multi-POV affair, which can be great. This one isn't. The attempt to imitate the Egyptian-sounding foreigner is corny but not cornier than the attempt to imitate the good old boy who's work...more
A friend said he hadn't really enjoyed A House of Sand and Fog, because it was all about people making bad choices and he finds himself all too pro...more
For more about this book, see my review on amazon.com under the title and my reviewer's name, EGranfors.