Charles's Reviews > The Garden of Last Days

The Garden of Last Days by Andre Dubus III
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's review
Jul 31, 2011

liked it

The Garden of Last Days tantilized - Florida and strippers... and then it became much, much more. Andre Dubus has a descriptive style of writing that tugs you along as the characters develop and you are entwined in their lives and what shapes those lives. Mr. Dubus peels back the suductiveness of the "gentlemans club" and lays it bare in front of us. He turns the lights up bright enough to see the threadbare and beer soaked carpeting - literally.

Regardless of your culture or background we all long for the same things in the end... to connect and to belong to someone and something that provides meaning and value and purpose in this all too often challenging world. Some of us make that connection as a spouse or as a parent. Others of us search for something we believe to be more "spiritual" with the promise of a better life beyoned this one. Whatever the connection, once made it owns you for eternity. We may struggle with it and question it or lose sight of it, but in the end - once the connection is made it owns our very fiber and being... it drives our actions and decisions. For a lot of us, the importance of that connection is never so real, so all consuming as when the connection is broken or taken away. It is our connections, or promise of a connection or the lack of a connection that will determine our resolve as beings with purpose. Without purpose and connection in this world there is a gnawing emptiness that seeks to be filled.

A number of worlds and lives randomly collide in Flordia and the connections that are made, lost or that remain empty will change a number of those lives. The ending is somewhat anticlimatic - you find yourself saying "Yeah, I kinda thought that's where this was headed." Overall, the ending added very little to the overall plot.

Mr. Dubus does an amazing job of getting the reader in the heads of some of the pivitol characters. At first the level of detail serves the storyline well. However, as the story moves along the level of detail starts over burden. At times it felt like the author was just filling pages. There were long stretches with AJ's saga that I just started flipping pages - it didnt take away from the story.


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