如果你想自己看這本書或這部電影《House of Sand and Fog》
請不要看我以下寫的心得,
因為有透露部份情節,有損觀賞者的興致。

Reading notes of House of Sand and Fog.

    Three different narrators provide three different viewpoints in this novel: the colonel Behrani (first person), Kathy Nicolo (first person) and the author (third person). This surprising arrangement lets readers view events form each of these different viewpoints, and no one is the bad guy in this story. Many dilemmas seize the readers’ mind through out the whole story.
    Through Behrani’s eyes, I saw an immigrant’s difficult situation. He lost his wealth, status and friends after he left his home country. He almost lost everything but his own family. He was not a colonel anymore and he needed to earn money by relying on his physical labor. To be a highway trash collector and a salesclerk makes Behrani feel inferior. He doesn’t want to lose his wife and children’s esteem, so he were a business suit when leaving the house for work each day. And he did many face savers in front of his neighbors. Behrani’s life was full of lies. People who feel inferior sometimes perform the opposite behavior to override the bad feeling. Behrani’s violence to his wife, Nadweh, is an example. The only thins dear to him in the new country is his family. The top priority duty in his mind was benefiting his family. Buying an auctioned house is totally legal and is a good way to make money. This is the remote cause of Behrani’s family’s sad ending and this is not his fault. What I criticize about Behrani is his violence. His violence not only hurt his wife physically and mentally but also killed her at the end of this sad story. There is no reason to take anyone’s life away. His militant personality also killed his son, indirectly. Behrani’s violence is the immediate cause of his family’s sad ending.
    Kathy Nicolo took her husband’s leaving hard. With one disaster following after another, she lost her house because of the tax office’s mistake. But, her husband’s leaving and losing her house are not her fatal problems. The most serious problem she needs to face is her terrible lack self-control regarding cigarettes and alcohol. Through Kathy’s sensitive sense of vision, hearing, especially smell, the readers can sense her rich feelings. This is the best part of this novel: the vivid descriptions of Kathy’s sensation and perception.
    Surprisingly, in the second part of this novel, the author started to speak for Lester (using the third person). This is the third viewpoint in this story. Lester was disappointed with his marriage. He wanted to end his relationship with his wife, but he felt strongly bound to his children and he can not stop thinking about them. Falling in love with Kathy made Lester blind. He threatened Behrani using his police status. Ironically, he is the first main character in the novel who really broke the law.
    I wonder how splendid this story would be if Nadi, Behrani’s wife also had a voice in it. And I wonder if Esmail, Behrani’s son, was a white man, would the police shoot him or not? Finally, I am curious about why there are so many sexual descriptions in this novel. Is this necessary to this story? Does the author need to rely on so many sex scenes to emphasize the love between Kathy and Lester? Or is this just a good way to capture the readers’ attention?

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