The Garden of Last Days Kindle ´ of Last Epub ß

The Garden of Last Days ➶ [Reading] ➸ The Garden of Last Days By Andre Dubus III ➫ – Natus-physiotherapy.co.uk Andre Dubus III draws us into the lives of three deeply flawed, driven people whose paths intersect on a September night in Florida April, a stripper, has brought her daughter to work at the Puma Club Andre Dubus III draws us of Last Epub ß into the lives of three deeply flawed, driven people whose paths intersect on a September night in Florida April, a stripper, has brought her daughter to work at the Puma Club for Men There she encounters Bassam, a foreign client both The Garden PDF or remote and too personal and free with his money Meanwhile, another man, AJ, has been thrown out of the club, and he s drunk, angry, and lonely From these explosive elements comes a relentless, raw, and page turning narrative that seizes the reader by the throat with Garden of Last PDF/EPUB Â psychological tension, depth, and realism.


10 thoughts on “The Garden of Last Days

  1. Matt Matt says:

    It was not quite six yet, but parked up against the split rail fence were pickup trucks and station wagons, a Mercedes next to three motorcycles next to a gray Lexus with gold trim Always all kinds of men It didn t matter if they were in the trades or gave orders in a high rise office, if they were married and had children or lived alone and had nobody men were men and soon enough, it seemed, every one of them would find their way to the Puma or places like it Most nights she felt nothing It was not quite six yet, but parked up against the split rail fence were pickup trucks and station wagons, a Mercedes next to three motorcycles next to a gray Lexus with gold trim Always all kinds of men It didn t matter if they were in the trades or gave orders in a high rise office, if they were married and had children or lived alone and had nobody men were men and soon enough, it seemed, every one of them would find their way to the Puma or places like it Most nights she felt nothing about them whatsoever they were simply the objects of her work and she worked them But tonight, she hated them too Andre Dubus III, The Garden of Last Days The Garden of Last Days is a fascinating novel In constructing it, Andre Dubus III plays the role of Dr Frankenstein, jamming together two completely different books to form one larger book Well, maybe jamming is too strong a word He stitches them together as artfully as he can, doing his best to hide the seams That does not change the reality that he has attempted to graft an arm onto a forehead The bulk of The Garden of Last Days, the A story, if you will, is reminiscent of Dubus demi classic House of Sand and Fog In both books, Dubus focuses his attention on people on the fringes of American life What might cheaply be called the seamy underside of society House of Sand and Fog pitted an unstable, recovering drug addict against a hard working Iranian American for control of a bungalow Here, the characters are the employees and customers of a Florida strip club called the Puma Club for Men As in the earlier novel, Dubus creates indelible portraits of people His characters are drawn with such perception and insight, and are so grounded with human touches, that you barely notice as the plot creeps incrementally towards sheer ridiculousness The main player on this stage both literally and figuratively is April, stage name Spring She is a recognizable archetype, though not quite the stripper with a heart of gold She is beautiful, alluring, and a single mother to a young daughter named Franny She hopes to make enough money to get out of the business One of the bouncers at the Puma Club is Lonnie Lonnie is good at his job, able to spot pockets of trouble before they erupt He also has an anger management problem, and tends to solve most issues by violent extension of his arm, hand closed into a fist When he s not physically assaulting people there are still laws in strip clubs, even for bouncers , he likes to listen to classic books and poetry on audiotape In other words, he s Dalton from Road House, except he lacks the ability to tear a man s throat from his neck AJ is one of the customers that Lonnie has his eye on He has made a classic blunder, worse even than going into it against a Sicilian, with death on the line falling in love with a person you pay to be nice to you AJ has a young son, an estranged wife, an anger problem, a drinking problem, and a realizing that strippers don t really like you problem All these problems come to the surface at once Beyond the strip club, we are also introduced to Jean She is an older woman, a widow, who tends a garden, rents space to April, and serves as a babysitter and surrogate grandma for Franny On the day the novel begins it covers only few days, from Thursday to Tuesday , Jean has gone to the hospital for an anxiety attack, leaving April without a sitter So, April takes Fran to work At the strip club This, in screenwriting parlance, is the conflict From this small event, the main story unspools in unexpected and at times unbelievable directions That s one part of the book The other has to do with Bassam Bassam is a Saudi He has a lot of cash He is in Florida learning how to fly airplanes It is Late Summer 2001 More specifically, it is September 2001 If you haven t figured out what Bassam is up to, let me be the first to welcome you to our world It s hot in summer, cold in winter, and etc Dubus tells his story utilizing a roving third person viewpoint This gives you the opportunity to slip into and out of the psyches of the major players I think he is a fantastic writer He is great with characterizations, adding depth and dimension to what at first blush seem stereotypes He also does an excellent job at making the setting come to life I could feel the Florida humidity I could visualize every seedy corner of the Puma Club Despite his obvious talent, I am not entirely sure that Dubus is successful in combining April s relatively small scale domestic drama with the vast tragedy of September 11 I think it s fascinating that he tried, but the two components do not gel The major issue is that the two aren t comparable in any respect September 11 is a massive event with world historical implications It frankly overwhelms the April centric storyline, making it feel almost absurd by comparison It s never a great idea to undercut your own plot By the end, I found myself wondering why I was supposed to care about April at all, with nearly 3,000 people dead beneath a brilliantly blue and cloudless sky Moreover, the two separate threads do not really inform each other Mostly, the narrative tracks run parallel, with only a brief intersection that is imbued withmeaning than it deserves This is a novel that touches on a lot of ideas masculinity, misogyny, parenthood but never really develops them into meaningful themes The Garden of Last Days could have been split into two separate and rewarding novels On its own, the April thread is a gritty local drama about rough edged strivers struggling to gain a toehold of the dream Also on its own, the Bassam thread is a marvelous, at times chilling evocation of the mind of a suicidal terrorist Side by side they tend to diminish each other With all that said, the problems with The Garden of Last Days also makes it sort of irresistible Perfection is boring Flaws are interesting This has a lot of flaws, but it keeps your attention It is ambitious, testified to by the prodigious, 500 plus page length It is also effortlessly readable, testified to by the speed at which I devoured those 500 plus pages With a book this big, tackling themes so large, you start to expect some profound statement of meaning That s not quite there Perhaps the best way to approach this is accept before you start that this doesn t quite work Then, go on and enjoy


  2. Snotchocheez Snotchocheez says:

    3.5 starsScouring my beautiful but woefully understocked local library for anything recently published that I d be interested in reading has led me finally to Andre Dubus III Since I d already seen the movie adaptation of House of Sand and Fog, I was muchintrigued by its only Dubus III shelfmate, The Garden of Last Days, a 2008 release with a whopping 95% fewer ratings on Goodreads than 1999 s House of Sand and Fog I needed to explore that disparity.I m guessing much of the novel s GR 3.5 starsScouring my beautiful but woefully understocked local library for anything recently published that I d be interested in reading has led me finally to Andre Dubus III Since I d already seen the movie adaptation of House of Sand and Fog, I was muchintrigued by its only Dubus III shelfmate, The Garden of Last Days, a 2008 release with a whopping 95% fewer ratings on Goodreads than 1999 s House of Sand and Fog I needed to explore that disparity.I m guessing much of the novel s GR disfavor has to do with the subject matter and Dubus choice of piling up a cast of less than sympathetic okay, no, in a few cases, downright deplorable characters Who, really besides pervs and deviants would want to cozy up with a 535 page novel centered around a Sarasota, Florida strip club Or one that features a few of the jihadis responsible for 9 11 Or one with glacial real time pacing of the few days prior to 9 11 I was dubious from the start and the several DNF reviews I read didn t help matters, either but I kept plowing through, wondering how the heck Dubus was going to pull this off I m not going to spend much time rehashing the Quran onionskin thin plot, but this is primarily a character study anyway, rotating.between three characters making some rotten life choices April aka Spring , an earnest stripper single mom from New Hampshire trying desperately to elevate herself above slinging Italian BMTs at Subway and build a life for herself and her daughter AJ, a wayward lecher in training with anger issues, trying to rebound from from his marriage breakup in the worst way possible and Bassam, one of the jihadis Allah only knows why this guy s hanging out at a strip club with the kufur and mushrikoons before entering Jannah, or the garden.This is one brazen oddity of a novel, one I can t quite find the words to endorse let alone convince others to even attempt reading it It mostly worked for me, even as I found myself in a state of perma cringe whilst reading I applaud Dubus s verve and gutsiness in the attempt to explain the inexplicable The novel appalled me, made me angry and uncomfortable, yet I can only see those things as the book s strengths I m glad I chose this as my first Dubus III experience, and looking forward to several


  3. Antigone Antigone says:

    There were stories floating around at the time That between the rental cars and the string of apartments, the visas, the wired funding, the flight lessons and the trial runs, the 9 11 hijackers had spent some nights in bars and strip clubs And the mind sort of stops here to scratch its head Mosques, yes Prayer five times a day, yes Hours in Internet cafes Pouring over maps, purchasing tickets, boxcutters Final manifestos scrawled right to left pages and pages of religious paraphrasing D There were stories floating around at the time That between the rental cars and the string of apartments, the visas, the wired funding, the flight lessons and the trial runs, the 9 11 hijackers had spent some nights in bars and strip clubs And the mind sort of stops here to scratch its head Mosques, yes Prayer five times a day, yes Hours in Internet cafes Pouring over maps, purchasing tickets, boxcutters Final manifestos scrawled right to left pages and pages of religious paraphrasing Difficult to envision within the meat of that scenario the bottle of beer, the running tab, the smoky table, the pole dance It s that moment, that instant immediately preceding the leap to blame, when the intellect tricks to the fact that they d been here for years Some for two years, mixing and mingling, getting by, getting on, getting acclimated, acquainted with this fine country of mine and nothing nothing offered itself up as a worthy counter to that horrific plan You d like to thinkbut no, waste of time The Garden of Last Days pauses in that tricked instant of realization, the one that jangles so offensively upon the patriotic nerve.Florida, 2001 Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday six early September days the last days the country will feel quite so fundamentally secure It s midnight at the Puma Club and here s April, the stripper Young, magnificent, and intentionally out of touch with the cost of the professional choice she s made Over there is Bassam, the Saudi, whose choice consumes him Across the way is A.J., a construction worker and long time patron, whose entrancement with dancer Marianne is not proving a sufficient distraction from his wife s fresh protection order and court assigned anger management classes In the corner, a watchful Lonnie, head of security, whose anger is managed by a skillful fist a single punch powerful enough to lay the most disruptive drunk flat And apart from it all, across town, is Jean an elderly, overweight widow who has gratefully served as babysitter for April s toddler daughter but was forced to cancel on this Thursday night due to the sudden and most unwelcome appearance of her mortality Three year old Franny and April s working hard not to think too hard about this has been brought by her mother to the club.You can see the potential here The child does not belong in this place But neither does anyone else Why, then, are they there With a series of swift and trenchant strikes through the minds and experiences of the major players, Dubus presents a deeply drawn study of humiliation, rage and despair He shows how these emotions imprison and entrench how they coerce us into travelling a vicious circle, oscillating through polarized states of fantasy and fear The lubrication of victimization, procrastination, and wildly delusional conviction Agency collapsing before the maw of a primitive psychological hunger will silenced, instinct ignored It is a work rich in patterns of behavior and relentless, thudding, single lines of thought This is existence on the ledge.There was a single flaw for me in the internal voice he gifted to the toddler I thought it too filled with recollection and connection a process of perception that is barely mastered in adolescence and certainly unavailable to a three year old Even if she s standing as a symbol, she must still be rooted in the earth, in realness, in life But this was easy to forgive in the face of the rest of what the book offered.Completely unexpected Intense Wrenchingly good


  4. Melissa Madrid Melissa Madrid says:

    This book fits squarely into my category of a good idea poorly executed The promise of the book lies in its gritty characters and the outward ripple into their lives from a point of chance intersection And of course I was drawn by the clever concept of the chance intersection being taken from a footnote to the headlines of the biggest story of the young 21st Century But the execution is a big pile overwrought melodrama My problem is that the prose is pedestrian and the story is drawn with a This book fits squarely into my category of a good idea poorly executed The promise of the book lies in its gritty characters and the outward ripple into their lives from a point of chance intersection And of course I was drawn by the clever concept of the chance intersection being taken from a footnote to the headlines of the biggest story of the young 21st Century But the execution is a big pile overwrought melodrama My problem is that the prose is pedestrian and the story is drawn with a sledgehammer The main barrier to my enjoyment of the narrative was way every detail of the characters previous lives is revealed through heavy handed third person telling by an omniscient narrator of each character s interior reminiscence on his or her past Nothing is implied All is narrated If I had to pick one descriptor, the word I would choose is heavy handed.Like House of Sand and Fog, this book brings us into gritty lives of people trying to survive on the edges of society That is a good thing done badly in this case


  5. Someone Youmayknow Someone Youmayknow says:

    Gripping me from the first page.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 Gripping me from the first page.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 be told Indeed Dubus, with his gift,does it in finest storyteller fashion The stories have been told through the ages If you haven t read House of Sand and Fog read it, you will love it If you loved it then read this, it is equally as compelling


  6. Vonia Vonia says:

    Good enough But the weakest in Dubus s ouevre.


  7. JoAnn/QuAppelle JoAnn/QuAppelle says:

    I am so annoyed with myself for wasting the hours I spent to read this I had to force myself to pick it up every day I loved Dubus s first book so much that I kept hoping this would get better and some characters would appear who would be even the slightest bit appealing or meaningful Never happened And yes, I know life has a seamy side, but that does not make this novel anyappealing It made me feel dirty But the reviewers loooooove itsays that this book is 384 pages but my I am so annoyed with myself for wasting the hours I spent to read this I had to force myself to pick it up every day I loved Dubus s first book so much that I kept hoping this would get better and some characters would appear who would be even the slightest bit appealing or meaningful Never happened And yes, I know life has a seamy side, but that does not make this novel anyappealing It made me feel dirty But the reviewers loooooove itsays that this book is 384 pages but my ARC was over 500 pages This raised my hopes that perhaps 100 useless pages had been removed by an assiduous editor who realized that the book was overwritten and boring the characters were all low lifes with few redeeming characteristics one character was so unnecessary that it seemed like the author inserted him awkwardly into the story after he finished writing the book the setting was just plain stupid and, as far as I am concerned, only used as a hook to drag in people who want to read about strip clubs the premise was weak the book and plot were disorganized and the writing left a lot to be desired Much to my dismay, this was not the case I went to my local bookstore today to investigate the mystery of the pages..andhas the wrong info The book is NOT 384 pages, but over 500, just like my ARC Isn t this odd What a shame this was not up to the high standards, in every way, of House of Sand and Fog Too bad


  8. Ray Ray says:

    Well, I read all the other GoodReads reviews and don t have much to add There are lots of sharp insights below 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 ridiculousbutI liked it.I like a chunky book I like a book with a strong sense of Well, I read all the other GoodReads reviews and don t have much to add There are lots of sharp insights below 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 ridiculousbutI liked it.I like a chunky book I like a book with a strong sense of place Florida And even if someone of the characters inner dialogue sounded similar to others, there was still at least some emotional core to the book, and at least once voice that sounded fully fleshed out even if it took multiple POVs to make it whole.I thought the contribution of the terrorist character alone, while gimmicky, was still interesting, as we don t have much of a cannon built up yet that contains the rationale motivation for the people involved in September 11th And while the characterization of both April and AJ was very, very close to the line in terms of class stereotype, it was still ultimatelysympathetic and expository in a way I found useful.And Dubus is an excellent writer at the sentence level This was an enjoyable, fast and thought provoking read for me despite some of thedistracting bells and whistles


  9. Qmiller Qmiller says:

    I taught this book in my course on 9 11 literature, though it has less directly to do with that infamous day than the other books in the course did Yet 9 11 weighs heavily on the narrative It takes place largely in and around a seedy Florida strip club I realize there is at least one redundancy in that phrase It s really a series of character studies I ve read everything by Andre and consider him a friend he made a second visit to campus this semester at my request and visited two of my I taught this book in my course on 9 11 literature, though it has less directly to do with that infamous day than the other books in the course did Yet 9 11 weighs heavily on the narrative It takes place largely in and around a seedy Florida strip club I realize there is at least one redundancy in that phrase It s really a series of character studies I ve read everything by Andre and consider him a friend he made a second visit to campus this semester at my request and visited two of my classes A terrific guy I ve read everything he s written and I m impressed by the way he continues to stretch his wings since an early collection of short stories, his books have gotten progressively longer He creates worlds that the reader can inhabit His characters are people who make mistakes then, once they ve realized they ve made mistakes, makeThey re characters in quicksand who don t realize that they shouldn t try to run


  10. Diane Diane says:

    I don t know if I can finish this unrelentingly depressing book Is it just me 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.


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