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Publisher's Summary

One early September night in Florida, a stripper brings her daughter to work. April's usual babysitter is in the hospital, 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.

Except that April works at the Puma Club for Men. And tonight she has an unusual client, a foreigner both remote and too personal, and free with his money. Lots of it, all cash. His name is Bassam.

Meanwhile, another man, A. J., has been thrown out of the club for holding hands with his favorite stripper, and he's drunk and angry and lonely.

From these explosive elements comes a relentless, raw, searing, passionate narrative, a big-hearted and painful novel about sex and parenthood and honor and masculinity.

Set in the seamy underside of American life at the moment before the world changed, it juxtaposes lust for domination with hunger for connection, sexual violence with family love. It seizes the listener by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus' number-one best seller - House of Sand and Fog - and has an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.

©2008 Andre Dubus III; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Suzn F
  • Fletcher, VT, US
  • 06-16-08

Andre Dubus III Does It Again

This book, like his "House of Sand and Fog" is so well written. It is such a thoroughly engaging novel that it pulls you right in from the beginning. The narrator is quite skilled. The characters become your aquaintances; you find yourself questioning their thinking, judgement and actions while savoring their depth.
Because I couldn't put this book down, I planted my whole garden this year while listening all the way to the end. Enjoy!

28 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Dolores
  • Sun Lakes, AZ, United States
  • 06-14-08

Heartstopping and Unrelenting

This story grabs you at the beginning and doesn't let you go. Characters are real and suffering. Loved it. Great narration too. Will add this author to my favorites.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Julie
  • Lindenhurst, NY, USA
  • 07-19-08

Excellent read!

I almost didn't download this after reading some of the reviews here, but the premise still sounded interesting so I did and though I rarely submit reviews, thought I should in this case since I thoroughly disagree with those who've said the characters were uninteresting or that the women sounded whiny. I didn't notice any issue with the narrator either. I thought it was a wonderfully woven story, and was immersed right from the beginning. The 9-11 angle didn't overwhelm the rest of the story either, which was one thing I feared. Great listen!

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


just could not get in to it. bringing a 3 year old to a stipper club, keeping the child locked in a car; creeped me out,

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Interesting but not amazing

I listened to this book because of a glowing review by Stephen King in "Entertainment Weekly" and because the plot summary intrigued me as the story centered around a stripper in Florida and a traumatic event surrounding her 3-yr-old daughter. The plot moved quickly though I'd say it was more character-driven rather than a thriller. It exposed the inner dark secrets of the hearts of the main characters. It was kind of like seeing a car crash through the eyes of six different drivers as they came into a major collision. I worried a little that people who had little knowledge of Islam might get the wrong idea about Muslims from this, but clearly the character I'm referring to was a fanatic and not a representative of main-stream Muslim belief. This was an OK listen, though I wouldn't give it an enthusiastic recommendation.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall


At first I thought this was an earlier work by this writer, as the narrative meanders and strays from what in my opinion are central story lines. The typical night at a strip club is just not that interesting and the reader has to listen to about four and a half hours of it before the story really gets going.

Listening was frustrating. I found myself getting involved in a narrative path only to have the story veer in a less appealing direction. This book is nothing like "The House of Sand and Fog" which was disciplined and directed.

The characters are flawed and suffering but there is no one to root for, and their worlds are dark and depressing.

As I prefer listening to readers without accents, drama or expression I did like the narrator, who motored along in a stream-of-consciousness monotone.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Richard
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 01-13-12

Thoughtless people doing foolish things

If you are really interested in learning what a 9/11 hijacker felt about America just before his 'big event', here's the book for you. (hint; he's conflicted about women and Americans.)

Otherwise join a group of emotionally damaged people as they go from one mistake to another. Each step is preceded by such deluded justification that it made me want to slap them. Like 'what part of essentially kidnapping a child from from a strip joint's parking lot and then giving her Benadryl to calm down' did you think was a good idea?

I rarely give up on books once I start, but boy, this was a challenge.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Aracely
  • New Fairfield, CT, United States
  • 11-01-09

I want those hours of my life back!

This book moved waaaaay too slow, nothing happened and I kept waiting for a plot to start. Don't bother.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • R. Guilbeaux
  • New Orleans, Louisiana United States
  • 09-22-08

Waste of Time

I struggle to get to the end hoping it would
get better. It only got worse. This is the worse
book I've downloaded.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Going nowhere. Slowly.

A painful listen. Instead of using stream of consciousness as a device to highlight the motivation of one character in a specific moment, we spend nearly the entire book inside the heads of all the characters. And their mental meandering is not all that interesting...
The plot consists of disparate threads which one hopes will all somehow come together but which mostly do not. The ending left me shaking my head and kicking myself for having listened to the whole thing. Just awful!

6 of 9 people found this review helpful