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Palm Trees at Night


The Garden of Last Days

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One early September night in Florida, a stripper brings her daughter to work. 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 personal, and free with his money. Lots of it, all cash. His name is Bassam.  Meanwhile, another man, AJ, 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, page-turning 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 reader by the throat with the same psychological tension, depth, and realism that characterized Andre Dubus III’s best-selling House of Sand and Fog—and an even greater sense of the dark and anguished places in the human heart.

Hardcover: 544 pages

Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company (June 01, 2009)

Editorial Reviews

The Garden of Last Days is storytelling of the finest kind: unforgettable and desperate characters caught up in a plot thundering toward catastrophe…Dubus knows that you may not make sense out of the incomprehensible, but you can make art. He has done just that in this incandescent and absorbing novel.”

-John Dufresne, Boston Sunday Globe

“This big and brilliant novel wrestles with the great questions of this moment in history, the blessings and curses of fate and belief. Driven by furious tenderness, The Garden of Last Days is hymn to all those who struggle to live as good people, flawed as they are.”

-Susan Larson, Times-Picayune (New Orleans)

“A very fast and entertaining read…Every passage is expertly, elegantly achieved.”

-Madison Smartt Bell, Philadelphia Inquirer

“Difficult to put down, impossible to forget.”

-Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Muscular and disquieting and turn-the-pages-so-fast-you-tear-them good.”

-Bret Anthony Johnston, Esquire

“[A] hyperdetailed, visceral, and prurient yet undeniably compassionate thriller.”

-Donnie Seaman, Booklist

“One of the most maddening, exhilarating…novels of the year.
. . . The Garden of Last Days is impossible to ignore.”

- Jocelyn McClurg, USA Today

“[Dubus] again demonstrates his ability to illuminate the cultural divide in America through fascinating characters and gripping drama.”

- John Marshall, Seattle Post-Intelligencer

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