Chaz's Reviews > The Sheltering Sky

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
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's review
Jul 02, 2008

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** Paul Bowles creates a terrifying and realistic view of humanity in this drama. The premise of the story is that three characters, Port, Kit and Tunner set out for the venture in the Sahara. They’re thirsting for adventure, and a freedom that they cannot find present in their everyday lives in New York City. They find it.
Twists, roundabouts and forks galore-this isn’t a traditional drama where hope is rekindled at the end or the greater good of humanity wins. It’s a sad story, but a gripping one — one that also deeply disturbing.The author is thick with nauseating images that are pulled forth from any stuggle with death. He brings the reader into that/those moment/s where time, self, images of reality are all scattered and one doesn’t know who or what he is, why is where or who is who and what to do.
The main character perishes within the first half of the novel and the rest of the book I felt following the ghostlike creatures he left behind. Kit, his wife cheated on him with his friend Tunner, and we find her punishing herself by blindly walking into the desert and becoming a victim, sex slave and eventually insane. There is no happy ever after. But there are some very startling quotes —
I listed a few here just for my own reference in the future.
“The head is like the sky. Always turning around and around inside. But very slowly. When you think, you make it go too fast. Then it aches.” Page 301
“Death is always on its way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t, we get to think of life as inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really.” Page 232

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
July 2, 2008 – Shelved

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Maureen Flatley Wow.....Chaz! If you think you like Paul Bowles now....wait until you read The Sheltering Sky! It is the definitive Bowles book. You should also check out the movie which is very evocative!


Chaz Mo-I can't wait. I'm going to try to pick up this book this week. Thanks for the heads up.

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