|Print List Price:||$14.99|
Save $7.00 (47%)
Price set by seller.
The Sheltering Sky Kindle Edition
|New from||Used from|
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Customers who bought this item also bought
From the Back Cover
When The Sheltering Sky was first published in 1949, it established Paul Bowles as one of the most singular and promising writers of the postwar generation. Its startlingly original vision has withstood the test of time and confirmed Tennessee Williams's early estimation: "The Sheltering Sky alone of the books that I have . . . read by American authors appears to bear the spiritual imprint of recent history in the western world." In this classic work of psychological terror, Bowles examines the ways in which Americans apprehend an alien culture and the ways in which their incomprehension destroys them.
The story of three worldly young travelers Port Moresby, his wife, Kit, and their friend, Tunner--adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky is merciless in its evocation of the emotional dislocation induced by a foreign setting. As the Americans embark on an ill-fated journey through desolate terrain, they are pushed to the limits of human reason and intelligence by the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert. Along the way, they encounter a host of enigmatic characters whose inarticulate strangeness seals the travelers off even more completely from the culture in which they are traveling, causing their fierce attachments to one another to unravel.
This special fiftieth anniversary commemorative edition of Bowles's unforgettable first novel includes the original New York Times review by Tennessee Williams and a preface the author wrote for his first novel before he died in 1999.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
- File Size : 715 KB
- Publication Date : December 6, 2011
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 322 pages
- Publisher : Ecco; 65th Anniversary ed. Edition (December 6, 2011)
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B005AJWU7C
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #89,846 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Because the story is set in Algeria, some have suggested a comparison to Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”, probably because both take place in Africa and have the characters progressing to places of increasing primitiveness as the story unfolds. Superficially that may be true, but I feel that comparison inapt because the writing style and mood is completely different. It most reminded me of Cormac McCarthy’s “Blood Meridian,” another of my favorites. Anyone drawn to that kind of writing is likely to find this worthwhile as well. Conversely, readers that like a set piece plot and at least one character they can root for may want to look elsewhere.
The story is set in Algeria in the years just after WWII. Three Americans are traveling rather haphazardly and spontaneously from the coast to those inland parts of the country seldom frequented by tourists. (Indeed, this is one of Port’s stated goals—he wants to see the parts of it that are uncontaminated by tourism or ruined by the war.) Port and Kit are presumably married but have a strange relationship; they are accompanied by Tunner as their tag-along friend. As travelers, these people take a lot (too much) for granted. Although some of Port’s actions can be ascribed to a mere desire for novelty, perhaps adventure, and something else more elusive. He and (later) Kit act in completely inexplicable ways—it is almost as though they knew what they should do, and then deliberately set out to do just the opposite for the sole purpose of provoking Fate into providing them with an unexpected chain of events.
The novel starts out rather slowly, and impatient readers may not stay with it long enough to get immersed in the mood of the narrative. I found the early part of the story almost languid, but by the time I had made it about halfway, I could not put it down.
Top reviews from other countries
In a delicate portrait of a burnt-out marital relationship, a young American couple drift south in the Algerian Sahara in the late 1940s. They are lotus-eaters, he wilful and impetuous, she over-analytical and superstitious. Neither are willing to break out of their intimate but cold torpor for fear of losing the other; and both are unfaithful in casual, joyless ways.
At one point in their wanderings, Port articulates what drives him: ‘I know why I’m disgusted,’ he called after her. ‘It’s something I ate. Ten years ago.’
Later, much later, Kit sees her overwhelming fear of life embodied in the very fabric of the universe: ‘the sky hides the night behind it, shelters the person beneath from the horror that lies above… At any moment the rip can occur, the edges fly back, and the giant maw will be revealed.’
What makes this great work stand out for me is the vivid and realistic evocation of the interior life of the various characters, and especially the central couple, Port and Kit. For example, Bowles brilliantly creates a sense of the inchoate logic of Port’s typhus-stricken mind as he lies in a remote room in a Saharan town. Kit’s evolving breakdown near the end of the story, as she flees into ever more exotic relationships with local Arab men, is utterly convincing. Bowles also creates an impressionistic awareness of the point of view of the various Algerians whom the protagonists encounter.
Beneath it all, this is an un-judgemental, compassionate story of deeply entwined love - but neither party are alive to the depth of their feelings until too late, until they have drifted too far, geographically and emotionally.
The 1990 film of the book by Bernardo Bertolucci is pale fare, in comparison, rather one dimensional and obsessed with sex, though the cinematography is magnificent.
This is a novel which is partly about sex, not enough and then the wrong kind, and men who are about as base as it is possible whilst still walking upright in a society where a women are regarded as sexual chattels.Suffering described in amazing lucid language with an almost sadistic treatment of his characters, you will need a strong stomach and heart as you feel total pity and yet are enthralled by the horrors the characters endure.
I admire this writer, and yet the book chills me to the bone.
Modern writers have nothing in this guy,the book shocks today as it would have done when first published.
It is so clever, and yet so cruel, there is no redemption for a stranger in a starnge land.