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The Sheltering Sky ()

Modern Library Top 100 Novels of the 20th Century

Three profoundly annoying American expatriates wander around Saharan Africa as, to our great delight, increasingly horrible things happen to them.  Exhibit A in the case in favor of my Time Zone Rule, which posits that you should never leave the Eastern Time Zone of the United States.

This is a big time cult novel. Folks babble incoherently about how the desert & a "culture other than their own" force the characters to confront their inner selves. Yeah right.


Grade: (D)


Paul Bowles Links:

    -WIKIPEDIA: Paul Bowles
    -PROFILE: Paul Bowles in Tangier (Frederic Tuten, November 21, 2023, Paris Review)
-ESSAY: A Documentation by Florian Vetsch: The Garden by Paul Bowles (Jan Herman, 2/09/22, Arts Journal)

Book-related and General Links:
    -Paul Bowles
    -FEATURED AUTHOR: NY Times Book Review
    -ESSAY : Desert of Memory : Brian Edwards looks at the legacy left in both  Morocco and America by the expatriate's  expatriate, Paul Bowles, nearly a year after the writer's death -- a legacy of controversy, and of sustained artistic achievement. (FFED)
    -INTERVIEW : with Paul Bowles  biographer Cherie Nutting (Jerry Jazz)
    -REVIEW : of The Sheltering Sky (TENNESSEE WILLIAMS, December 4, 1949, NY times)
    -REVIEW: of  YOU ARE NOT I: A PORTRAIT OF PAUL BOWLES by Millicent Dillon (LISA COHEN, Lingua Franca)


I found reading this book to be a painfully dull experience. I considered stopping, but I kept thinking it would get better. I was wrong. It didn't.

- Kelly

- Feb-05-2007, 13:31


I'd just like to support the sentiments of the two previous posters. I can only assume it was meant to come across as clever and cynical...maybe a few teenagers would agree, but that's probably doing a disservice to most thirteen-to-nineteen-year-olds.

- Reuben

- Sep-19-2006, 18:01


Reading your "review" of this book was helpful in one respect - it demonstrated that any further perusal of your web site would be a waste of my time. Thanks!

- P. Felton Childsworth

- Jan-17-2006, 20:43


Wow, this is by far the most superficial and unintelligent book review I have ever read. I wasn't a huge fan of the book either, but I at least got more out of it than "don't leave the eastern time zone." Congratulations, you missed the point completely, and in doing so, you are a fine example of exactly what the book is, at least in part, about.

You're absolutely amazing. The book isn't too bad, either.

- dave

- Apr-02-2005, 15:03