The Sheltering Sky

The Sheltering Sky A story about three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II The Sheltering Sky explores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptines

  • Title: The Sheltering Sky
  • Author: Paul Bowles
  • ISBN: 9780141023427
  • Page: 221
  • Format: Paperback
  • A story about three American travelers adrift in the cities and deserts of North Africa after World War II, The Sheltering Sky explores the limits of humanity when it touches the unfathomable emptiness and impassive cruelty of the desert.This P.S edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and .
    • ¸ The Sheltering Sky || ↠ PDF Read by ☆ Paul Bowles
      221 Paul Bowles
    • thumbnail Title: ¸ The Sheltering Sky || ↠ PDF Read by ☆ Paul Bowles
      Posted by:Paul Bowles
      Published :2019-07-23T09:13:54+00:00

    601 Comment

    • Jeffrey Keeten says:

      "He did not think of himself as a tourist; he was a traveler. The difference is partly one of time, he would explain. Whereas a tourist generally hurries back home at the end of a few weeks or months, the traveler, belonging no more to one place than to the next, moves slowly, over periods of years, from one part of the earth to another."Before meeting Port Moresby, I always thought of myself as a traveler, but after one particular late night discussion accompanied by inebriation, interrupted by [...]

    • Vessey says:

      SPOILERS“Death is always on the 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 know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that y [...]

    • Lara Messersmith-Glavin says:

      "Each man's destiny is personal only inso as it may resemble what is already in his memory."This quote is from Eduardo Mallea, and it begins The Sheltering Sky with that strange act of framing that so many authors employ, using the words of others to summarize or introduce the feelings that they are about to try to invoke in their readers. Above this quote is another phrase: "Tea in the Sahara," a chapter title, now-familiar but difficult to place. This was taken by none other than the band The [...]

    • Darwin8u says:

      “How fragile we are under the sheltering sky. Behind the sheltering sky is a vast dark universe, and we're just so small.” ― Paul Bowles, The Sheltering SkyPaul Bowles masterpiece reminds me of some alternate, trippy, version of Fitzgerald's Tender Is the Night, but instead we see the other side of the Mediterranean. Tangier and the deserts of North Africa take the place of the South of France. A different love triangle exposes different forms of loneliness, madness, love, and existential [...]

    • StevenGodin says:

      This has destroyed me!, an utterly devastating work of immense power where the frailties of life both physically and emotionally are pushed to the very limits in a hostile, dangerous and unforgiving land.Having settled in Tangier in the late 40's Paul Bowles uses his knowledge and experiences of French North Africa to startling effect. American couple Kit and Port Moresby have a marriage that is disintegrating and feel a trip abroad could help repair their relationship, so to avoid a ravaged Eur [...]

    • Julie says:

      The story opens with a young married couple and an attractive male companion, on an adventurous rendezvous in Northern Africa.Oooooh, how scintillating. . . how very, very scintillating. Starry skies, the soft curves of the sensuous desert in the backdrop. . . Within just a few pages I had cast the movie. My film version of this story was going to star Ralph Fiennes-as-English Patient, Joseph Fiennes-as-Shakespeare and, well. . . naturally, me. I had already decided that, if one of the Fiennes b [...]

    • Michael says:

      Hypnotic, searing, terrifying, I first read this when I too was living in North Africa--in Egypt, to be precise--and it utterly shattered me. I recognized something of myself and my fellow expats in the thoughtfully self-centered and naive travelers depicted here, and something of the merciless cruelty of the desert I was never far from. The prose style isn't elaborate, but it isn't stark either, and the best I can describe it is to say that it weaves quite a spell, opening a slight yet horrifyi [...]

    • Perry says:

      The One Book I Can Truly Say Made Me Feel as if I was Hypnotized*“How fragile we are under the sheltering sky. Behind [it] is a vast dark universe, and we're just so small.”I was absolutely hypnotized by Paul Bowles' The Sheltering Sky, a lush and lyrical novel following a married couple and their male friend (they're "travelers," they say, not "tourists") as they wonder aimlessly through the desolation and harshness of the cities and deserts of North Africa shortly after WW II.Within the no [...]

    • Robin says:

      Sensual Existentialism in the Sahara4.5 starsSomeone once had said to her that the sky hides the night behind it, shelters the person beneath from the horror that lies above.Married couple Port and Kit Moresby, in a physically and emotionally distant relationship, are traveling through northern Africa with their friend Tunner. Rejecting America and Europe in post WWII disgust, these "travellers" (not tourists, Port is adamant about the difference) hope to find meaning in the mystery of the Sahar [...]

    • Whitaker says:

      Like a sweet-talking charmer, Bowles seduced me with his crystalline prose. His sentences whispered in my ear and nibbled my nape, erasing thought from my haze-addled brain. Later, many days later, I came to with a throbbing headache and a sour taste in my mouth. The crystal turned out to be crystal meth and it had severely eroded my judgement. What I had taken to be beautiful and enticing was just a jaded street hustler peddling the same old weary goods that had been around the block just too m [...]

    • Richard Derus says:

      Rating: A craven, self-preservationistic 2* of fiveBkC8: Tedious twaddle.When I'm right, I'm right.The Book Report: Kit and Port Moresby (get the Australia/New Guinea colonial joke, huh? huh? How clever is Paul Bowles, right?) are not gonna make it as a couple. They just aren't. So, in time-honored rich-couple-in-over-relationship fashion, they Travel. They don't take a trip, or a vacation, oh perish forbid, they Travel. North Africa, they think, no one we know will be there so we won't have to [...]

    • Pantelis says:

      Kit and Port are martyrs of a godless religion

    • Brian says:

      I think I have a reasonable amount of time separating me from September of last year when I read this book for a second time. My wife and I were on a 10 day trip to Morocco and I suggested that we read The Sheltering Sky in tandem. Bowles tale of existential dread and Western culture collision with the desert and denizens of North Africa was supposed to be a fictional journey to parallel our actual one. It wasn’t.Bowles’ now relatively famous distinction between a traveler and a tourist is a [...]

    • trivialchemy says:

      In my younger days, I sensed that this was a rudely under-appreciated book that, merely acclaimed, deserved inclusion within the canon of the Gods themselves (Hemingway, Melville, Joyce, McCarthy). More recently, I have realized that not the book qua narrative, but its singular intimacy with my person colored the profoundness of my love-affair with this novel. As a result, my review must be peculiarly subjective for someone so accustomed to the pretense of objectivity.Whether its effect on my li [...]

    • S. says:

      This is an ambitious novel about alienation, isolation and despair. The story revolves around the character of Port Moresby, who, in disillusioned response to WWII, rejects America and Europe, leaving NY for Africa with his wife Kit as well as an acquaintance named Tunner, whom they both dislike.Port feels Africa is less marred by war, and aims to spend a long period of time there. It’s not that he would fit in, he just wants to escape, or disappear. He may hope to flee his emptiness, but unfo [...]

    • Jessica says:

      I rarely don't finish a book. This is a personal tendency (obsessiveness) which cemented itself during forays into such tomes as Les Miserables (5th grade) and Tess of the D'Urbervilles (10th grade) in which the endeavor seemed like it would be fruitless, and then, ahoy! A beautiful gem on the sparkling sea surfaces, a hundred or so pages in, and I was rewarded for my patienceSo it pains me to report that not even the chance of such a obscured jewel could keep me interested in A Sheltering Sky, [...]

    • Chip says:

      Oh man oh man. Someday I will have to revisit this, as I seem to mention it to anyone or anything who is willing to listen. Has probably become my favorite book of all time: simultaneously capturing the utter loneliness of existence, and the strange beauty of the desert/and/or the foreign. Makes me want to travel, makes me want to stay home and hide under the covers's that good. I've read almost all of Bowles' other stuff, and some of it comes close to this (especially Let it Come Down), but wha [...]

    • Mariel says:

      The desert- its very silence was like a tacit admission of the half-conscious presence it harbored.The dog's dead eye twitches like nails and hair curling on a grave. Ancient symbols of trickster rabbits depict that stolen cereal tastes better. I have a long stick to prod the poor doggy for some answers. He's the only creature in sight with a memory of life. Wrestling with the strange inhabitants sound closer to where you could go. My sister told me that I was unfair complaining that some books [...]

    • Kinga says:

      Jane Bowles, Paul Bowles’ wife, used to call him (among other things) “Gloompot”. I wonder how she got that; he seemed like such a cheerful guy. “The Sheltering Sky” is a story of two (sometimes three) American drifters, who consider themselves “travellers” (rather than primitive tourists, you know), in search of something in North Africa – themselves? The meaning of it all? But end up, of course, losing themselves completely for they didn’t realise they are just a sum of socia [...]

    • David says:

      i was all WOW! or maybe i was all WOWZY WOW WOW after i finished it. this quote will kill you. ""Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, an afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four, five times more, perhaps not [...]

    • Mary says:

      “Death is always on the 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 know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceiv [...]

    • Jennifer (aka EM) says:

      Forgot how much I loved this book. Love it. The richness of the character portraits, relationships, and existential themes; as well as the startling detail of the images are highlighted even more by knowing the ending.Back with more heading into Part II.12/28/08: A piece of writing by Donald Powell [link now dead-sorry!:] caused me to think about this book, and my very different response to it from when I first read it in my early 20s to 20 years later, when I am--ahem--not in my early 20s.Back [...]

    • Brian says:

      I read this early in my 20s - more than a decade before traveling beyond US soil and 15 years before witnessing the siren call of an African desert. Bowles' fiction is hypnotic, and his strongly written characters seem to have relevance to a reader at any stage in life. But I want to put that theory to the test, so I'm reminding myself now: re-read this book.

    • Amy says:

      In this novel a husband and wife and a sorta friend of theirs are travelling around North Africa. It's the 1940s, so one has to contextualize the sometimes awkward/semi-racist descriptions of the "natives." Or if you aren't interested in giving the characters any leeway, that's okay too, but the book works very well as a portrayal of arrogant, neurotic Americans in a hostile, alien world. A lot of shit goes down. At first you might think that you are just witnessing the deterioration of a marria [...]

    • Chrissie says:

      What exactly is the author trying to say with this book? Is he selling us existentialism through this novel? Perhaps. What is he saying about the central couple’s relationship, both with each and with their friends? This too is unclear. The two main protagonists are trying to reach out to each other, but do they succeed? This circles back to the author’s philosophical message. Perhaps it is enough that the book draws our attention to these questions. The answers are not clear.What does the a [...]

    • Ken says:

      When you remember reading a book long ago and you remember liking it, trust your instincts. Read it again. I did and, in the case of The Sheltering Sky, didn't regret a thing. I loved the exotic, North African setting. And the always slightly off-balancing love triangle of Port, Kit, and Tunner (what weirdly wonderful names). Some stop-me sentences, too. I love stop-me sentences. I never run them. Not even a roll-through. In fact, if no one's behind me, I often back up and fail to run them again [...]

    • Clif Hostetler says:

      This 1949 novel is considered by the literati as classic literature that reflects "post-colonial alienation and existential despair." (Quote is from .) Apparently I don't like "existential despair" because I didn't enjoy reading this book. I will grant that the writing is good. It occurred to me while listening to the audio edition that many portions of the narrative could be presented as free verse at a modern day poetry slam and it could be passed off as good poetry. But the story itself is ab [...]

    • Alex says:

      I'm looking for a book about white people who drink too much, do you have anything like that? Oh right this way sir, right here in the front we have our White People Who Drink Too Much shelf. Wow there's a whole shelf, huh. Yes it turns out that nearly every single book ever written is about white people who drink too much. Gosh! Do they sometimes also have sex with each other in combinations that they later regret? Always, sir. Always. Oh good, I've been wondering how white people who drink too [...]

    • Chris_P says:

      The Sheltering Sky with the somewhat unattractive greek title Τσάι στη Σαχάρα, has left me with mixed feelings. The word that kept flashing in my mind throughout the book is detachment. The unlikable main characters are detached from one another and so is the reader from them. Their personalities, just like their most personal and hidden thoughts, are laid out in front of the reader like shadowplay watched from afar, thus never close enough to actually make connection. Of course, it [...]

    • Will Byrnes says:

      A very unhappy tale of Americans in post WWII North Africa – They are unable to cope with this very strange world and are consumed by it. Port Moresby and his wife, Kit, along with traveling companion Tunner wander French North Africa, seeking adventure of a civilized sort. They are morally impaired – Port visits a prostitute; Kit has an affair with Tunner—and suffer as well from the physical location. Port ultimately contracts a fatal disease, and Kit goes mad, becoming a slave to a local [...]

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