books, travel

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

I’d long wanted to read this book.

It’s on every list of TOP TRAVEL NOVELS.

And it gets great reviews.

I was disappointed. There are no appealing characters. No real plot. Nothing resolved.

It a Sommerset Maugham travel novel writ more poorly.

It’s as over-rated as In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin, another title frequently on those lists. (I did love Chatwin’s Songlines.)

The Sheltering Sky is a 1949 novel of alienation and existential despair by American writer and composer Paul Bowles. …

Port Moresby and his wife Kit, a married couple originally from New York, travel to the North African desert accompanied by their friend Tunner.

The journey, initially an attempt by Port and Kit to resolve their marital difficulties, is quickly fraught by the travelers’ ignorance of the dangers that surround them.

The novel was adapted by Bernardo Bertolucci into a 1990 film with the same title starring Debra Winger and John Malkovich …

Sounds like it should be great. But Rotten Tomatoes only has it at 50%.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Roger Ebert compared the film to “A Passage to India” and “Picnic at Hanging Rock” – both of them stories about conventional Europeans who find themselves lost in the overwhelming mystery of ancient continents.

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