THE SHELTERING SKY by Paul Bowles

THE SHELTERING SKY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A first novel, although Bowles' short stories may be familiar to the little magazine reader, this has some of the nervous brilliance, atmospheric effectiveness—without the imagery—of the early Prokosch.

Here, though, the intention is a little more definite, and this is the story of three people, Port Moresby; Kit, his wife; and their friend, Tunner who is in love with Kit. Lost, restless, and aware that they cannot contact the world or each other, Port and Kit travel aimlessly, and move from disenchantment to despair to ultimate disintegration. For Port, it is eventually death as he contracts typhus in the Sahara, dies alone while Kit is off meeting Tunner; for Kit, it is the deception and the guilt of her momentary affair with Tunner which drives her, at Port's death, to insanity, while Tunner waits in the desert for the return of the half-crazed Kit.

A strange book, bitter, clever, for an intellectual audience.
Pub Date: Dec. 5th, 1949
ISBN: 006083482X
Page count: 349pp
Publisher: New Directions
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1st, 1949




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