Monday night I was feeling particularly run-down, and decided to treat myself to a little R&R: the last few chapters of The Sheltering Sky and a makeshift hot toddy. I've been mulling over the book since then, so without further delay, here's my impromptu review.
Generally, when I hear something--anything--takes place in the desert, I'm immediately turned off (not sorry to report that this applies to the second Sex and the City movie). That being said, there was something so surreally and harshly beautiful about the setting of The Sheltering Sky. The narrative moves fluidly across Northern Africa, charting a married American couple, Kit and Port, as they attempt to find one another again--maybe even for the first time. The Sheltering Sky is a sweeping, modern epic in which Paul Bowles tackles post-colonialism, emotional intimacy, infidelity, and philosophical inquiry. It is both languid and urgent, and contains some of the most vivid landscapes I've ever encountered in a novel.
The book is vastly superior to the film trailer below, which is obscenely, hilariously cheesy. Might I also add, the line about "a woman's dangerous and erotic journey" had me thinking about Seinfeld (Rochelle, Rochelle: "a young girl's erotic journey from Milan to Minsk"). Enjoy the trailer, check out our reading schedule, and be sure to try The Sheltering Sky--it definitely deserves a read. Tune in next month for our reviews of another American classic, the timeless To Kill a Mockingbird.