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Customer Reviews for

Sheltering Sky

Average Rating 4
( 23 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(12)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Timely and gripping

I enjoyed this book very much, although I would advise anyone who reads it to NOT read the author's forward beforehand, as it contains a HUGE spoiler, one that I'm actually annoyed was in there. Aside from that, the book is great, touching on the culural interaction be...
I enjoyed this book very much, although I would advise anyone who reads it to NOT read the author's forward beforehand, as it contains a HUGE spoiler, one that I'm actually annoyed was in there. Aside from that, the book is great, touching on the culural interaction between Western and Northern African cultures after the turn of the war.

posted by Desertsail on April 27, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Well Written Book

While I am glad that I read this book, I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters in the book. The writing is extremely good but the people were very not likeable and the story is kind of flat. The imagery, however, is wonderful. I was left wanting to find ...
While I am glad that I read this book, I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters in the book. The writing is extremely good but the people were very not likeable and the story is kind of flat. The imagery, however, is wonderful. I was left wanting to find someone to discuss the book with to see what I, "missed". It is a difficult book to recommend.

posted by 1465615 on June 15, 2012

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Timely and gripping

    I enjoyed this book very much, although I would advise anyone who reads it to NOT read the author's forward beforehand, as it contains a HUGE spoiler, one that I'm actually annoyed was in there. Aside from that, the book is great, touching on the culural interaction between Western and Northern African cultures after the turn of the war.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2004

    Dislocation and Disconnection

    One of the best novels I have ever read. I think it's a symptom of twentieth-century moral dissolution. The deeper into the Sahara the travelers go, the more they lose their grip on Western civilization. There's a wonderful scene in a hotel room where Kit removes every item from her luggage and surrounds herself with her stuff: she's losing her cultural identity, the Western rationalism that was programmed into her. Not to mention that all three travelers are decadent epicures - the morals of Christendom that endured for centuries are seen to be crumbling, if not already disintegrated, in this book. The Sheltering Sky is the epitome of existentialism - though not entirely atheistic: there's a suggestion that God may exist, but if so, He is malignant. This is a book, like Moby-Dick, to be read slowly and deliberately, and definitely more than once. Again, a fantastic novel.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Reminding us that "Great Literature" isn't exclusive with "Great Read"

    Finished this while I was laying in bed sick this evening. Wow! Frankly, I found it a little hard to get into at first, but by the second half of the book, I did not want to put it down. The last section of the book ("Sky") just pulled me right through it and spit me out on the other side!

    This is an amazing book, with an intense story and indelible, unforgettable characters. The "clash between cultures" theme is mirrored, sometimes explicitly, with a clash-within-oneself conceit, which I did not catch until I was done reading. I wonder how much else I will realize in the days to come, as a result of reading this....

    This is a book that reminds us that "great literature" doesn't have to mean dry, dull, and willfully difficult. If you've been putting off reading this (as I was, for decades), get off your duff, pull it down off the shelf, and dive in!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2003

    this began my obsession with Paul Bowles

    The book simply stunned me. I hate it when I guess the end of a book before it is over and this book not only surprised me but shook me. The simple minded tourists who haven't the slightest idea what they have landed in and the terror that can await the naive - beautiful flowing language that sucks you into it. Read and hold-on!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2000

    The best book I have ever read

    To sum this book up in a few words: It was amazing, inspiring, incredible, addictive, all around it has to be the best book I have ever read. Unlike many other writers, Paul Bowles dug deep into these people's lives and gave very detailed descriptions. If you do not read this, you are missing out on a great book.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 29, 2014

    Exceptional Writing, Superb Author

    When the idea of spending time away comes to mind, I now understand the key difference between being a tourist and a traveler after reading "The Sheltering Sky." “Whereas the 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.” - Page 5 Initially, I heard of the novel from an interview with Brandon Lee on "The Crow" home video, and from what he mentioned about passages from the story, I knew I had to read it. I recommend this book to anyone who feels a sense of wanderlust and adventure, overall to read a story that emphasizes human emotion and culture shock. What left an impression on me was the passage, “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 when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. And 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, or five times more? Perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless…”

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2000

    OUTSTANDING!

    This book explores the cultural rift of Europe and North Africa mixed in jealousy, thievery and the udder ridiculousness. It is almost impossible to put down once you begin reading. The story line starts with the basic two's company and threes a crowd motif and becomes more introspective and even nihilistic at the end. It showcases the inhumanity and stupidity of colonialism in a poignant manner. It was the first book I read by Paul Bowles and will not be my last. Spiders House is next.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2012

    Well Written Book

    While I am glad that I read this book, I found it difficult to relate to any of the characters in the book. The writing is extremely good but the people were very not likeable and the story is kind of flat. The imagery, however, is wonderful. I was left wanting to find someone to discuss the book with to see what I, "missed". It is a difficult book to recommend.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 15, 2014

    Read thoughtfully and carefully

    If you relate to the true meaning of what being a traveller is, read this. If you are delighted in intelligent prose and deep thinking, read this. If you question your own cultural values and societal norms and want to explore another's abstract mind, read this. If you want to feel enlightened, then pick up a copy of this beautiful work of art.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2013

    LavaClans Fresh kill&Woods&Training Hollow

    ~RedWintet~

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 6, 2000

    Disappointed

    Although the scenes were picturesque, I failed to pick up on the overall meaning. It was definitely the author's first novel - I felt that some of the description and dialogue was childish, and that he didn't seem to understand how women really think, as Kit does some things which seem to be totally against the character she portrays. A big disappointment. I was born in North Africa, and was hoping to enjoy this famous novel.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted November 30, 2008

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    Posted February 4, 2012

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted June 4, 2013

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    Posted February 12, 2011

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    Posted September 28, 2011

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    Posted July 23, 2010

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    Posted January 1, 2013

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    Posted March 11, 2012

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