Category Archives: Sheltering Sky, The

The Sheltering Sky: Read from April 05 to 07, 2014

I just can’t keep on with this book. I don’t like the characters one bit. They are all such very hateful people, very shallow in their behavior towards each other and naive in their analysis of themselves, and while I get the point of the book, I just don’t want to spend time with these characters. Maybe some people might find it interesting to discover why these characters are always so sad and laconic and dissatisfied with all life, but I do not care to find out. If I knew these people in real life I would avoid them at all costs (and I’m sure they would have nothing to do with me, either).

I wonder why Bowles felt the need to write this book? What was his inspiration? Whom did he imagine his audience to be? In some ways this book felt like it was birthed from the duty-bound anus of that hive queen insect whom resides in the basement of all 20th century college English departments and literary journals – a white-sticky, pulsating mass of mucus dripping portentousness whose juices are drunk, forcibly at first, to undergrads eager to please a professor who has it on for such things as plot and humor when he comes upon them in a book. In fact this book might be the near death blow dealt to English literature which has driven almost all people capable of reading onto other leisure activities.

This book is everything that is wrong with so many modern novels – it’s absolutely nonspecific in every way, it describes only semi-sentient bodies floating in a warm, thick cream in near weightlessness – no force acts upon the people in the book and they do not interfere with anything going on outside the confines of the pages. Everything is ‘sad’, everyone is ‘languid’, life is ‘meaningless’, and nothing is explained because it’s ‘art’.

Bullshit. It’s all bullshit. And I hate every word of it.

26% done with The Sheltering Sky

It’s interesting reading this alongside The Flame Trees of Thika. Both books are about white people in Africa, but whereas the Huxley’s in Thika are resourceful and hard-working, the people in this book are bored and lazy. No wonder the Huxley’s, though guilty of British superiority at times, see the Africans as actual human beings where here all they see is ugliness because they themselves are ugly.

14% done with The Sheltering Sky

I’m really on the fence about this. Part of me feels like this could be another Brideshead Revisited – a novel full of ugly, terrible people with as many problems as they have money. But I am intrigued with this nevertheless. The writing is quite good and I get the feeling these characters will have their world unraveled exactly because of their entitlement.

I loved the story of the three dancers in the Sahara.