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The Stories of Paul Bowles

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The Stories of Paul Bowles Cover

ISBN13: 9780060937843
ISBN10: 006093784x
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

An American literary cult figure, Paul Bowles established his legacy with the novel The Sheltering Sky. An immediate sensation, it became a fixture in American letters. Bowles then returned his energies to the short story — the genre he preferred and soon mastered.

Bowles' s short fiction is orchestral in composition and exacting in theme, marked by a unique, delicately spare style, and a dark, rich, exotic mood, by turns chilling, ironic, and wry. In "Pastor Dowe at Tecaté," a Protestant missionary is sent to the far reaches of the globe — a place, he discovers, where his God has no power. In "Call at Corazón," an American husband abandons his alcoholic wife on their honeymoon in a South American jungle. In "Allal," a boy's drug-induced metamorphosis into a deadly serpent leads to his violent death, but not before he feels the "joy" of sinking his fangs into his human prey. Here too are his most famous works, such as "The Delicate Prey," a grimly satisfying tale of vengeance and "A Distant Episode," which Tennessee Williams proclaimed "a masterpiece of short fiction."

Though shocking, Bowles's stories possess a symmetry between beauty and terror that is haunting and ultimately moral. Like Poe, Bowles had an instinctive adeptness with the nightmare vision. Like Hemingway, Bowles is famously unsentimental, a skilled craftsman of crystalline prose.

Review:

"Earthy, violent and comfortable with corruption, these deeply affecting stories are distinguished by their lyrical rhythms and meticulous regard for language. The assemblage of this impressive collection marks a literary event of the highest order." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Lavish first collected edition of Bowles's harsh, unsparing short fiction...62 elegantly wrought, compact nightmare visions....Bowles was a great writer whom many readers may find hard to stomach....Those attuned to his hammer-blow rhetoric and nihilistic lyricism should find this generous volume just about irresistible." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"The clash of alien and native cultures is a predominant theme found in Bowles' stories, worked out in various plot situations but always rendered in his trademark lucid, direct style. A necessary purchase for all active literature collections." Brad Hooper, Booklist

Review:

"In appearance, Bowles was an elegant man, but as a narrator he was remote, pitiless, and unsympathetic, and he dealt harshly with his characters....Containing 62 stories arranged chronologically and spanning 40 years, this edition is being published as part of the 30th anniversary of Ecco Press, of which Bowles was a cofounder. Essential for larger fiction collections." Library Journal

Review:

"Bowles writes from a sensibility that is foreign or at least remote from the American ordinary....The essential Bowles plot charts a clash between two cultures, one usually Western and the other primitive. Visitors come to feast on the picturesque and take one step off the beaten path. Sometimes their fate is terrible." Paul Gray, Time

Review:

"You only need to read a passage or two from one of his best pieces to feel thrust at breakneck speed into Bowles' universe. It is a realm of shocking cruelty and cold detachment, and...it proves powerfully seductive....Even at their most impressive, though, Bowles' stories may be best taken in small doses." Sean McCann, Book Magazine

Review:

"Paul Bowles has had few equals in the second half of the twentieth century." Gore Vidal

Review:

"Paul Bowles opened the world of Hip. He let in the murder, the drugs, the incest, the death of the Square...the call of the orgy, the end of civilization." Norman Mailer

About the Author

Paul Bowles was born in 1910 and studied music with composer Aaron Copland before moving to Tangier, Morocco, with his wife, Jane. He remained in Morocco, and it served as the inspiration for The Sheltering Sky, which was published in 1949. It was followed by The Delicate Prey, Let It Come Down, The Spider's House, and Without Stopping, a memoir that describes his legendary associations with members of the Beat Generation. Bowles's prolific career included many musical compositions, collections of short fiction, and books of travel and poetry and translations. He died in Morocco in 1999.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jason Schepers, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by Jason Schepers)
This is an excellent collection of Bowles' short fiction, which includes not only the best of his work, but more experimental pieces which aren't as sound but are quite interesting in terms of seeing how he honed his craft. Even half a century later, the most brutal of these stories have the power to shock and horrify through the lyrical, unflinching manner of Bowles' prose, and in some ways those stories foreshadowed a similar tack taken by Bret Easton Ellis decades later. While not every story is laden with such darkness, at the very least there is always a sense of menacing ennui, and as such this book will not be for everyone. In addition to fans of Bowles' better-known book "The Sheltering Sky" I would recommend it to fans of Bret Easton Ellis and Joseph Conrad, as Bowles' work is something of a philosophical and even stylistic bridge between the two.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060937843
Introduction by:
Robert Stone
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Author:
Bowles, Paul
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
Morocco
Subject:
Stories (single author)
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Ecco Pbk
Publication Date:
June 3, 2003
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
672
Dimensions:
8.28x6.52x1.76 in. 1.28 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Stories of Paul Bowles Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 672 pages Ecco (HarperCollins) - English 9780060937843 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Earthy, violent and comfortable with corruption, these deeply affecting stories are distinguished by their lyrical rhythms and meticulous regard for language. The assemblage of this impressive collection marks a literary event of the highest order."
"Review" by , "Lavish first collected edition of Bowles's harsh, unsparing short fiction...62 elegantly wrought, compact nightmare visions....Bowles was a great writer whom many readers may find hard to stomach....Those attuned to his hammer-blow rhetoric and nihilistic lyricism should find this generous volume just about irresistible."
"Review" by , "The clash of alien and native cultures is a predominant theme found in Bowles' stories, worked out in various plot situations but always rendered in his trademark lucid, direct style. A necessary purchase for all active literature collections."
"Review" by , "In appearance, Bowles was an elegant man, but as a narrator he was remote, pitiless, and unsympathetic, and he dealt harshly with his characters....Containing 62 stories arranged chronologically and spanning 40 years, this edition is being published as part of the 30th anniversary of Ecco Press, of which Bowles was a cofounder. Essential for larger fiction collections."
"Review" by , "Bowles writes from a sensibility that is foreign or at least remote from the American ordinary....The essential Bowles plot charts a clash between two cultures, one usually Western and the other primitive. Visitors come to feast on the picturesque and take one step off the beaten path. Sometimes their fate is terrible."
"Review" by , "You only need to read a passage or two from one of his best pieces to feel thrust at breakneck speed into Bowles' universe. It is a realm of shocking cruelty and cold detachment, and...it proves powerfully seductive....Even at their most impressive, though, Bowles' stories may be best taken in small doses."
"Review" by , "Paul Bowles has had few equals in the second half of the twentieth century."
"Review" by , "Paul Bowles opened the world of Hip. He let in the murder, the drugs, the incest, the death of the Square...the call of the orgy, the end of civilization."
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