I didn’t like the movie (with Debra Winger and John Malkovich). But neither did Paul Bowles. After reading an article about the novel in the NY Review of Books, it sounded interesting. It was. I just had to keep in mind that the American couple who travel to North Africa in the late 1940s both lean toward the self-destructive, that the woman in particular is rather insane, and that the Sahara can do strange things to people’s minds.
This was the author’s first novel. It’s beautifully written. Especially good are the descriptions of the characters’ unspoken thoughts, in particular, what runs through one character’s mind when he is delirious with fever. (2/12/12)