I have loved Paul Bowles' short stories for years...from his North African stories to his New York City ones. I have read a lot of his stories before, but it seems I missed a lot. A lot of the stories remind me of Albert Camus' The Stranger, as they seem quite existential and lonely in a way. I wouldn't recommend these stories if you are looking for an uplifting tale, as most of them are a bit on the sad side. On the other hand, they are extremely well written, and all of them carry the existential feeling Bowles provides in most of his stories written about North African places and situations. Most of the stories deal with relationships of one kind of another...love relationships either troubled, one sided, impossible (due to cultural differences, age, etc.). All of the stories carry a very vivid visual descriptive aspect which is wildly pleasing to my tastes. The closest comparison in other writers that I could make would be Denton Welch. Welch's short stories carry even more visual description...so much so that his stories are almost "juicy."
The different narrators for each story are a really excellent touch. Some of them are obviously better than others, but it gives the semblance of uniqueness for each story.
Stories of Existential Torpitude...
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