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Up above the world av Paul Bowles
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Up above the world (urspr publ 1966; utgåvan 1982)

av Paul Bowles (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
3401156,412 (3.43)4
On the terrace of an eloborate hilltop apartment overlooking a Central American capital, four people sit making polite conversation. The American couple -- an elderly physician and his young wife -- are tourists. Their host, whom they have just met, is a young man of striking good looks and charm. The girl, who is his mistress, is very young and very beautiful. Sitting there, with drinks in their hands, watching the sunset, the Slades seem to be experiencing the sort of fortunate chance encounter that travelers cherish. But amidst the civilities and small talk, one remark proves prophetic. The host says to the American woman: "It's not exactly what you think." Masterfully -- with the poetic control that has always characterized his work -- Paul Bowles leads the reader beneath the surface of hospitality and luxury into a tortuous maze of human relationships and shifting moods, until what seems at first a merely casual encounter is seen to be one rooted in viciousness and horror.… (mer)
Medlem:LadyLo
Titel:Up above the world
Författare:Paul Bowles (Författare)
Info:Ecco Press (1982), Edition: First Edition, 223 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
Betyg:***
Taggar:Fiction, Central America

Verkdetaljer

Up Above the World av Paul Bowles (1966)

  1. 00
    Främlingars tröst : [roman] av Ian McEwan (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: Richly atmospheric and absorbing books--the Bowles, especially--depicting couples travelling abroad who fall in with slightly mysterious couples living abroad. The outcomes are not happiness all 'round.
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From the opening scene of "Up Above The World" the atmosphere is ominous - every detail emphasized, like it is going to be very important later to remember exactly what happened up to the point of crisis. And you know without a doubt a crisis is coming. It always does in Bowles’ novels.

Paul Bowles is a fabulous writer. His quirky novels generally take place in exotic remote places, foreign lands, away from American tourist sites - also away from the safety of American law and order.

Dr. Slade and his young wife are world travelers. They like to drift about with no planned schedule and no firm destination in mind. This is a cautionary tale of what can happen if you are friendly and naive, and get too comfortable and confident in strange environments. Of course, the story takes place prior to the existence of cell-phones which increases the danger.

Bowles is good at character development, descriptions of scenery, dialogue, and above all building suspense and creating a mood in a shroud of mystery.

Written in the third person, you - the reader - are well aware everything is not as it appears to the Slade’s. In fact, at times they seem ridiculously trusting and naive - especially Mrs. Slade, who recklessly offers to share sleeping quarters with a complete stranger. From that moment on - you know Mrs. Slade is going to eventually get herself into big trouble.

"Up Above the World" is not Bowles’ best novel - in fact, it is more like a novella - just over 200 pages. But even so, it is far better than many other books of the suspense - thriller genre. And Bowles cleverly manages to present a surprise Hitchcock type crescendo to the plot. ( )
  LadyLo | Sep 22, 2020 |
Leaving aside that the Latin Americans in the novel are mere cartoony props (the closest to being a fully realized human is a feral Cuban whose main characteristics include non-stop smoking of marijuana and being wild in bed), the high points of the novel (hallucinatory fevers and creeping paranoia) are undermined by a cheap denouement. ( )
  giovannigf | Nov 21, 2019 |
100 times worse than The sheltering sky. ( )
  lucaconti | Jan 24, 2019 |
Up Above the World is the story of two Americans, a retired doctor and his young wife, travelling through Central America and of what befalls them when they encounter another couple, one of whom may be intent upon doing the travellers harm.

I suppose it wouldn't be stretching things too much to liken the book to The Comfort of Strangers but written by someone with the eye of an artist, the ear of a musician (naturally--Bowles was in fact a musician), the prose of a poet and the ability to re-create one's worst nightmare. Bowles excels at depicting landscape, from scrubby plain to dry jungle, and its inhabitants, from crickets singing in the sultry nights to unwordly spiders to inscrutable humans. No doubt that's the reason his books are so full of atmosphere. In this one, the atmosphere from the start is one of menace and doom; I can't convey how oppressively ominous it is but shall say I put it aside for a few moments now and again simply for relief.

It's a shame Bowles seems to be something of a cult writer and perhaps as famous for his life as for his books: he's a far better writer than many more well-known ones. If you've not tried him, he's certainly worth a go and if you've read only The Sheltering Sky, this one is at least as good as it is.
  bluepiano | Dec 30, 2016 |
Read this as part of my MA degree. It’s one of those tales that’s good in parts rather than on the whole.

The plot has little going on but it is believable. Certain mundane events were not boring because the author’s use of language made everything vivid. He’s especially good at evoking the senses.

I liked the first part the best, after this it was all hit and miss. Didn’t like the ending.

Scenes featuring one of both of the Slades appealed to me the most. They struck me as very “real” and I could relate to them. I didn’t take to the other characters. ( )
  PhilSyphe | Oct 19, 2016 |
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On the terrace of an eloborate hilltop apartment overlooking a Central American capital, four people sit making polite conversation. The American couple -- an elderly physician and his young wife -- are tourists. Their host, whom they have just met, is a young man of striking good looks and charm. The girl, who is his mistress, is very young and very beautiful. Sitting there, with drinks in their hands, watching the sunset, the Slades seem to be experiencing the sort of fortunate chance encounter that travelers cherish. But amidst the civilities and small talk, one remark proves prophetic. The host says to the American woman: "It's not exactly what you think." Masterfully -- with the poetic control that has always characterized his work -- Paul Bowles leads the reader beneath the surface of hospitality and luxury into a tortuous maze of human relationships and shifting moods, until what seems at first a merely casual encounter is seen to be one rooted in viciousness and horror.

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