Burning Books: The Hottest Scenes in Literature

The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje

There may not actually be anything hotter than almost burning to death in the desert.

“I fell burning into the desert. They found my body and made me a boat of sticks and dragged me across the desert. We were in the Sand Sea, now and then crossing dry riverbeds. Nomads, you see. Bedouin. I flew down and the sand itself caught fire. They saw me stand up naked out of it. The leather helmet on my head in flames. They strapped me onto a cradle, a carcass boat, and feet thudded along as they ran with me. I had broken the spareness of the desert.”