The Diving Bell and The Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

I am ashamed to admit I had not heard of this book until last week, when The Economist ran a review of the movie. The title of course is poetic and metaphorical, and was key for my wanting to read this book. Then I found out that the author was the editor-in-chief of the French Elle magazine, and was 43 when we had a massive stroke. He was left completely paralyzed, with controlled movement of just his left eyelid. And that is how he wrote this beautiful poetic work, one eyelid blink and one alphabet at a time. Knowing this, there is no way to not want to read the book.

The book is short, written in very simple language, and honest. It offers one of the most extreme examples of biological life gone wrong, and it shakes the reader into the realization of the simplest (and numerous) things we don't appreciate every single day. There is little to say about this book except to recommend it highly for its honest, inspirational, sarcastic and funny and sad, and in the end utterly moving story.


chica said...

I wish I could have said I've been in a cave to justify my ignorance about this book. And there is a movie too!
I have to read it for its a blink a word writing.

Stella said...

Nice review :)

I've been debating whether to read this or not, but I've finally decided to put it on my reading list.

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