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Fear Of Flying [Paperback]

Erica Jong
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
RRP: 8.99
Price: 6.29 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

13 Jun 1994
Compulsive daydreamer Isadora Wing doesn't want much - just to be free and to find the perfect, guiltless, zipless sexual encounter. Pursuing this ideal across two continents, she discovers just how hard it can be to make one's dreams come true. Though Isadora fears flying (in all possible senses), she forces herself to keep travelling, risking her marriage and even her life for her own special brand of liberation. This intensely witty and exuberant novel is about how she achieves her freedom and loses her fear.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (13 Jun 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749396059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749396053
  • Product Dimensions: 19.6 x 13 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,675 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"Uninhibited, erotic, delicious... a winner" (John Updike)

"Great humour... energetic, bawdy" (New York Times)

"Brilliantly articulate-the wit is dazzling" (Monica Dickens)

Book Description

The modern classic that changed the way we thought about sex

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A potent mix of intellect and sexuality 4 Jan 2009
Ths is an outstanding book written by a very liberated woman of the 70s - but while that is nearly 40 years ago it still packs a punch. The sexual content of this book is what it is most famous (or infamous) for with its tales of sexual promiscuity and coarse language that is entirely in keeping with the events it describes. But just as important as this, for me, is the erudition of the writer. She is very well-educated/read and augments the sexual tales of the main character Isadora Wing with copious apposite references to Shakespeare, music, etc. The pace of the book is often thrilling as it describes events so rapidly and intellectually as well as providing insight to the sexually liberated female mind.

I am dubious as to whether the book is largely fictional as the detail and intensity are entirely consistent with being biographical, if not autobiographical. Nevertheless it really is excellent brain food and a potent mix of intellect and sexuality.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A journey of discovery 4 Sep 2008
This book tells one woman's story of searching for freedom, mainly through sexual experience and fantasy. In many ways it is the female equivalent of Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint". Written in the early 1970's I was concerned that the book might be dated, describing a restriction on women no longer relevant, at least in Western society. However, whilst the book certainly isn't shocking in its sexual content 30 years on it is still relevant and insightful. Most importantly it contains far more than the sexual adventures and fantasies of the main character. The relationships of Isadora with her different husbands are subtle and gripping. In particular I found the description of the mental breakdown of the first husband powerfully written. The reflections on what these relationships and others have revealed to her about herself are stimulating. Finally, whilst there is a lot of analysis there is a lot of humour too. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who likes to reflect on the human condition -some things never date. My favourite thing Isadora learned: "You did not have to apologize for wanting to own your own soul. Your soul belonged to you - for better or for worse. When all was said and done, it was all you had."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fear of flying 11 Jun 2014
By Clare O'Beara TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
I found this boring, self-absorbed and rather pathetic. If the main character wanted to do something to express herself as a strong woman, and help the feminine cause, why not train as a biochemist or architect or police officer?

Instead this neurotic woman has sex, and rather bad sex too, on the brain. Why not try to find love with a man who will treat you as an equal, instead of wasting your energy? You'll never be long-lasting happy and fulfilled with sex replacing love.

And by the way, foul language doesn't make you look strong. It makes you look cheap.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Iconic read 5 April 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
First read this when I was 17! Wanted to see if it had the same impact. It does! Not disappointed.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Erica flies only so high 26 Dec 2008
This is not a book for those who are easily shocked - it may date back to the 70s, but it pulls no punches, and, for example, the main character refers to parts of her body in very direct terms.

Although I enjoyed reading it, I doubt whether the material in it all actually holds together well as a novel. In particular, the chapter entitled The Madman (chapter 12?) registered with me as very striking, but it did not follow on where the previous chapter left off, and this is where the disjointedness of the book began. The chapter is given credit at the front of the book for having been published in a magazine, albeit in a different version, and, unfortunately, that is how it reads in the context of the book to that point - it is in a different style, and, although the content is very good, it does not fit in. The two or three chapters that follow it also do not, with the result that, whereas this may not be as much of a problem as the one hundred and fifty odd pages of diary in Anne Bronte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall that breaks that novel's back, it is then not possible to resume, as Jong, seeks to do, the narrative approach that preceded this group.

With this (major) exception, the book is very well written, and Jong shows the breadth of her reading by making literary references that are utterly convincing in the mouth of her heroine, rather than, as such allusions can be, for the sake of it or to impress the reader and/or make him or her feel knowledageable that they have been identified.

Give this book a go, but it is questionable whether it lives up to some of the more extreme claims that have been made for it, however well it addresses sexual and other issues, because the characterization is not wholly convincing: for example, a British psychiatrist who is a devotee of R. D. Laing might have said 'ducks' all the time as term of endearment, but I rather doubt it...
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4.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant pice of writing! 7 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a classic feminist tale by Erica Jong, which I enjoyed even more at the second reading after 40 years. What more can I say?
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2.0 out of 5 stars not as good as expected 24 April 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
not the read i was hoping for it was a lot more convoluted.would not recommend it was good for its day.
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