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Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams, and other prose writings [Paperback]

Sylvia Plath
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

9 April 1979

From her mid-teens Sylvia Plath wrote stories, at first easily and successfully, but then with increasing difficulty as the demands of her real vision complicated her growing ambition to make a career as a conventional storywriter.

When the first edition of Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams appeared, Margaret Walters said of it in the Guardian, 'the book does offer . . . new insight into her development as a writer, suggesting how even her mistakes and dead ends contributed to the formation of an original and pathfinding talent'.

This second edition contains the thirteen stories included in the first edition together with five pieces of her journalism, as well as a few fragments from her journal; and a further nine stories selected from the Indiana archive.


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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Faber and Faber, London (9 April 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571049893
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571049899
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

Product Description

About the Author

Sylvia Plath (1932-63) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963). Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars There's No Need To Panic About Johnny 5 Jan 2003
Format:Paperback
A collection of short stories by Sylvia Plath, Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams is guaranteed to keep you guessing what will happen in each story. Although you do start picking up on the fact that there is a twist to each story, you can never correctly guess each one if it's your first time reading it.
Bearing in mind that I have an interest in the life of Sylvia Plath, the book does give you an insight into the kind of things she may have thought important: the infidelity of a husband, growing old being dominated by a man, the idea of being in a psychiatric hospital.
All in all, an entertaining book with an element of real life to keep you believing.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book full of hidden treasures 10 Nov 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Plath's prose is not just "The Bell Jar". Read this and think again! Obviously, some stories are better than others, but don't take Hughes' section divisions as gospel - "Sweetie Pie and the Gutter Men" is a much more complex story than you would think given its placing in the volume. None of the stories should be underestimated, but some should be read with an awareness of the kind of magazine market she was trying to break into. Having said that, the star of the show is undoubtedly the weird and wonderful "Johnny Panic", a story which pulls like a magnet until the amazing climax. Take time over the stories, and they will reward...
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than just a poet's prose! 11 Dec 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
'Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams' is a wonderful collection of culturally conscious texts. The stories like - Plath's poetry - often show the world (or her world) in its most naked, pure, form. Plath narrates with a compelling, wry detachment, with the story 'Johnny Panic..' being as powerful and as intense as any text I have ever read.
Do not let the usual dismissal of Plath's fiction put you off - 'Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams' is an excellent collection that offers unique insights into both Plath's life and her development as an artist.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such a pleasure 26 Jun 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It is such a pleasure to read these short stories. They're intelligent, whitty, full of unexpected turns, and they are most certainly valuable on their own, and not just because (as the blurb says) because they shed light on Plath's development as a poet.
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21 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A** 16 Mar 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Ever since i read the bell jar, i have been obsessed with Sylvia Plath! Her writings present a troubled spirit,a tortured mind and pure genius-ness. I admire her way with words and the way she so honestly and descriptively tells a story, an opinion, or a dream. I highly recommend this book to ANYONE who enjoys a good read!!!
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