34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2003
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.
30 of 33 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 1999
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...
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 11 December 2001
'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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 June 2013
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.
22 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 16 March 2004
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!!!