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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
209
4.6 out of 5 stars
The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly
Format: Paperback|Change
Price:£6.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime


on 16 October 2017
I didn't expect to enjoy this at all. My wife got it for her book club so I gave it a try and really, really enjoyed it. An unexpectedly joyful book about life and how to live it. Much recommended and hard to believe how he painstakingly wrote it.
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on 7 May 2016
AMAZING! everyone needs to read this
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on 19 February 2017
Beautiful and emotional story
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on 22 November 2017
A very moving book of a very brave man, unimaginable for most of us and to then write about it. Merci!
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on 15 April 2017
Touching, a book everyone should read
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on 5 September 2017
Great book, v good condition
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on 16 November 2017
Very good
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on 10 April 2017
At the age of 43, Jean-Dominique Bauby, chief editor of the 'Elle', suffered a cerebrovascular infarction, causing him to be completely paralysed, unable to speak, and to interact with his environment only by blinking. 'Butterfly and diving bell' was dictated by Bauby with his left eyelid. Bauby died of heart failure only a few days after the first publication in France.

Bauby is full of sarcasm and gibberish about his life before and after his brain injury. At times one would like to laugh at his wit, but with the laughter immediately being stuck in your throat. His view of things is merciless and hits the mark. This certainly might be disturbing and too rough/direct for many, but in my opinion it is absolutely authentic and makes this book so special.

The change of perspective that Bauby offers is exciting and at the same time shocking. Things get a completely new value. I was particularly impressed by the situation when Bauby was mobilized into a wheelchair for the first time - he was so glad he could finally leave the bed. Bauby says: 'From being the sick, I have become the disabled.' And 'but I have remained calm, fully occupied with measuring the brutal devaluation of my future perspective.' I find Bauby's book highly emotional, although some reviewers criticized the lack of emotion. Bauby is angry, disappointed, desperate, mourns for his lost life, cries discreetly - there is a depth of emotion, it can easily overwhelm you, rush over you like a gigantic wave.

A disturbing and moving testimony of a patient with locked-in syndrome. Everybody should read this book, seriously!
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 December 2015
This book was written by Jean-Dominique Bauby after he had suffered a massive stroke & was suffering from "Locked In Syndrome". His only communication with the outside world was by blinking his left eyelid. This book is an insight into his thoughts & feelings.
This is a very profound book. It is not a wallowing of self pity but observations of the world around & of his own past which kept the author from intense boredom. It explores the glorious events of his past which keep him company while he is "locked in". The sights & most particularly the smells. The taste of special food, the experiences of laughter & sadness. Intermingled with the past are the authors thoughts & comments on the world in which he now lives. The medics he comes in contact with , the visitors who write & visit & other patients in the hospital.
This book did not reduce me to tears as I was reading it. I don't think that was the author's intention. The purpose was to remind us of all those little things we take for granted so easily.
I am glad that I read this book. It is simple & uncomplicated. The text just flowed & before I knew it, I had reached the end. It is thought provoking. How quickly this man's life turned from a successful journalist to a locked in quadraplegic. It does us all good now & then to take stock of things and be thankful for what we have.
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on 7 January 2000
TDBATB is quite possibly one of the most fantastic pieces of literature I have ever had the fortune to read. His sensitive style, that comes out in both his native French and English, is so hearwarmingly accessable (for the want of a less patrionising phrase) that one cannot fail to be moved by it. Deeply moving, his motifs of escape, the sea and the lighthouse as a pillar of strength coupled with his razor-sharp wit that he feels he has lost to the outside world, portray his changing relationships with those around him in a way that the reader is instantly moved....but, as he wishes, shows no pity. As the blurb said on the back of one of my copies: 'read this book and fall in love with life'
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