The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Title - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Author - Jean-Dominique Bauby (translated by Jeremy Leggett)

Page Count - 132

Read Dates - 15.04.20-19.04.20


Synopsis - The memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby, a journalist who suffers a massive stroke, detailing his life with locked-in syndrome.


May contain spoilers


My thoughts - I had seen this film years ago, and when I learned it was actually a written memoir, I really wanted to read it.


I devoured this one. It was so moving, and really it provided an eye-opening look at locked-in syndrome, something that I wasn't particularly familiar with.


It was beautifully written, but really even if the language wasn't lovely, I feel that the way it's been written deserves so much recognition. Perhaps because it's a French book, and I'm in the UK, it's not really talked about. But I asked my cousin's girlfriend, and my only French friend if she had read it, and we had a nice little discussion about it, so I feel a bit like it's a bigger deal there. I didn't really come across anyone who had heard of it, although I think one or two people were aware of the film. Anyway, my point is, this book was written by a man who was paralyzed other than in his eye, and some slight movement of his head. He had an assistant who would list the French alphabet, and he would blink to indicate the letters he wanted, he essentially wrote the book by blinking. What a painstaking process, and yet, this book is perfect.


I read the translated version - I speak almost no French - and it was done really well.


This book is thought-provoking, emotional, haunting. It really stayed with me for days, weeks, after I had finished it.


My rating - 5/5



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