6. Jan, 2021

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Baudy.

At the age of of 43 Jean-Dominique Baudy had a life that most would envy; he was editor-in-chief of the French magazine, Elle. He was in a happy relationship with his girlfriend, Florence, and had two children from his formerer marriage that he doted on. Then suddenly on the 8th of January 1996 he had a massive stroke. While normally this infliction can do one of many things to the human body, sadly Jean-Dominique was left a severe quadraplegic, with a condition known as 'locked-in' syndrome. He spent the rest of his remaining life in hospital, but rather than mouldering away, he made a decision to write a book ... The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

This remarkable tome is only short compared to some, and can be likened to a memoir of sorts, but instead of being a rendition of his life's experiences, it is a collection of impressions  based on sensual recollections. Some may even see it as a poetic journey through his very vivid mind. Jean-Dominique is at no time maudlin in his writings, and considering this very true story was dictated with only the blinking of his eye, its heroic achievement is definitely worth experiencing.

Sadly, he died only three days after the book's initial launch.

I gave this book 5 stars for its easy reading and wonderful content.