Bell Jar Audio Cassette – Audiobook, Jan 16 1997
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Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman's descent into insanity. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
This 25th-anniversary edition of Plath's posthumous autobiographical novel includes a new foreword by the book's original editor, Frances McCullough; biographical notes; and eight previously unpublished drawings by Plath. Bravo to HarperCollins for putting all this together at a reasonable price.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Returning home, Esther finds that she has not been accepted into a writing course she applied for, and this leads her to consider what choices she has in life. Thus begins a descent into depression, and a very personal form of madness.
It is easy to see autobiographical parallels with Sylvia Plath's own life. Perhaps too easy, and this can detract from a broader message of identity and belonging, which so many of us experience and can relate to. I first read part of this novel as a teenager, almost 40 years ago. I read it then as an autobiographical novel which, while it raised many of the questions I was considering myself, had no comfortable answers. Coming back to the novel now, I see that I wasn't looking past the tragedy of Sylvia Plath's own death to appreciate the writing for its own sake. While Ms Plath took her own life at age 30, that this was a (tragic) choice, not an inevitable outcome.
So, why read this novel now? It was published almost 50 years ago and while aspects of the setting reflect that, the underlying search for identity and purpose are timeless. For me, this is a novel worth reading twice.
Whether or not you've ever been depressed, the Bell Jar captures not only the fear of nothing ever changing, but also the greater fear of things being different, twin processes which are, to me, at the heart of depression.
"The Bell Jar" tells the story of Ester Greenwood, a young woman interning at a woman's magazine in New York City. The reader fully witnesses Ester's decent into depression and her institutionalization in a mental hospital. Like her poetry, "The Bell Jar" is semi - autobiographical and very emotional. Plath also leaves the ending of the novel ambiguous, I do not want to give the ending away but I will say this, do not expect any sort of resolution.
All in all, I would recommend this book to Plath fans and those who appreciate a clever, wonderfully written piece of literature.
Dare I say that the author committed suicide in order to attain the literary accolades that she could not attain in her lifetime? It is quite possible............
Most recent customer reviews
I thought it would be better than it was. I was kind of bored with the book.Published 3 months ago by Penelope0108
Great book but this version is somehow riddled with typos. If that bothers you, it might be worth it to spend a little extra and get a better copy.Published 4 months ago by Hannah
Reminds me of catcher in the rye, well written and good flow, detached emotionally. Recommend this book, some typos but they are consistent...Published 4 months ago by Michele Rainville
The language is surperb. A courageous look at how it feels to have a mental breakdown.Published 7 months ago by J.O. Quantaman
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