My review on the diving bell and the butterfly
With "locked-in" syndrome due to some event in his brain stem, Bauby is completely paralyzed, able only to move his left eye and blink. Otherwise completely rational, this former editor of Elle, a prestigious Parisian magazine published in twenty plus countries, is completely bed-ridden, breathes through a respirator [diving bell], and is fed through a feeding tube. Using his eye blinks, he is able to communicate and write this book.
A wonderful story - one that works on many levels that an ordinary story doesn't work, because it's so real. Such as when he calls the cripples at his hospital "tourists" because they'll get to go home eventually, whereas he's apparently in for the duration. Or when he tells about his imaginary eating in the best restaurants in Paris and calls it "simmering memories."
[page 36] Once, I was a master of recycling leftovers. Now I cultivate the art of simmering memories. You can sit down to a meal at any hour, with no fuss or ceremony. If it's a restaurant, no need to call ahead. If I do the cooking, it is always a success.
Best part is "indigestion is never a problem." Poignant. Having René perfoned reading it with his sonorous French accent is a wonderful touch - one can easily imagine that one is hearing the author Bauby himself talking inside his head. I first listened to this book on audio tape due to an error in ordering, then later I read along with the audio tape and was able to notice minor changes between the text and the tape, such as substituting on the tape the word "cocoon" for "diving bell". Another interesting juxtaposition is the sentence, "The French team played like pigs." in the book and on the tape it came out, "The French team played like sick cows." Must be an idiom I'm not familiar with that allows the substitution of sick cows for pigs.
He recalls the story of going on holiday with his girl friend to Lourdes and getting in a half-mile long line full of cripples waiting for the Madonna to appear and cure them. He told her he wouldn't
I rely liked this book because it was fun and enjoying but sad to read about wat was really happening to Bauby. I am amazed ho he has the courage to surpass all of this imaginable thing’s how he’s life is compelling, and I also think that he is a courageous person