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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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Fear of Flying Mass Market Paperback – May 6, 2003

3.6 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Bookforum

For all of its class-bound preoccupations and the cramped horizons of its political vision, Fear of Flying does remain an important document, of both the literature and the emerging gender protest of its age. Its greatest triumph is the depiction of a female psyche battling the forces of loneliness while still yearning for pleasure. It’s a brilliant portrayal of how differently women experience existentialism, romance, and solitude. —Natasha Vargas-Cooper --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Extraordinary...at once wildly funny and very wise." - Los Angeles Times

"A picaresque, funny, touching adventure of Isadora Wing...on the run from her psychoanalyst husband, in quest of joy and her own true self." - New York Review of Books

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (May 6, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 045120994X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451209948
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #441,960 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I bought this book when I was fourteen because I thought it would be sexy. I scanned the book for dirty parts, then shelved it when I couldn't find anything very steamy and returned to the bodice-rippers under my mom's bed. Many years later, I opened the book as a different person. Married, childless, and still confused about what I should do with my life, Isadora Wing spoke straight to my heart. I laughed at myself when I learned that FOF does have a few sexual encounters, but they tend to be awkward, disappointing, and often uncomfortable. No wonder I didn't notice them when I first thumbed through. I was looking for the descriptions of perfect and seamless couplings found in romance novels, and that sort of language just wasn't there, accept for in Isadora Wing's fantasies about the "zipless f---". Isadora has big ideas, firm convictions, passions, but is often held back with fear and insecurity. The plot of the book is not nearly as important or engaging as Isadora's ruminations on love, sex, hypocrise, and searching for good examples of women to look up to. I think every woman should read this book, especially if she is married and getting just a little bit itchy. If it's really bad, have your husband read it, too.
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By A Customer on December 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked up this book in my mother's garage about 3 years ago, when I was 18. I admit that I was interested in it because of the sexy cover quotes like "steamy!" and "shocking!"
I read it. And it's turned out to be one of my favorite books. Not because it got me hot and bothered.. it wasn't any more "steamy" than an episode of NYPD blue, but because I found myself identifying so much with Isadora's plight... her urge to find herself, to balance her love for her husband with her urge to find the "zipless f***" and to do it all in a society that frowned upon a healthy sexual appetite in women.
Some people have found that the novel is self-serving and self-righteous, but not a drop of that came through to me. As a matter of fact, I was shocked to hear it!
I loved the book and I think most young women would too - which is why you're hearing a heartfel reccomendation from me!
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I get a little peeved when I read some reviews of this novel passing it off as some sort of salacious, "Peyton Place"-ish trifle meant to shock midwestern Americans. The truth is, over thirty years since its appearance, that the reviews Henry Miller and John Updike offered were no less than prophetic. The book is a genuine work of literary art and craft, frank but necessarily so in the same way "Lady Chatterley's Lover" was. Jong's style is compelling; her opinions, questions, and searches for her character's validations are no less valuable today. Perhaps a good portion of people were in a more open state of mind in the early seventies, more willing to experiment with lifestyle, substances, morality, even music and art. But are people today in less need of this kind of open consciousness? One only needs to examine the current political climate to see that we're heading for a revisionist version of McCarthyism. So perhaps the views expressed in "Fear of Flying" bear reexamination.
This book has so many ways to praise it one hardly knows where to begin. But as a man too young to read it in 1973, I am profoundly grateful to Ms. Jong for the opportunity to read and grow with it now and, no doubt, many times in the future (seeing it back in print, I quickly purchased 3 copies to get me through several more planned readings in the coming years). This edition features the new 2002 afterword by the author, which is invaluable. Jong's perspective on the value of the book, its uncertain early history, publishing stats, and humbling effect on the lady herself add to the novel's resonance. This may be told from a much-needed woman's persepective, but I refuse to label it as "women's" or "feminine" lit. This towering work should not be so conveniently monikered. Its far too challenging, and important, for that. How about simply "classic"?
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Format: Paperback
Before making reservations for a solo trip to (and in) China that will require six flights and leaving my husband of 20 years home for two weeks, I pulled my 36-year-old, faded, hardcover copy of "Fear of Flying" off the shelf. I spent the last two days re-reading it. We have come a long way, baby. I bought "Fear of Flying" when I moved to New York, solo, at age 22, and it's survived numerous purges of the bookshelves ever since. Why? I guess it's classic in its own way, a relic of the era before AIDS and before being socially conscious meant doing something, not just wearing hippie-inspired garb and having vaguely liberal attitudes.

The thing that consistently struck me about the character Isadora White Wing was that she is not a fictional character. Through every scene I felt that I was reading a memoir, a self-portrait, not a novel. It's all GIVE, GIVE, GIVE to ME, ME, ME because I am so SPECIAL, SPECIAL, SPECIAL. Not once does Jong describe an event or situation in which Isadora does something giving or caring for another person, for a husband or lover, other than opening her legs or mouth -- which was one hundred percent for her benefit or pleasure anyway. She does not cook a meal, make a home, give a gift, bestow any genuine affection. She does not have a kind word for anyone, including, of course, her sisters and parents, all of whom are skewered relentlessly. It is supposed to be satire, I guess. But it is not funny. Especially the chapter about visiting her sister's family in Beirut, Lebanon.

She describes hiding as a girl among the mink coats in her mother's closet which reeked of "Joy" perfume, and pretending to disown her parents on family trips to Paris and London. She makes fun of secretaries and in fact anyone who has a job. Poor, poor Isadora.
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