- Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
- Publisher: Berkley (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: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 237 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Fear of Flying Mass Market Paperback – May 6, 2003
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About the Author
Erica Jong is the author of nineteen books of poetry, fiction, and memoir, including Fear of Flying, which has more than 18 million copies in print worldwide. Her most recent essays have appeared in The New York Times Book Review, and she is a frequent guest on television talk shows. Currently working on a novel featuring Isadora Wing—the heroine of Fear of Flying—as a woman of a certain age, Erica and her lawyer husband live in New York City and Connecticut. Her daughter, Molly Jong-Fast, is also an author.
Erica Jong left a Ph.D. program at Columbia to write her ground-breaking novel Fear of Flying, published in 1973. Jong is the author of numerous award-winning books of poetry and novels including Fanny, How to Save Your Own Life, Parachutes and Kisses, Any Woman’s Blues, and the forthcoming Sappho’s Leap. She is also the author of the memoir Fear of Fifty. She lives in New York City and Connecticut.
Top customer reviews
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What I love is the way she included so many important aspects of life and the fanciful way she tied her modern Hollywood struggles to life in the Serenisima, the original name of the book. She shows class structure, then and now, anti-semitism, the church actually killing babies born out of wedlock. She elevates love making and the sexual description of female genetalia to a par with Shakespeare. Her descriptions of the ecstasy she fantasizes between herself and the male lovers is exquisite.
Her inclusion of Shakespeare's sonnets is a bonus.
All in all, it is great education for male and female alike and a fun read.
I found that it's certainly dated in parts---all the kvetching about psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts---but the central issues are timeless: individual desire vs societal pressures, the raw impulses of the body vs the demands of the socially conditioned mind/heart, the still-all-too-common cultural hypocrisies around sexuality and gender, the endless ups and downs of the habitual monkey mind exacerbated by an advertising-driven consumerist society, etc. And Jong is a masterful stylist---her prose is a pleasure to read, even the few dated or melodramtic/narcissistic parts.
Ultimately though, this book is an unwitting illustration of Buddhist philosophy---the last two pages are worth skipping to if you find the rest of the book unpalatable or unappealing. In a nutshell, Jong experiences a kind of enlightenment while soaking in the bathtub of her estranged husband's hotel room, waiting for him to arrive after having run off with another man for the previous couple of weeks and living precisely the kind of anything-goes, totally unfettered and hedonistic life she had always dreamed of and been so afraid of before, only to find that it's not all that either, but realizing it was necessary and beneficial for her to go through it anyway.
I loved Philip Roth's "Portnoy's Complaint" but have to say that "Fear of Flying" has more depth and universality, in addition to being equal or better in terms of reading pleasure.
Most recent customer reviews
Very boring book.
I guess back in the 70’s it would be scandiless but not for this generation.