- Paperback: 216 pages
- Publisher: FABER AND FABER; Pocket Sized edition (1978)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0553204521
- ISBN-13: 978-0553204520
- Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.1 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (1,188 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,559,121 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The bell Jar Paperback – 1978
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Top Customer Reviews
The Bell Jar does not read like a classic - "classic" being the term of very old books with very old language - the description I've always had for the classic genre. This book has a very contemporary writing style, and despite it being written in the 1960s, The Bell Jar's topic of mental illness certainly transcends the generations and can be related by many people no matter when they read the book. I absolutely loved it!
The Bell Jar tells the story of a young Esther Greenwood at the beginning of her mental decline. She first recognizes its oncoming during a summer of interning at a magazine company in New York City. Trying to fit in with the other interns, as well as dealing with boys and co-workers prove to be a struggle at times for Esther. And later, when the real depression and suicidal thoughts set in, readers are invited into a dark and scary world, one created realistically and with honesty by Ms. Plath.
This book ranks high on my list of all-time favorites. I'm so glad I read it. From now on, if people want to read a classic (or a darn good book for that matter), I won't hesitate to suggest The Bell Jar. It's fantastic!
"The Bell Jar" tells the story of Esther Greenwood, an intelligent college student, as she slowly feels the "bell jar" of detachment and madness overtake her. As Esther goes from a prestigious internship in New York City to a summer at home with her mother in the Boston suburbs, her attachment to reality becomes more and more tenuous, until thoughts of suicide overtake her.
It is no secret that the story has at least a partial basis in reality, and that Sylvia Plath is writing from her own experience is perhaps what makes Esther so deeply real. I recently wrote a review of "Bridget Jones' Diary," and although "The Bell Jar" is undoubtedly a better book, there is a certain similarity between the protagonists: like Bridget, Esther is a character who is almost universally relatable. It does not matter if the reader is psychologically healthy or not: Esther awakens what she is feeling in all of us. My emotional response to "The Bell Jar" was on par with my emotional response to certain real-life events. I was uplifted to find a shared experience; angered at Esther's responses--and at the fact that they seemed reasonable to me; scared at the uncertainty I felt about myself and my own psychological state by the end of the book; and deeply protective--of Esther, of Sylvia Plath, and of every other reader who shared my experience.
I recognize that specifically speaking of the female experience when reading "The Bell Jar" could be considered rather narrow-minded of me.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a reread. I wasn't as pleased with the book as when I first read it many years ago. Found it less interesting.Published 4 hours ago by Janet E. Bastine
This story is the perfect pull back to reality. As a teen, I do believe this book gives great I sight to life struggles and pains of women in society, present and past. Read morePublished 5 days ago by jas
Great read! For sure not a fuzzy, feel good book. It's Sylvia Plath though, so that's to be expected. As long as you know what you are getting into, this book is worth your time.Published 7 days ago by Geneva
Esther's character journey is a story for anyone who has ever felt lost. How did I get here? Who have I become? What's next? Who's gonna marry me now? Read morePublished 8 days ago by Amazon Customer
Not many books have startled me, but this one did. There is one particular chapter near the end that really jolted me. Very good writing. I enjoyed the book.Published 9 days ago by SS
Very touching story about depression. Sadly it seems to be a window on Plath's life, as she committed suicide shortly after writing this book.Published 11 days ago by christine n
Had a perception that this would be a difficult read, definitely not. Her words flowed easily. Kept me wanting to know more.Published 11 days ago by Amy McCarthy