Flying: A Novel

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And people were thrown back by the fact that women had dreams of random sexual encounters! It's appalling. Of course, at the same time, despite the fact that if this book was released today, it probably wouldn't be considered a revelation, I'm sure Isadora would still get labeled cruelly. Which is also kind of upsetting. None-the-less, if you like the topic but not the writing style of Fear of Flying , I definitely suggest The Awakening , which is a little more high-brow.

Original review: I kindofsortof hate it when people say things like "this book changed my life," but if I was going to say that about just one book, I would say it about this one. Yes, it's neurotic, yes, it's self-obsessed. But I like it that way, and there's still plenty to take from this book even for those who don't especially enjoy writing like that.

There are also plenty of modern writers who do the same thing and are praised for it cough Dave Eggers cough.

Fear of Flying still soars above tabloid outrage

In the simplest overview, there's nothing particularly revelatory about her observations and conclusions -- everyone goes through the struggle of wanting to be independent and wanting to be loved, and most of us learn this rather early on. But there's something about the way that she approaches this, the way that she handles it, that makes it hit you like a truck. I dare you to come away from reading this book without thinking about it for at least the next week. Though this book is obviously marketed towards women, I think it's just as important reading for men.

View all 11 comments. Apr 10, Julie rated it it was ok Shelves: retro-buddy-reads , don-t-believe-the-hype. He starts to sweat immediately at the man's request, but stays outwardly calm as he puts down the coffee cup and follows the editor into his office. The editor makes a big show of inviting the young man in, closing the door behind him and seating him comfortably on a small sofa. He chooses to lean conspiratorially against his large desk. The intern battles the urge to bite his lower lip. You see that sweet piece of ass out there in the lobby? The one with the cotton candy hair and those sweet, braless tits?

He nods. She's a friend of a friend. Some kind of poet, too. She's real appreciative that we're going to take a little look-see at her manuscript. Well, that you're going to take a little look-see, while I take those tits out to an air-conditioned lunch. I've pretty much promised her we'll give her feminist lit a little whirl, so don't break a sweat, kid.

Just scribble some basic notes and advise her to knock off about fifty pages. The editor returns, his entrance announced by his boisterous laughter. He has an arm hooked under Ms. Jong's arm and he ushers her in to an available office as he summons the intern with a quick flick of his hand. He doesn't know the intern's name, and this doesn't embarrass him in the least, but he rubs the top of Ms.

He shuts the door behind him as he leaves. After a few polite exchanges, the intern and Ms. Jong laughs into her hand. Of course. We are the same woman! Is this an autobiography? EJ: Well, it all really happened, but, no, biographies don't sell. The interns pulls at his collar. He's taken three aspirins since he started the manuscript and is sweating profusely now. He coughs. Intern: And my editor. EJ: nods vigorously Oh, yes. Intern: But. I mean, what exactly about it is feminist? EJ: flicks back her head and laughs Well, I believe you've noticed I'm a woman?

The intern pulls at his tie as though imagining it's become a noose. I mean Isadora's escapades are so. And that scene with the man who can't be bothered to wipe his bottom and smears feces all over your sheets during lovemaking. Jong smiles, wraps her hair playfully around her finger. Tries to keep his cool. Jong, but are you aware that you use three different tenses alone, just in the first chapter? I wonder if you could clarify your storytelling vision to me? She giggles. The intern knocks loudly at the door of the editor and is invited in.

The editor stays seated, a Parliament cigarette hangs from his mouth. The book is published in and men with dirty asses and dirty toes the whole world over are shocked to discover their newfound love of feminist lit. View all 57 comments. Jul 24, Fabian rated it really liked it. Rather neglectful of reading duties I shall admit to this very vulgar crime for the lethargic days of summer, it was truly a rare treat to sporadically go back to this, a sly and sinful read.

That "50 Shades" is such a success should not be surprising-- it's just that the reminder that other people are having sex while you are or are not is. I've been quoted before as saying that "sexual non-adventure is Rather neglectful of reading duties I shall admit to this very vulgar crime for the lethargic days of summer, it was truly a rare treat to sporadically go back to this, a sly and sinful read.

I've been quoted before as saying that "sexual non-adventure is a sin Her main character is not prone to saying no to the act, she rather bathes in the light of casual encounters, but she has intelligence and heart. This is rightfully in the or ? View 2 comments. Jong writes insightfully about the between-a-rock-and-a-hard-place that women resided in during the early s, and at times still do. The protagonist isn't what I consider terribly likable, yet her bold intelligence, self-awareness, and wit carry her through myriad messy bits.

Jong states in the author interview at the end that she'd like this book to be considered a modern classic - which it is! The audiobook narrator is stupendous! View all 10 comments. Jun 10, Paul Bryant rated it it was ok Shelves: novels. I found myself walking round this book and poking it nervously instead of reading it.

This went on for days. Fear of Flying - famously feisty, fearless, feminist and full of fucking. Also well known to be zipless. It was like having a landmine on the table, if I opened it I could lose a leg, or some other fleshly part. When I did summon up the courage I was a little bit — well, deflated.

As opposed to being flated, which I had been. It was like pages of sta I found myself walking round this book and poking it nervously instead of reading it. It was like pages of stand up comedy of a very middling sort but with buckets of f words and c words. Ah, look, a clitoris. What is this, a feminist version of The Lucille Ball Show? And complicated family history involving Nazis! And problematic religion! Jewish mothers! And kvetching. A whole lot of that. Novels about novelists should all be deleted, removed from shelves, pulped, unpublished, unwritten, obliterated.


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Along with films about film-making, songs about songwriting, paintings of the painter painting and sculptures of the sculptor having sculpted. This arse-gazing must stop. Memo to artists : you are not alone in the universe. Ha ha, she was only joking, right….? No mucking around. I know, it ill behooves me to make pronouncements on this stuff.

Not in any great absorbing detail. Also, many of the long conversations between Erica sorry Isadora and her boyfriend are like many conversations you may remember in your own tortured yet banal existence. Which is why some women jumped on this novel and said yes! This is what life is like! But then, if your middle class privileged life and its vast angst has always heretofore been rigorously excluded from the pages of The Novel then maybe that is why F of F was a good thing and is now suffering from the Citizen Kane effect which is where the great originator in some art form or another now looks rather tacky and tedious and tiresome because everyone has stolen all its ideas blind and copied it for ever after it appeared.

A deeply unfair 2. Oct 09, Jessica marked it as aborted-efforts Recommends it for: zipless fuckers? Recommended to Jessica by: i'm not so sure anyone did Shelves: crazy-ladies , here-is-new-york , chicklits , love-and-other-indoor-sports , bad-reads.

Eras of Pan Am

Earlier on this evening I was talking to my sainted mother on the telephone, and she noted that I seemed to be "reading a lot of intellectual books lately," to which I reacted with vehemently indignant daughterly rage: "I am NOT, Mom! Let's face it, folks: I've been having a lot of trouble reading books lately. Like, a lot a lot, and I haven't really been able to figure out why I bottomed out most of the way through the Proust, and the Caro's really interesting but I still keep putting it down and daydreaming on the subway.

This is so terrible. What's going on?? Crazy things are happening all around me! There's about eighty bared biceps between here and the train, and the ice cream truck blares by every night around midnight Anyway, maybe my mom's right. Maybe I am reading stuff that's too "intellectual," or in any case, too unseasonal As I've been fond of observing lately, "Men don't make passes at girls who pass classes.

And this leads us to an overwhelming question, which is: where is summer 's John Travolta to my own excruciatingly irritating Olivia Newton John?!! These are the kinds of burning questions on my mind these days: the thermostat's high, and it's melting my brain! It's definitely time to stop overheating the poor thing with all this talk about Senates and seascapes, so that I can preserve my scarce mental attentions for bikini wax maintenance and miniskirt coordination.

Did I mention there're about fifty bared biceps between here and the train? The librarian girl thing might work in the winter when we're all bundled up, but baby, it's hot outside Anyway, all this ran through my mind earlier, and I really thought that Fear of Flying was the answer to my sweaty, stupid prayers. I've been meaning to read this book since forever! Not totally sure why, but I have, and my roommate has a real snazzy, skeezy looking cover with a naked lady and everything.

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Naked lady!!! Unfortunately, so far this is one of the most terribly written piece of crap I've started in a long time, which is why I just sat down here and wrote all this stuff. I'm procrastinating from my "fun," trashy read just eight pages in! Not a good sign Well, we'll see.

Stay tuned View all 27 comments. Mar 19, Sarah rated it did not like it. A seminal feminist classic? I am nothing short of incredulous.

Fear of Flying A Novel

I'd say it was the pseudo-intellectual self-absorbed ramblings of a spoilt year-old 'poet' that does not stand the test of time. This is my first, and as an author myself, I've wondered what can motivate a reader to such an action. But now, thank you Erica, I have seen the light! It's when the distance between the reader's expectations and what is del 20 million copies sold? It's when the distance between the reader's expectations and what is delivered are such poles apart as to provoke a huge desire to redress the balance for the sake of anyone stumbling upon these reader reviews.

Or that's my motivation anyway. In summary: this is a racist not racy, self-absorbed not self-enlightened, memoir-thinly-masquerading-as-fiction. If I hadn't been reading it for my book group, there is NO WAY I'd have got through it, as I haven't met such an insufferable protagonist in as long as I can remember if ever. Isadora Wing aka Erica Jong is spoilt beyond belief, has access to education, money and family support, name drops like a teenager desperate to impress with her literary knowledge, but despite her own ego, is a really rather rubbish writer. Her style is repetitive and rambling, full or irritating asides and diversions, but what really irks is she has not a good word to say about anybody - not her long-suffering family, her countless shrinks they had their work cut out there , her two ex husbands, no one.

Even if we aren't supposed to like her, to read several hundred pages in such negative, whiny tone of voice gets tiresome without anything positive to act as a contrast.

Erica Jong: A life in brief

She may write refreshingly honestly about sex but most of her encounters seem to be with impotent men and seemed tame indeed to my 21st century sensibilities but THAT IS ALL. And given the book's reputation, I expected more emphasis on sexuality and fantasy and less on pseudo intellectualism and psychoanalysis. If FoF was a classic at the time, it has not stood up to the forty odd years that have passed since.

'Borne' Is a Beautiful, Bizarre Sci-Fi Novel with a Gigantic, Flying Bear

I consider myself a feminist, but even from that historical perspective, there are surely other books that are a lot more informative and interesting. The Second Sex, for example, which predates Jong by two decades still resonates today, and fiction-wise, Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber was published only six years later but is far more erotic and subtle when it comes to exploring female sexuality and fantasies. Shame, I'd have loved to have seen it.

Let me start off by saying that I liked this book - I really did.


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Isadora Wing with a name like that, Erica Jong brings the concept of 'thinly veiled autobiography' to new heights is an exuberant and lovable character. I thought the writing was very good in parts, even though other parts read as if a six-year-old Erica was sitting in her bedroom with a Barbie and two Ken dolls, mashing them together and transcribing the dialogue she does say she fell in love with her husband because of his sm Let me start off by saying that I liked this book - I really did.

I thought the writing was very good in parts, even though other parts read as if a six-year-old Erica was sitting in her bedroom with a Barbie and two Ken dolls, mashing them together and transcribing the dialogue she does say she fell in love with her husband because of his smooth, hard body and hairless balls - coincidence?

I appreciate what this book must have meant to women in the '70s, when it was generally unacceptable for them to talk about their sex lives and fantasies - as thin and sad as many of Isadora's sexual experiences seem when you read about them today. It's also an interesting account of psychoanalysis, back when Freud's word was gospel, when a woman couldn't take a shit without being told that she was only doing so because she wanted to have sex with her father.

She mentions several times that she doesn't want to be like those frivolous stereotypical 'lady writers', that she wants to create art. Why, then, does she insist on trapping herself in narcissistic autobiography, in writing as therapy? Why, instead of creating an original character and allowing us to experience things with her, does she pretty much just collate the transcripts of about of her own psychoanalysis sessions, shove them in our faces and say, "Here, YOU figure out this nut case!

Because the subject is so close to her own heart, she doesn't have enough distance to give us or herself any real insight into what's going on. So the end result is frustrating - Isadora talks about how liberated and independent she is now, how wonderful it is that she'll always have her art, etc. View all 6 comments.

Jun 15, Petal X rated it really liked it Shelves: reviewed , fiction , reviews. Zipless Fuck My one and only one-night stand. A review to come in more ways than one. View all 20 comments. Jun 02, Megan Scaison rated it it was amazing Recommends it for: iconoclastic women, women who wish they were iconoclastic.

Recommended to Megan by: my grandmother, second-wave feminism. I remember that when I called my grandmother to tell her that I was going to be in the vagina monologues, I expected her to react to the name: I expected her to be unaware of Eve Ensler and what V-Day is about. She simply said, "You should read Fear of Flying- it's like the first vagina monologue. It's the kind of book you really regret not reading years earlier, when you really needed some of this information.

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If I'd read it as a teenager, would I have felt so c I remember that when I called my grandmother to tell her that I was going to be in the vagina monologues, I expected her to react to the name: I expected her to be unaware of Eve Ensler and what V-Day is about. If I'd read it as a teenager, would I have felt so conspicuous about my own, relatively mild but rather interesting sexual misadventures? And wouldn't I have felt more, you know, proud of myself? If I'd read it in my early 20's, wouldn't the bits about Isadora's first husband, the secret scizophrenic, going off the deep end have helped me deal much better when my secretly scizophrenic best friend went off the deep end?

Perhaps, though, it really is better to have read it now, when Isadora and I are practically the same age. Going through the same things, other than the whole sexual orientation thing. She talks about aging; she talks about post-college stagnation which I can understand, though I certainly haven't managed to graduate so far. She talks about the lure and repulsiveness of pregnancy and childrearing to a childless woman nearing the end of youth.

She talks about youthful ambition, spirituality, the reality of monogamy and desire. The things she found important to discover for herself are, unsurprisingly, things I, myself, have longed to hear. Thank you, Isadora, I'll see you again in a few years. Instead of Isadora Wing, Good in Bed centers on Cannie Shapiro, also a young Jewish writer trying to make sense of her professional, but especially her personal, life. If you're reading a novel for the dirty stuff go with Fear of Flying, but, in case you couldn't tell from the title, there's no shortage of sex scenes in Good in Bed either.

Sure, scenes involving metal marbles going no place they are ever meant to go are titillating, but it's hard to think there would have been a receptive audience to Fifty Shades of Grey if Jong hadn't knocked down the erotic barriers nearly 40 years earlier. Anastasia Steele would never have had her hands tied if Isadora Wing hadn't first fantasized about the "zipless fuck". I mean, nobody even bothered to copyedit it," she told New York. Anastasia is courted by a rich older man.

He asks her to be his personal slave. He starts giving her things. You start to get the notion that it's about women having sex for money. Emily Shire. Jong set the stage for novels that followed Fear of Flying. Both the imaginative elements and the intimate story of Rachel's odd family make the novel stand in contrast to the dour, post-apocalyptic novels that fill up the bookstore shelves each year. They're not," VanderMeer says. Life on this planet is an endless source of ingenuity and wonder. The colorful feeling of Borne 's world comes from both the natural world and from visual media. VanderMeer lists Moebius, Jodorowsky, and Miyazaki as three strong influences on the book.

The complexity of it all and the burgeoning of weird life in strange places. Borne is set after an apocalypse, yes, but there is still life both inside and out. He's commonly associated with the "New Weird," a group of contemporary genre-bending authors who mix sci-fi, fantasy, and horror together with a healthy dose of the strange. But unlike the cold, nihilistic weirdness of H. Lovecraft 's amoral alien gods, VanderMeer's fiction is pulled from our own strange, complex, and bizarre planet, as well as the organizations and systems that we humans have enclosed ourselves in.


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When I ask VanderMeer what humans refuse to understand about our environment, he notes our strange belief "that somehow we're not part of this world but instead settlers of it, as if we're all astronauts who came from another planet. The idea that we must bend the world to our will instead of bend to it. Of course, the world is not bending to our will so much as pushing back. Climate change is something that hovers behind VanderMeer's fiction, as it does over all of our lives, even if some politicians want to pretend it doesn't exist.

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