The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

By Jean-Dominique Bauby

  • Release Date: 1997-05-13
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 4.5
From 178 Ratings
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In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, the 43-year-old editor of French Elle, suffered a massive stroke that left him permanently paralyzed, a victim of “locked in syndrome.” Once known for his gregariousness and wit, Bauby now finds himself imprisoned in an inert body, able to communicate only by blinking his left eye. The miracle is that in doing so he was able to compose this stunningly eloquent memoir.In a voice that is by turns wistful and mischievous, angry and sardonic, Bauby gives us a celebration of the liberating power of consciousness: what it is like to spend a day with his children, to imagine lying in bed beside his wife, to conjure up the flavor of delectable meals even as he is fed through at tube. Most of all, this triumphant book lets us witness an indomitable spirit and share in the pure joy of its own survival.

From the Trade Paperback edition.


  • Good book

    By Manny55
    A very good book teaches you the value of life...& never take it for granted
  • Spending a moment with your soul!

    By Coachums
    Bauby's story gives the reader that elusive view into that piece of humanity that is meant only for you and God.
  • Wonderful

    By E2t
    A perfect quick reading book. I kept in mind the author's condition and how difficult it must have been to relay all the information.
  • Good read

    By AntScro
    Filled with quotable lines and makes you want to enjoy life
  • Reminder

    By MarkMabry
    I appreciated every breath I took while reading this story.
  • Review

    By C'est la vie incroyable
    Powerfully written with soul-bearing candor, this reflection on a man's tragically interrupted life gives a voice to the silent, closed-in world of those suffering similar conditions. A voice very much alive with personal humor, pain, love and wit. A human voice.
  • A Treat in Irony

    By Grant Pastor
    This book, all written by Bauby's left eye, says more about life than most could say with a megaphone. Screaming with ironic joy and a deep understanding of life, this unique style makes even the hardest of hearts smile. 100% recommended for anyone, at any time in their lives. We never know, and never will know, when out life will be changed- this book tells us that. But what this book more importantly says is that we can look at our life in as many different ways as there is people. A true inspiration and a perfect book of memory.