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Download The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death, by Jean-Dominique Bauby
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (21,016 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jean-Dominique Bauby Narrator: Rene Auberjonois Publisher: Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In 1995, 44-year-old Jean-Dominique Bauby was the editor-in-chief of French Elle, the father of two young children, and a man known and loved for his wit, his style, and his impassioned approach to life. By the end of the year, he was also the victim of a rare kind of stroke to the brain stem. After 20 days in a coma, Bauby awoke into a body which had all but stopped working: only his left eye functioned, allowing him to see and, by blinking it, to make clear that his mind was unimpaired.

Almost miraculously, he was soon able to express himself in the richest detail, dictating a word at a time, blinking to select each letter as the alphabet was recited to him slowly, over and over again. In the same way, he was able, eventually, to compose this extraordinary book.

By turns wistful, mischievous, angry, and witty, Bauby bears witness to his determination to live as fully in his mind as he had been able to do in his body. He explains the joy and deep sadness of seeing his children and of hearing his aged father's voice on the phone. In magical sequences, he imagines traveling to other places and times and of lying next to the woman he loves. Fed only intravenously, he imagines preparing and tasting the full flavor of delectable dishes. Again and again, he returns to an inexhaustible reservoir of sensations, keeping in touch with himself and the life around him.

Jean-Dominique Bauby died two days after the French publication of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.

This book is a lasting testament to his life. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Trish | 1/25/2014

    " Rather a sad little book, all the more poignant because of how and why it was written "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Ashley Hart | 1/19/2014

    " I found this book to be fascinating at first. There are some incredibly beautiful passages, and I found Bauby's attitude and strength of spirit to be very inspirational. Soon, however, I realized that there isn't really a story here. It's just memories and moments of time, and I couldn't really connect with them because I never felt like I really got to know Bauby. I wanted to like this book, love it even, but by the last 30 pages I completely lost interest. Yes, the writing of this book was a magnificent feat, and Bauby was undoubtably an interesting man, but it just wasn't enough to sustain me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jordan Forster | 1/12/2014

    " A remarkable feat, and a remarkable work of literature. This book alone will do much to conquer any pessimism about the human condition, and champions the enduring spirit of humanity. Utterly brilliant! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Sarah | 1/7/2014

    " Not recommended for public reading, danger of crying. "

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