In December 1995, Jean-Dominique Bauby, editor-in-chief of French ‘Elle’ and the father of two young children, suffered a massive stroke and found himself paralysed and speechless, but entirely conscious, trapped by what doctors call ‘locked-in syndrome’. Using his only functioning muscle – his left eyelid – he began dictating this remarkable story, painstakingly spelling it out letter by letter.
His book offers a haunting, harrowing look inside the cruel prison of locked-in syndrome, but it is also a triumph of the human spirit.
GOODREADS RATING – 4.01/5 STARS
This book was written by Jean Dominique Bauby not long before he passed away. After a tragic stroke left him paralysed, the protagonist reflects on his life, his family, his past and his future. If I’m being honest, not a lot occurs in this book. Despite this, it is a really moving and raw piece of prose. I could sense the protagonist’s anger, frustration and understanding. I tried to understand the physical exile he felt. His body had let him down. Psychologically, the protagonist’s inability to communicate must have been unbelievably difficult. This book truly shows how a few minutes can change your life. It was hard to read (emotionally speaking) and I would definitely recommend it as it’s a great book.
My Rating – 4/5 stars