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Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying (original 1973; edition 2003)

by Erica Jong, Erica Jong (Introduction)

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Title:Fear of Flying
Authors:Erica Jong
Other authors:Erica Jong (Introduction)
Info:NAL Trade (2003), Paperback, 480 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:2013, audiobook, download, 1001 books

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Fear of Flying by Erica Jong (1973)

1001 (31) 1001 books (28) 1970s (24) 20th century (24) American (23) American fiction (10) American literature (28) classic (10) contemporary fiction (13) Erica Jong (8) erotic (8) erotica (51) feminism (105) feminist (13) fiction (386) humor (7) literature (26) marriage (12) novel (65) own (10) paperback (12) read (32) relationships (16) Roman (19) sex (39) sexuality (35) to-read (35) unread (16) USA (10) women (36)

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English (45)  Dutch (2)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (49)
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
Erica creates almost an anti-heroine in this book. Isadora Wing is a Jewish American Princess, native New Yorker, & has the market on guilt cornered. She's a poet & a writer, married to her second husband Bennett, a shrink she married shortly after her first marriage to Brian was annulled. Brian had a psychotic break, tried to strangle her, & was moved to a private mental institution in California. Her family is quixotic, radical, & also artistic, everything that Bennett is not. Her adventures begin when she accompanies Bennett to Vienna for a conference for psychoanalysts, & she is smitten with Adrian Goodlove, another analyst. Written with self deprecating humor, Isadora's journey of self discovery is very funny, imminently readable, & I can see why it made both the Banned/Challenged book list for it's liberating ideas when it comes to women & their own sexuality, which she speaks openly about, & the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die list.

Written in 1973, this book is indeed a modern day classic, & I'm really glad I finally read it ( )
  Lisa.Johnson.James | Apr 11, 2014 |
Interesting story from a woman's perspective on her sexuality and relationships. You can feel her pain in dealing with her desires to be herself and wanting to be in a loving relationship with her spouse. It is difficult to know whether her feelings are universal or whether she is not representative of most women. I moderately recommend the book with the reservation that some may not lke the frank discussions of sex. ( )
  GlennBell | Mar 23, 2014 |
I recieved Fear of Flying as part of a Goodreads giveaway.

Fear of Flying begins as poet and writer Isadora Wing accompanies her second husband, Bennett, a psychoanalyst, to Vienna for a conference. There she meets Adrian, a married British analyst who piques her interest. As Isadora confronts (and eventually succumbs to) temptation, we learn about her past, from her childhood with her eccentric artist mother and three sisters, to her string of lovers up to and including Bennett and Adrian.

Fear of Flying has to be commended for its bravery. I agree with the foreword in which it's said that today, a book that deals in great part with a woman's sexual thoughts and escapades might be consigned to the "chick lit" label without a second glance. But in the early-to-mid-1970s when it was published, it was revolutionary. Isadora is a frank narrator, letting the reader in on all the deep, dirty, and often conflicting thoughts that explain her actions. It's both a funny and a difficult read, asking tough questions about love, commitment and happiness.

While I found Isadora's character magnificently well-drawn, it was a little difficult to connect/identify with her personally, which probably kept me from appreciating the book as much as I might have under different circumstances.

All in all, though, a very entertaining read, especially given its historical significance. Recommended. ( )
  ceg045 | Feb 19, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
For years I have heard about this book. I can't really recall what people said about it beyond that it was a feminist book- but I have been aware of it for at least a decade. When it came up as an Early reviewer book I thought it would be great to read it.

This was a challenging book to read - not because of the ideas in it - but because I found the protagonist so hard to relate to and frankly - incredibly unlikable. I don't know if this is a result of the time that it was written in and just that the author was trying to make a very big statement so she made her character over the top - but to me Isadora came across as shrill, hypocritical and to use some particularly apt current slang - a hot mess.

I realize that this kind of book hadn't really been written at the time this was published. It is frank in its discussion of sex and has a female character with a raging libido which, I guess, was breaking ground at the time. To me - the book would have been so much more powerful if there had been anything about Isadora that was likable or relatable. I plugged through this book even though I really wanted to put it down after the first 100 pages. I am definitely going to go read some reviews of it to see if I can understand it's importance better. ( )
  alanna1122 | Nov 3, 2013 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
I love this book. When the 40th anniversary of "Fear of Flying" came up as an option, I was curious to see if it would still resonate with me. As I recall, I first read this novel about 30 years ago when I was in college. It was a period during which I was becoming aware of "feminist" lit (anniversary edition of "The Women's Room" next maybe?). Although I read many of Jong's subsequent novels, I was often disappointed, remembering, not the story, but the feelings evoked by FofF. To my surprise, I found it equally as engaging and insightful all these years later. Now that I've married, divorced, married--this "coming of age" story seemed to have even more dimensions of meaning. I've underlined a number of passages that I want to reflect on further. It's not often that happens with a work of fiction. I'm also looking forward to pulling my original copy off the shelf to see if I marked that one up and how it compares. This is a book that I will likely set aside for my niece and encourage her to read as she moves into adulthood and relationships. Despite the jokes that have floated about, it's not about the sex. There is more sex in most young adult lit these days. It's the journey and that's what makes it enduring and a classic. ( )
  buildalife | Oct 22, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 45 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Erica Jongprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hoog, ElseTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weiner, JenniferIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Bigamy is having one husband too many. Monogamy is the same.
- Anonymous (a woman)
Grace Darling Griffin
And for my grandfather
Samuel Mirsky
Thanks to my intrepid editors:
Aaron Asher and Jennifer Josephy
And thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for a grant which helped.
And thanks to Betty Anne Clark, Anita Gross, Ruth Sullivan, Mimi Bailin, and Linda Bogin
First words
There were 117 psychoanalysts on the Pan Am flight to Vienna and I'd been treated by at least six of them.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Isadora Wing was afraid of flying.

She was also afraid of her own beauty, brains, physical appetites, intellectual and sexual curiosity. 
Then while on a trip to Vienna with her brilliant, handsome psychiatrist husband, Isadora met the man who embodied her most erotic fantasies - and who offered her a chance to conquer all her fears.
What happened to Isadora then was a mad, adulterous bolt across Europe in the wildest, most uninhibited sexual extravaganza that is no longer for men only.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451209435, Paperback)

The 30th Anniversary special!

Originally published in 1973, the ground-breaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation—and sold more than twelve million copies. Now, after thirty years, the iconic novel still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.


(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:43 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

"Originally published in 1973, the groundbreaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation. It fueled fantasies, ignited debates, and even introduced a notorious new phrase to the English language. In The New York Times, Henry Miller compared it to his own classic Tropic of Cancer and predicted that "this book will make literary history, that because of it women are going to find their own voice and give us great sagas of sex, life, joy, and adventure." And it went on to sell more than twelve million copies, on the way to becoming a genuine cultural icon. Now the revolutionary novel known as Fear of Flying still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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