Four decades ago, Erica Jong revolutionized the way we look at love, marriage and sex. Her world-wide bestseller, FEAR OF FLYING opened the doors for writers from Jennifer Weiner to Lena Dunham. Now she does it again by giving us powerful, new perspective on the next phase of women's lives. Full of the sly humor, deep wisdom and poignancy we know from her poetry, fiction and essays, she delivers the novel women everywhere have been waiting for...
FEAR OF DYING
As the afternoon of life looms over Vanessa Wonderman, she watches her parents age, attends doctor appointments with her pregnant daughter, and sits by the hospital bed of her husband, Asher, fifteen years her senior. With her best years as an actress behind her, she's discovering that beginnings are easy, but endings can be hard.
Could her fountain of youth fantasies be fulfilled on zipless.com? A site inspired by the writings of her best friend, Isadora Wing, it promises "no strings attached" encounters-and Vanessa is so restless that she's willing to try anything.
Fear of Dying is a daring and delightful look at what it really takes to be human and female in the 21st century. Wildly funny and searingly honest, it is a story for everyone who has ever been shaken and changed by love.
|Publisher:||St. Martin's Press|
|Product dimensions:||8.40(w) x 5.70(h) x 1.20(d)|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
[ I received this book free from the publisherthrough NetGalley. I thank them for their generousity. In exchange, I was simply asked to write an honest review, and post it. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising] " So, this is a story about heaven and hell. Just so you know. The hell of writing is self-censorship. The heaven is the freedom of speaking the truth. Women have a particular problem with this." Vanessa is part of a sandwich: she's dealing, as we all do at some time, with end of life issues as her parents are both under pallitive care. And her husband has just had major surgery for an anuerism. And her daughter is expecting her first grandchild. And so on... and so on.... So Vanessa, one of three daughters, is rather retrospective. And, as is Jong's wont she pours it out in this book. Vanessa, in the end, is searching for herself. In her youth, Jong was searching for the "zipless f**k", then her searches brought her to exploring faith and spirituality, and now, she's intergrating all that she's learned into becoming an elder, in and ongoung process. Jong's writing style, once I found its intention, speaks volumes to me. I abhorred "Fear of Flying" because it just wasn't for my generation. However, I've used her work throught my thirty year career as sermon fodder, examples for Socratic dialogue, quoted it on the radio, argued in many venues about it and grown into an unique intergration and respect for the writings she dares to share. This may not be your cuppa and that's understandable. However, I really liked this book.
Thought it was ok - read in a few days but the ending was disappointing and somewhat abrupt.
Why do we want to read about a narcissist who goes out on a sex website looking for whatever while claiming to love her husband? The main character is so self-absorbed, I wanted to slap her silly! The parts about her aging/dying parents were sometimes touching, and the scene where she and her sister were going through the mom's effects reminded me of when my mom passed away. But we were poor, so there was no need to fight over any jewelry - there were only odd mementos that mom had kept. Thanks to her, I now have every report card from first grade through high school! I was in the middle of a divorce, my mom's death, and the death of a close friend when "Fear of Flying" was published, so I never read it. I thought it was a prequel to this one, so I read it just before taking this one on. Maybe it was too much meaningless sex and self-absorption in proximity, but I found both books annoying.
I read Fear of Flying when I was thirteen and I loved it. I was glad to see the return of Isadora Wing in the second half of the book (though she is not the main character) this book).. The first half of the book dragged. It was too much about the death of elderly parents. While the death of parents when they are old is sad these are not "tragic" deaths. Furthermore, I think Ms. Jong is the best as a writer when she writes humor/satire. (I happen to think good satire is just as important as good drama). During the second half of the book, the main character describes the death of her dog, meets up with her friend Isadora Wing, and has to deal with her husbands ex-wives. The story line picks up. Again Ms. Jong is her best as a writer when she makes us laugh about women, sexism and sex. It is in the second half of the book that she demonstrates the qualities. I received a free copy of this book from netgalley in exchange for an honest review.