• Fear of Flying

  • By: Erica Jong
  • Narrated by: Hope Davis
  • Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Release date: 05-15-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: HarperAudio
  • 3.5 (176 ratings)

Regular price: $28.51

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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1973, the groundbreaking, uninhibited story of Isadora Wing and her desire to fly free caused a national sensation. 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..." It has sold more than 12-million copies. Now, after 30 years, the revolutionary novel known as Fear of Flying still stands as a timeless tale of self-discovery, liberation, and womanhood.
©1973, 2001 Erica Mann Jong; (P)2006 HarperCollins Publishers
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Critic Reviews

"Extraordinary....At once wildly funny and very wise." (Los Angeles Times)
"An amazing tour de force." (Cosmopolitan)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Daniel on 09-27-14

Just couldn't get through it

Has Fear of Flying turned you off from other books in this genre?

I notice the split between male and female readers in the list of reviews. I read a lot and am always curious about the female perspective. I read this book as a young man in the 70's, vaguely remembered enjoying it, and thought I would take another look at it from the distance of decades. <br/><br/>Now I think its appeal to me as a young man was the titillation of hearing a woman describe sex partners in frank, colorful ways. Isadore's conflict of adventure versus security is timeless, but the context of the narrative is so dated, and today we have so much more nuance in the discussion, that I was bored. The narrator's self-absorption, the step-by-step description of her passage through a crooked corridor of mirrors, seemed adolescent. The long side-passages that were unconcerned with pleasure, like describing how the narrator rediscovered her Jewish heritage while living in Germany, were glib and shallow to a mature reader.<br/><br/>Evem after "skimming" the audio, I just couldn't get through it.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful


By Kristi on 01-09-08

Glad I didn't give up on it...

I very nearly gave up on this one. I'm a woman in my 30's. I have always considered myself a modern, liberated woman. I had a memory of this book on my (feminist) mother's bookshelf, and of being titillated by the racey cover. I had heard that it was a seminal feminist book. So, I finally decided I should fill in this gap in my literary repertoir and "read" it for myself.

However, as I listened I found I really despised the main character. I was completely unable to relate to her. My generation is very different from hers. I am happy in my marriage, my interpersonal relationships, and my self-image. I've never felt oppressed or smothered by anyone. This woman just seemed disgustingly whiney, neurotic, and childish.

I am stubborn, though. At first I kept myself going by telling myself how good it was to see how far we'd really come since then. I thought it was heading for all kinds of extreme endorsements-- live in communes, forsake all commitments, want nothing more from life than perpetual free sex and empty "freedom". I kept thinking, thank goodness the pendulum has swung back from that extreme into some sanity!

In the end though it didn't go where I feared it would. It more than redeemed itself, and I'm glad I stuck with it. It's about a woman finding her own identity, and while the details of path she took to get there ARE rather dated, the journey itself is as pertinent today as it ever was. It IS a wonderful insight into the dilemmas of being a woman, of the differences and conflicts between the sexes, and of what it means to really grow up and be a whole person.

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19 of 22 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jo Inglewood on 10-03-11

Very amusing!

This made me laugh out loud at lots of points. I did have to turn down the volume when playing the book through my speakers with the kitchen door wide open....there's a fair bit of use of the c word which would probably offend the neighbours!
I'm glad I've finally 'read' the book after it was constantly referred to in (my Mum's) copies of Cosmopolitan in the '80s!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Joanna on 10-22-15

Fantastic book!

Great story, so valid despite being written nearly 50 years ago. Recommended for everyone. Interesting insight into feminist literature and female issues.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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