Friday, November 13, 2009

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

The French title for this book (and movie) is Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, sounds sexy right? Anyhow, I feel like I first need to talk about the movie before I can talk about the book.

I rented this movie on netflix about a year and a half ago. I knew NOTHING about it, didn't even know it was a book. I just knew it was french and sad. At the time I watched the movie I was unemployed, it was 2:00 A.M. and I was already sad. I thought watching a sad movie isn't going to hurt. Except the movie isn't really sad as much as it's moving. It moved my little black heart to feel tears burn hot against my cheeks for about 3 hours after the movie finished. Seriously, it's that good.

So, the book...this was my first book for the readathon. It's short, but so full if you know what I mean. Here's the story. The narrator was the editor of French Elle and suffered a massive stroke one day. The stroke didn't kill him, just left him with this thing called locked-in syndrome, meaning he could see, think and hear, but couldn't move a muscle. He literally couldn't move a muscle in his body with the exception of one...his eye. The story tells what it's like to live like that. Just a vegetable, but with your mind fully functioning.

The truly gripping part of the story is that this guy, Jean Dominique-Bauby, wrote the book while living with the locked-in syndrome. HE BLINKED OUT THE BOOK. For realz. A lady came to the hospital and they came up with this blinking system and he blinked out what he wanted to say and she wrote it down.

If your mind just exploded, that's a totally natural response. Here I was watching this movie, unemployed and spending the majority of my day watching the food network and feeling sorry for myself. When I found out that there is a person in the world he wrote a book while completely paralyzed I realized that finding a job was something I could do.

5/5 or 9/10 stars.

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