The Bell Jar does not read like a classic - "classic" being the term of very old books with very old language - the description I've always had for the classic genre. This book has a very contemporary writing style, and despite it being written in the 1960s, The Bell Jar's topic of mental illness certainly transcends the generations and can be related by many people no matter when they read the book. I absolutely loved it!
I think everyone knows how good this book is. It's at the absolute front of the line of the depressed female genre, with Prozac Nation coming in second in my opinion.
My daughter read this book for a high school honors class, and loved it. I read it many years ago, and remember that itwas very sad. The following description is from Amazon:
Plath was an excellent poet but is known to many for this largely autobiographical novel. The Bell Jar tells the story of a gifted young woman's mental breakdown beginning during a summer internship as a junior editor at a magazine in New York City in the early 1950s. The real Plath committed suicide in 1963 and left behind this scathingly sad, honest and perfectly-written book, which remains one of the best-told tales of a woman's descent into insanity
This is my favorite book of all time (I think the entire family likes it, considering all 3 of us girls own at least one copy..and the Spark Notes). All in all, an excellent read from one of the best female writers of the 20th century.
This was a pretty dark book, but I love Sylvia Plath's style of writing, and it tells a great, albeit twisted, story.
Took a long time to get into this book. A memoir of the breakdown of an "overachiever." and the pressures that drove her.
I absolutely understand why this book is considered a classic. Sylvia Plath wrote this in a way that really brings you into her head, right alongside her every thought.
Sylvia Plath is a master of leading one down the path of the descent into madness and despair. The voice of the character draws the reader in, in a hypnotic, can't-put-this-down, kind of way.
This book was good - I wasn't sure what to expect. Several times in the Foreward and the Biographical Notes this was compared to Salinger's Catcher in the Rye - from a female perspective. I would agree. Very depressing spiral for someone so young, but worth the read.
The book was amazing. I've read it numerious times. Sylvia Plath is an amazing writer. I would reccoment this book to anyone who likes psychology, or memoirs.
This book drew me in, I had to keep reading to unveil the slow breakdown of Esther's life and mind.
This book gets progressively interesting. At first it's hard to get into, but the story eventually drew me into Esther's plight. Sylvia Plath's writing is fantastic.
Overrated, but I enjoyed it in high school.
A little difficult to get into in the beginning, but definitely an interesting read.
A classic. Worth a read for anyone who's ever been through a rough patch.
A very influential novel - the only one published by the brilliant poet Sylvia Plath. Autobiographical and moving.
Great book, cannot believe I didn't read this book in high school.
Semi-fictionalized account of Sylvia Plath's mental breakdown and what lead up to that time and her stay in a mental institution.
This book is very well written and keeps you interested the whole time. I both enjoyed it and was disturbed it. It is a pretty dark and depressing book, however it does end in a positive light (unless you read Sylvia Plath's biography at the end).
This is a very moving book. At times you seem to of had the same feelings this character had and other times you just wonder where she got her ideas. The is a fun roller coaster ride of a girl slowly dipping into depression.
I read this book after it sat in my TBR for many years, I actually sort of wish I had left it there a few more years, not that it wasn't good but it gave me nightmares about being in a mental hospital.. eeek...
Plath was an outstanding talent. Her writing keeps the reader moving through this novel with ease. During the first one hundred pages I laughed at her experiences and descriptions as she describes them. Obviously, she had a fine sense of humor. From that point, she launches into the mental fall that she, herself, experienced in college. As the novel unfolds the reader finds herself in the mind of the lead character and sees her environment and interactions through her eyes. I can't help wondering why I did not read this one so much earlier in my life. It's an experience without par. If you have been avoiding this one, don't do so any longer. Read it.
I've registered this on bookcrossing as well.
I've always wanted to read this, and I'm glad I finally had the chance to. It was very interesting considering that it is a fictional sort-of biography.
Some things just didn't make sense to me...alsmost like there was a page missing from the book, but there wasn't, the story just kinda skips and doesn't explain what the heck is going on... The first half of the book just sucked me right in, but once the depression or schizophrenia or whatever really kicked in, I was really lost and a little confused, but I suppose that's the point of telling it from her point of view. I didn't find it depressing at all, not like it's generally made out to be.