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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love book review

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
From Publisher's Weekly: "Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights--the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners--Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry--conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor--as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression."

Finally, finally done. There were parts here and there that I enjoyed. Little nuggets of wisdom delivered without being self-absorbed, preachy or superior (unlike the majority of the book). But overall....let's just say there's a reason it took me over two months to get this baby finished.
Eat, Pray, Love
had the components of a book I would love: travel, seeking self, seeking spirituality, finding balance. But I found Liz so very egocentric, condescending and...well, IRRITATING, that I only finished it because I don't like to leave books unfinished.  It honestly surprised me, I expected to love it, like everyone else (including many friends whom I respect and love).
I WILL say that Elizabeth Gilbert is a good writer.  She offered up a lot of research in this memoir, which was interesting (most of the time).  And she was very honest.  Still didn't like it though.

At least I can say I read though, right? Though now I am intrigued as to how in the heck they took this book and made a movie out of it. Don't know that it is enough to make me actually watch it. Not even Julia Roberts can save this one for me.

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