2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Not sure what to think, Oct. 19 2010
I think a lot of Elizabeth Gilbert's problems could be avoided if somebody would just explain to her that 1. She's a white woman 2. She's an extrovert (personality type);introverts don't create for themselves the problems that extroverts do e.g continuously worrying about what people think. 3. She's a classic co-dependent. Though I can't square the latter with her seemingly functional family, save for a mother with latent OCD tendencies if we are to go by what she writes in the book.The book is simultaneously rich, engaging,thought-provoking and... annoying. Could it be her constant need to justify herself? Maybe her next book should be about this. And the title should be "Why am I so annoying...despite being a seemingly nice, bright and educated woman trying to make a difference in the world?"
I gave the book 3 stars because to an extent- she does succeed.The book is chock-full of information on the different perspectives on marriage and modernity which is actually very fun and enlightening- told with the usual stamp of Elizabeth Gilbert campness and quirkiness. I didn't give book more stars because the attempts at humour, coyness and introspection in some parts are as transparent as cheap glass. Like where she's talking about her lover not being allowed to enter the country and calls it deportation because she "can't think of another word". Um- eviction? You'd think that one of the scrupulous editors she thanks in her acknowledgements would have picked up on that.So it becomes yet another attempt at self-depreciating humor which is pervasive throughout the book and frankly tiresome. Then there's the reference to wanting to be as peaceful as the planets orbiting in space (or something to that effect). Any scientist (and I'm not a scientist)will tell you that the planets are a far from peaceful place where hot lava rocks hurtle by at startlingly fast speeds in every moment ready to implode a planet. Then of course there's the reference to how late night conversations with your lover are the mark of true intimacy...as if we couldn't glean that from the thousands of romance novels and movies out there. And the most cringe-worthy part: where she talks about how the stories her lover tells her about his childhood will then become her stories and become a part of her forever...uuugh.
But I don't want to end on a negative note. You can't please everyone and lord knows she does try. Over-all, it's a great and inspired effort on her part to shed light on the dilemmas created by modernity.In short- you make up your own mind about this one.Don't go on the strengths of the reviews.