on February 12, 2011
Being a Foodie this is one of those books you feel obligated to read. With a title like "Eat Pray Love" how can a Foodie resist or deny the desire to read about eating in Italy...what an experience that would be.
Elizabeth Gilbert takes the reader on a journey to Italy, India and Bali. She is divorced and also just recently left a relationship and is on this journey to find herself.
In Italy she finds food and bigger jeans. She learns the language and how to "do nothing" something we North Americans are not capable of. I agree with her we do not eat pleasurable soul stretching food, nor do we truly know how to do nothing.
In India she finds meditation and that God is in you, if you seek your God inside yourself and forgive.
In Bali she finds love and compassion. While in Bali she is able to help a healer and her daughter and two orphans taken in by this healer, by raising money via her friends to buy them a house. And she finds her soul mate.
This book definitely has its moments that are inspiring and funny, but I do find the author just a tad whiny and annoying at some points in the book. Does the book inspire me to new heights...no not really, did it touch me emotionally...no, did I find God...nope, already done that, did it make me hungry...YES...this book for a certainty makes me want to hop on a plane and go eat in Italy and eat gelato and pasta and bread and olive oil.
on August 29, 2010
It seems that many people either loved it or hated it. It was a roller coaster for me. Started to like Italy and once I warmed up, we were swept away to india and this ashram where I suffered with her while she was praying and praying and cleaning and praying. Oh how painful it was! I felt nausea reading it. Anyway, we then fly to Bali where I actually enjoyed the book and think that maybe she should have just wrote a book about Bali and finding love, because the rest is just filler. Chapter 107, I actually felt rage and take a deep breath because she got back into India-talk again. grr. I mean, there is nothing amazing about this book, besides have the opportunity and money to take a year off and travel the world to "find yourself".
Italy = ok
India = bad
Bali = good
on April 26, 2013
Aftermath years of seeing all my girlfriends read this book, I thought it was high time I get on board and give it a go.
I'm sad to say that it was mostly what I expected it to be. Not that it isn't lovely to know that this woman found the means and the energy to deal with herself and have the courage to write about it, it is just that I found some areas of the book (especially India) to be boring.
I found myself skipping paragraphs, then pages, and even some chapters.
I respect the need and right of everyone to go deep into themselves and meditate, I even do it myself some times. I just don't need to read all the snoozy details about it.
Interesting read, a little self indulgent. A real "Me Generation" book.
on October 1, 2007
'Eat, Pray, Love...' was a book I liked and disliked at the same time. On the one hand, it was fresh, witty and fun, and on the other hand it would devolve into obsessive ruminations about Liz Gilbert's failed marriage, her attempt to find God and her sadness and perceived "misery". It was at once clever and boring, hot and cold, cathartic and self-indulgent. It's not a horrible read (closer to 3-1/2 starts), it's just that over the course of the book, the incessant whining takes its toll.
The book begins with Liz Gilbert questioning her marriage. She ultimately leaves her husband, finds a boyfriend, gets rid of him too and thus starts the quest for God and the meaning of "her" life. She does this by eating her way through Italy, praying and meditating in India, and hanging out and making whoopee in Bali. Initially I loved her insight and wit. I found myself actually laughing out loud at her intuitive commentary; but then I found myself getting bored (and frankly irritated) at her droning on and on about being so sad and devastated, and the pain she was in, and the heartache, and sorrow and misery, ad nauseam. I was waiting for her to describe something truly miserable, heart-breaking or tragic that had happened in her life, but all I found was a woman who went through a couple of failed relationships and acts like she's the only one in the world who's been through it. I kept thinking, good grief, get over yourself girl! I mean, really, the majority of women who go through divorces (or worse) pick themselves up and move on without self-indulgent self-reflection for a week, nonetheless a whole year! Most of the women I know have no time for self-pity, and Liz Gilbert was "The Queen" of self-pity (at least in this book). It started out funny, witty and insightful in Italy, crescendoing to a full-bore whine in India, and ending with her usual self-absorbed persona in Bali. She goes through life as a Drama Queen, and she seems to see every misstep or unpleasant experience as totally devastating. I think a person who grew up in an intact, two-parent home, married once to a husband who loved and provided for her (and who has been able to promptly find replacements for him), in addition to always seeming to be able to get what she needs when she needs it, whether it's food, travel, love, or money, is not someone who needs to be writing a book about her perceived sorrow and misery. She needs to give many, many thanks, stop obsessing, and MOVE ON!
on September 19, 2015
This disappointed. Perhaps reading it after learning all the hype had something to do with my response. Perhaps my own journey through India, New Zealand, Australia and Europe which helped me heal from rape and torture played a part. I just found this woman to be a little self serving and self involved.
on July 29, 2007
I devoured the first half of Gilbert's book and added it to my favourites even before finishing it. Then, I got bogged down and frustrated with her total self-absorbtion. I felt that she contradicted herself for the purposes of an engaging story - was she inept and self-loathing or was she competant and self-loving?
This is a wonderful travel story that makes you want to pack up your life for a year and land at any random airport ill-prepared and curious - but that is all. Reading about how wonderful she is and how self-sacrificing she was toward herself, friends and new acquaintances left me feeling less than satisfied. In her book she writes that she is self-loathing and unworthy yet never stops telling us what amazing things others have to say about her and how she manages to save "everyone" while on the search for herself. Blech.
I give it three stars because of the wonderful glimpse into Italy, India and Indonesia - but just as the Countries are named...it is all "I...I...I".
on November 2, 2007
I doubt this is a true autobiography, but I don't think it really matters.
The beginning is slow, not very enticing, but soon the story turns to be quite entertaining. The author is witty and she does not try to drag us into museums or other dark places, except her soul.