Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

 I read Eat, Pray, Love a few months ago and have been mulling it over ever since. On my facebook reading group comments I wrote that I thought it was completely self-conscious and overrated and that except for small parts here and there I thought it wasn’t that great of a read.  

Judging from the hullaabooloo surrounding the book though, I am one of the very few to not really like it. But then again, here I am three months after the fact still thinking about it and even blogging about it. So what gives? For those of you who don’t know what the book is about Elizabeth Gilbert is a New York writer of some standing, whose marriage falls to pieces.

She falls into  a deep depression (what else is new?) and after years of struggling vows to wean herself off anti-depressants and her bad re-bound relationship and sets off on a year long journey that takes her to Italy, India and Indonesia in search of re-discovering herself.  

Part of me thinks that book critics tend to be a self-serving community with each of them lauding and applauding their peers’ books in anticipation of their own release and need for critical reviews. Who knows? I’m not saying this is a bad book. The Italy portion in parts is quite funny especially when she describes the dialogue at the soccer game. I even thought some parts of India and Indonesia were interesting in terms of self exploration but overall I found this book somewhat cloying, self-serving and annoying.

Her writing voice doesn’t appeal to me and I also feel that her journey is a rich person’s journey to self-realization/armchair travel book. I guess in the end I came away with a grudging admiration for the fact that Gilbert tries. It’s still doesn’t rate up there with the rest of the band of critics who hail this as the next best thing to sliced bread but it was an okay read.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

  1. My feelings on EPL are similar to yours. It was ok, well written, but not the MOST AMAZING BOOK EVER, as some would claim. There’s quite a lot of discussion about it going on on my blog if you care to check it out.

  2. Hi there, I stopped by your blog and read a comment somewhere from a person of colour who took exception to the Indonesian portion. Truthfully that was the section of the book that bothered me the most. I couldn’t put my finger on it until I read it on your blog. but I think because there is an unintended condescension. Sometimes the worst kind…

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