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Tuesday, 26 February 2008

Eat pray, love - Elizabeth Gilbert

I loved the idea of this autobiography and we were lucky enough to be sent copies for our reading groups by Bloomsbury. The idea is fantastic, a depressed woman, after a traumatic divorce, spend 4 months in Italy, 4 months in India and 4 months in Bali, finding herself.

I have to say I was put off by the huge celebrity endorsements on the cover, I am rather cynical I am afraid.

Well I was stunned, I dislike this book intensely. I found Elizabeth Gilbert the most irritating woman on the planet. The section in Italy was quite fun, in spite of the moaning, but when she got to India I just had to question whether this was real or fantasy. Her mystical experiences came over as false and a bit textbook. ( I have travelled many times to India and am a yoga teacher as well) perhaps she did experience them, it just all seemed a little neat. I thought the section in Bali was interesting but again I just could not warm to her, perhaps this book is just too American for me. I imagine if you like those US tell all, angst shows then this is a book for you.

It made a good book group read as the group was evenly divided between those that loved it and those that did not. It certainly led to an interesting discussion....... Here are some comments, let's have some positives too please....

5 comments:

Vicki Goldie, Reader Development Librarian said...

I hated this book. Bet God's heart sinks when she prays.
Thanks
Medi

Vicki Goldie, Reader Development Librarian said...

EAT, PRAY, LOVE - by Elizabeth Gilbert
I did not like this book when I first started reading it. The impression of the author during the first part in Italy was of a self-indulgent, whiney, pathetic person. Her "so-called" religious experiences didn't ring true and seemed over sensationalised. I felt I wanted to slap her and tell her to "get a life"! I think I was put off in part by all of the gushing comments made by famous people on the cover, and felt it certainly didn't live up to their praise. However, I enjoyed the part in India and Bali more. Some of what she said I could empathise with and relate to. The best parts were the advice given by other people and the portraits she drew of them - Richard from Texas, the Irish Plumber/Poet etc. I still don't know if I quite believe her experiences - especially the mystical ones, as I got the impression that she didn't believe them herself, even though she said she did. Still I'm glad I persisted with finishing the book, but I don't think I'll ever look for anything else written by her.

thanks
Gera

Vicki Goldie, Reader Development Librarian said...

On the whole I enjoyed the book and found it interesting to live a year in the life of a successful, attractive, solvent American 30-something year old. Occasionally I found the narrator’s attitude annoying – must admit to twinges of jealousy! Also I did get irritated by her self-obsession and conceit.

Discussion would have teased out much more than this I am sure!

Hilary

Vicki Goldie, Reader Development Librarian said...

Vicki

I have to admit that I can't read any more of that utter drivel! Is this going to make a difference?

Jenny

Anna Robinson said...

Have just bought the book, hope I don't mirror your comments, tune in next week.
Anna