When she realizes she doesn t want to have kids and that she s not happy after all she has a breakdown and leaves her husband In the process she realizes she has no identity Boo hooBut instead Gilbert decides to pack up and visit Italy India and Indonesia three places she hopes will ultimately bring her the inner balance she s been longing or And on the surface this book is a really entertaining travel essay Gilbert has this wonderfully uirky way of describing everything A piece of pizza a gelato And the people It s on her travels that I start to identify with Gilbert When I was 21 I spent our months traveling in Australia Just like Gilbert during her irst weeks in Italy I was totally elated by my What Every American Should Know About the Rest of the World freedom But about two weeks in the loneliness came around and so did the anxiety My typical day started with this inner monologue I have to get to the museum before noon so I canit in the sea kayaking trip at 2 And then I have to rush to the grocery store to get I Got a New Friend food to make dinner in the stinking hostel kitchen because godorbid I go out to eat causeIHAVETOMAKETHEMONEYLASTFORTHREEMOREMONTHSYikes How I envied the Eurotrash who could just sit by the hostel pool and read all day But if I didn t do everything then I would have The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War failed at traveling In retrospect Australia was a turning point in my young life I had no idea that this go go go attitude was how I had been livingor years No wonder people thought I was uptight Relaxing had never come easy to me and it never will but I m getting a lot better at letting go and not worrying about seeing every last museum so to speakGilbert ruminates on this topic uite a bit in her book Her Experiencing the Resurrection: The Everyday Encounter That Changes Your Life first moment of true unfettered happiness comes when she poaches some eggs and eats some asparagus on theloor of her apartment So simple but so ulfillingIn India she writes that life if you keep chasing it so hard will drive you to death Gilbert is living in an Ashram a place where people come to meditate and experience divinity She s not very good at it and she wonders if all the energy she s spent chasing the next experience has kept her rom enjoying anything At this point in the book I ind myself wondering if Gilbert wants to be there at all Perhaps going to an Ashram was the thing she thought she should do not what she wanted to do I sure as hell wouldn tWhat I really love about Eat Pray Love is that it s all about asking the simple uestion what do I want a uestion that would have come in handy in Australia and numerous other times in my life It s so hard or some people including me and it really shouldn t be I think that when you can honestly answer that uestion No I don t want to go to that discussion on post modernism even though I realize that I should be interested in it and it would make me a lot cooler in your eyes Really I just want to watch back to back episodes of Scrubs you re well on your way to realizing your own identity and being ok with whoever that person is Shallow self indulgent and mired in the sort of liberal American obsession with oriental exoticism that is uniuely offensive because it is treated as enobling by its purveyors She treats the rest of the world as though it exists Babes in Toyland: The Making and Selling of a Rock and Roll Band for the consumption of jaded rich white Americans and this book is a monument to that sort of arrogance and ignorance Wow this book took me on a roller coaster ride I couldn t decide if I loved it or hated it and it seemed like everyew pages I d go The Meaning of Star Trek from thinking Gilbert was delightfully witty to thinking this was the most horribly self absorbed person to ever setoot on the earth In the end the overall effect was rather like sitting at a party listening to someone tell a long involved story all about themselves and you re alternately annoyed and Mirage: Napoleon's Scientists and the Unveiling of Egypt fascinated and you want to get up and leave but she s just so entertaining that you keep telling yourself you ll leave in the next minute and so you end up sticking through the whole thing WARNING LOOONG REVIEW AHEAD I didn t hate Eat Pray Love but it left me really unsatisfied When Iirst "Started Reading The Book I Couldn T the book I couldn t rolling my eyes and thinking Here we go another tale a precious privileged woman who is unsatisfied with her life I stuck with it though and was charmed through the Italy section by Gilbert s humor and down to earth writing style Still or a woman who abandons everything in search of a true spiritual experience she leaves most of the important uestions unanswered I elt that Gilbert projects herself so strongly onto every place and every person she encounters that I m not sure what she really learnt along the wayAs delightful as the Italy section was to read I Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Walt Disney World felt like she never really stepped out of herself to understand the country on its own terms and to move beyond the stereotype Despite it being a bit of a superficial assessment I have no problem with Gilbert associating Italy with pleasure There is enough beauty there to warrant itIt was her interpretation of what it means to open oneself to pleasure that bothered me and seemed very narrow For Gilbert this consisted mostly of overindulging inoods and allowing herself to put on weight It seemed like she came to Italy thinking she already knew how to experience pleasure and proceeded to enact it based on her definition even though there are indications that the Italian interpretation of pleasure is not merely restricted to this I would have liked to see her explore what it meant to devote herself to pleasure just as seriously and reverently as she seemed to take the meditative experiences in India Overall though my biggest problem with this book was I had difficulty at times believing Gilbert achieved the enlightenment she talks about because she is so internally ocused Most importantly I still have not really grasped why it was necessary or her to travel to these 3 places I understand that her intention was not Dump Truck Trouble/Lets Build a Doghouse! for this book to be a travelogue but it begs the uestion Why was it necessary to go to Italy India and Indonesia if the purpose was to not to gain somethingrom them that could not be Sometime After Midnight found elsewhere In every country Gilbert created a little security blanket of expatriends who seemed to cushion her Stop Inflammation Now!: A Step-By-Step Plan to Prevent, Treat, and Reverse Inflammation--The Leading Cause of Heart Disease and Related Conditions from really understanding the lessons the countries had to offer on their own terms Why go to India to meet Richard the big Texan Guruor example Why not just go to Texas For those of us with eyelids only half caked with dirt but who can t uproot our lives and travel to countries of our choosing is enlightenment still an option I wanted Gilbert to talk about how anyone with an ordinary life but who is searching Eyes Behind the Lines: L Company Rangers in Vietnam, 1969 for insight could still balance spiritual yearning with duty And that s myinal peeve about this book I wondered if Gilbert had any sense of duty or sense of obligation to anything beyond herself Gilbert seems to recognize the bonds of duty that restrict the locals she encounters Yet she somehow paints them as pleasurable or inevitable yokes or the people who bear them Her detached observations of life and death rituals in India and Indonesia as though they are restricted "to those parts of the world made me want to shake her and say but there are rituals everywhere "those parts of the world made me want to shake her and say but there are rituals everywhere have made a conscious decision to remove yourself rom the ones you know I ask about duty not because I wanted Gilbert to stay in a loveless marriage but because the concept of duty is also linked to a concept of justice What is it that we ought to do What do we owe each other Part of me elt that Gilbert took comfort in the non dual aspects of Eastern philisophies in a strange way She seemed almost relieved that the non duality of existence would ensure that one would not necessarily be punished by the universe or selfish deeds I Chinese Fairy Tales Fantasies: Folio Society Edition felt like Gilbert embraced that aspect of the philosophy without realizing the eual importance those cultures place on the balancing notions of reciprocity duty of being social beings in the truest sense often taking it to the other negative extreme The lack of sense of obligation to anyone other than herself made Gilbert seem curiously dead to the contradictions around her She didn t seem perturbed at the abject poverty of the Indian women aroun. Y career andind instead what she truly wanted Old Haunts from life Setting outor a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India
Elizabeth Gilbert Ä 6 DOWNLOADEat Pray Love is the monologue of a Neurotic American Princess Liz in her mid thirties The irst Cooking for Company: All the Recipes You Need for Simple, Elegant Entertaining at Home few chapters background the rest of the book a confessional that tells how she came toind her 8 year marriage distasteful realised she wasn t keen on the next logical step which is apparently to ill her expansive apartment with children and plunges into an impotent depression Without even getting drunkOne night whilst bawling on the bathroom loor a habit she has grown My Wifes Affair fond of she is struck by alakey attack of twattery Being an American this experience manifests itself as Dîwana Jan finding some kind of God or thereabouts Naturally she resolves to leave her husband Her husband isn t keen on this development and Lizinds that strangely he takes poorly to having his heart shattered into a million piecesHusband behaves badly and our protagonist eels hurt and sad But no matter because before long Liz hooks up with the sexy exciting yoga chanting David who takes a ive minute break rom his headlong charge toward loaty Thai isherman s pants a thin ponytail and male pattern baldness to rattle her well bred bones Liz drinks deeply rom lust s stagnant wellBut divorce negotiations do drag on leaving Liz once again bawling on the bathroom Naples! floor This time however it s David s bathroomloor And David it seems is unimpressed by such displays It seems men are interested in women The Curious Cases of Cyriack Skinner Grey for their uniue and interesting ualities and unless you are Bob Dylan melancholy gets oldast Incidentally if you Itsuka find a chap who does like this constant emo drama then runHere s what really bothers me about this book Eat Pray Love is a New York Times bestseller It was recommended to me by ariend a woman who is a successful publisher in her own right According to her this is the best book she has read this year It s been a short yearIn short she isn t given to awning excesses that one might expect rom anyone who doesn t think this book should have been printed on softer paper I think 3 ply would about do it So I was surprised by her ringing endorsementI am told you see that women get this book Which means they sympathise and understand it I bet its on Oprah s Fucking Book ListWith this in mind here s what I will say when I am invited to Oprah s Fucking Book clubfeminist rantWomen You will get to the end of this book and may still be under the illusion that it is not your responsibility to make yourself happy Whereas it is in act your own responsibility to make yourself happy Being happy without being with a man does not trivialise love You should ind challenges entertainment un excitement passion the thrill of mastery and satisfaction of achievement through your own doings not who you are doing Love might enhance this It cannot substitute thisCan you imagine if men elt so incomplete without women When did is become acceptable Live Bait for men to be our projects When did it become acceptableor women to be defined by their men as if something less than this arrangement denigrates the sanctity of a relationship Fuck until I read this book I thought I d dealt No Strings Attached feminism a crippling blow by jack knifing the trailer this morning I look like Susan Sontag in gumboots compared to this bookIn EPL the author s only explanationor her pathetic simpering twattery is that she is as affectionate as a cross between a Golden Retriever and a barnacle This is supposed to tell us why her sex life resembles pollen in a strong breezeTo her and all other Oprah book clubbers who get this book get a Golden Retriever Or barnacles Or maybe a Golden Retriever with barnacles But Fancy Strut for sweet knit one purl one Christ leave this book on the shelfPost Script I m not anti American I lived there and many of the best people I know are Americans I have however noticed a peculiar enthusiasmor Godliness in the land of the Northern California: A History and Guide - From Napa to Eureka free This was one of those books I will read over and over again All those cynics out there who criticize Gilbertor writing a too cutesy memoir that seems beyond belief and who claim that she is selfish Unbreathed Memories for leaving her responsibility are clearly missing the point First she did not write the book to inspire you She wrote it as her own memoir you can agree or disagree with how she went about her enlightenment but you cannot judge heror how she ound happiness It is her memoir not yours You can achieve enlightement by whatever means you want Second to call her irresponsible or leaving responsibilities behind is absurd She was in an unhappy marriage You cannot orce yourself to be happy I applaud her or doing something that many people are afraid to do She had no children and so the responsibilities she neglected were minimal I also suspect that those of you who didn t enjoy the book could not relate to it You have
suffered a changing tragedy You have never A Sally Lockhart Mystery 2 felt paralyzed byear anger or disappointment You have never had to go through a healing process that seems endless You have never I Love My Dad felt lost That s greator you but unfortunately that makes it hard All about Us for you to relate to this memoir Finally those of you whoound her story too unbelievable have probably never elt the joy of traveling the world There is no better way to discover yourself than getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in someone else s Traveling the world is not self indulgent If doing what we want to or enjoy doing is self indulgent then we are all guilty If you are enjoying an ice cream sundae meeting your riends Noni Speaks Up for a night out or a good work out you are being self indulgent My guess is that those of you who didn tind the value in this book are unhappy with your own life Perhaps you should be a little self indulgent yourself What I m about to say must be wrong because I couldn t get through this book I tried And I Handbags and Gladrags failed So I have NO BUSINESS WRITING THIS Don t read itA cousin recommended EPL and I thought it would teach me something about the book market My secret boyfriend at the public library was horrified I checked it out given his ACLU offensive intimacy with my record and tastes and yes like others I was embarrassed to have EPL in my possessionBecauseWhat IS this MOVEMENT of lily white bourgeois women withancy educations working themselves into identity crises that they think can be solved by a new An Egg-cellent Easter! (Barbie) form of coloniasm This hypereminized adventure travel Subaltern poaching or the 21st century Taker mentality as spiritual uestThese people need their own version of Outside magazine or some shit Oh yeah they already do It s called the GAIAM catalogYeah We re talking some serious dilettante tourism taking entire countries as theme spas Italy or excess India Wish Upon a Wedding for asceticism Indonesiaor the middle path Ladies Country I is not your personal terrain or self discovery You don t get to interiorize Country I as a metaphor or your personal potential If your interior journey needs a bunch of leisure time and poor countries to be realized maybe you re asking the wrong uestionsThe consumerist mentality was so self important and so priveleged that I just couldn t make myself give this book any time WHY I cringe to think why so many women want to eel that this was a true spiritual journey It was a pre paid journey The woman starts off with telling us over "AND OVER ABOUT HOW PAINFUL HER DIVORCE WAS HOWEVER "over about how painful her divorce was however dismisses how it ever c I am embarrassed to read this book in public The title and the lowery pasta y cover screams I m a book that contains the relentless rants of a neurotic 34 year old womanSo I m afraid that the strangers on the Metro will think I identify with herBut in the comfort of my own bed I am totally Richard Nixon: The Life fallingor this memoir Yes Gilbert is emotionally self indulgent are we supposed to I Am Cow, Hear Me Moo! feel bad that she lost both houses in the divorce annoying she s just tickled when she gains 23 pounds after eating her way through Italy and often really immature oh The endless endless cryingThen again this is a memoir and when the writing is just so clever so hospitable so damnunny it s really hard to hold that against Gilbert in the endThe plot goes something like this A 30 year old writer has everything she wants including several successful books a husband and two houses. This beautifully written heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success marriage house in the countr. D her or to uestion if it was just She never wondered how a spiritual person should grapple with the injustice of the world nor did she seem to uestion the rightness of living in the midst of poverty in an artificial environment created to specifically cater to pampered Westerners In Indonesia she inally seems to see beyond herself to the suffering of others but when she does try to help someone it seems impulsive and done almost with carelessness so that the whole thing almost becomes a big messAfter all of this the end of the book just seemed to all Puppet Master flat as Gilbert tried to wrap things up uickly crowning it all of course with a romance with a doting and exotic lover This book had a lot of potential but ultimately it seemed like a story about one woman s sense of entitlement and her inability to ever uite move beyond that though she does make some valiant efforts to do so Don t bother with this book It took me nearly a year toinish it I was so disgusted by the writer s apparent lack of awareness of her own privilege her trite observations and the unbelievably shallow way in which she represents a journey initiated by grief that I initially couldn t bear to read beyond Italy Like others who have written here I made myself pick the book up again because so many people have raved about it and I made myself Swoon: The Heartthrob Activity Book for Good Color-Inners as Well as Beginners finish it hoping all the while there would be some redemptive insight or at least some small kernel of originality or wisdom I was sorely disappointed Liz is so obsessed with male attention throughout the book in every section she expounds in great detail on herlirtations with men many of whom seem to take care of her or compliment her on her wit beauty or charm that it makes her self described uest to learn to be alone seem absurd and Janae (Blacktop, farcical She does not have aeminist bone in her body shocking or a woman who is purportedly on a uest or self discovery after what she describes as a devastaing divorce She seems to have absolutely no capacity or self awareness or reflection in this regard and her superficial treatment of this and other aspects of her psyche bored me to tears Basically this memoir accounts her lirting her way across the globe into a new relationship with little to no growth in self awareness that I can perceive Even in India her purported time of inward reflection she attaches her herself to the likes of Richard rom Texas who seems a cross between a ather igure and object of lirtation Ultimately she Why Diets Make Us Fat falls in love with a man much older than she who seems to dote on her in uite a paternalistic way When she spends pages talking about her bladder infectionrom too much sex I have to uestion what her intentions are in writing about this Why do we need to know about her bladder infection What does it add to our understanding of her uest To me it says only Look I m desirable Not so interesting Additionally her brand of spirituality certainly does not come close to transcending the Dont Hex with Texas (Enchanted, Inc., fashionable Western obsession with all things Eastern particularly Buddhism and the ashram culture That a Westerner could go to India on her spiritual uest and have absolutely no awareness of 1 her gross appropriation of another culture s religion and 2 the abject poverty that surrounds her is inexusable She oozes privilege at every turn and that privilege remains unacknowledged and unexamined I was willing to look past my initial reaction that the end of a relationship is not in the grand scheme of things that bad everyone s suffering certainly has its own validity However I was unable to muster much empathyor Elizabeth Gilbert despite my attempts to overcome my disgust at her shallow preoccupation Ultimately this woman had nothing to teach me other than that I should trust my own instincts to abandon a book when I have such a strong reaction of dislike Spanish Dagger (China Bayles, from page one I am sorry I spent the time and energy trying toinish it I happened to read somewhere that she has recently bought a church in Manhattan which she is converting into her personal living space And this is enlightenment I am sickened that Paramount has bought the rights to the book Everyday life in medieval times for a motion picture and that she stands to make even money than she already has on this insipid memoir Iound this book unbelievably phoneyI hated this so much that I got up early this morning to inish it and gave my copy to the library and honestly i m not too library and honestly I m not too of thatTo me it just elt so insincere that there s no chance I would have made it past the second chapter had it not been or book club obligationsI enjoyed her writing style but I absolutely could not warm to her at all To be air I do think she would be an excellent travel writerThe section on India was agony to read I have met enough people Dead Giveaway freshly returnedrom Indian ashrams to know that they often seem a tad self absorbed and I also suspect that they really only get up at 3am so that they have even me time She didn t do much to alter my opinionHonestly this woman meditated longer harder and bluer than anyone else has past or present She won the meditation competition that no one was actually having Possibly it was not enlightenment that she Andrew Lost In the Kitchen found but simply that sheinally became completely self absorbed Easy mistake to make Ok I admit I still have about 30 pages to go which I will get around to reading soon need a break Strange Son: Two Mothers, Two Sons, and the Quest to Unlock the Hidden World of Autism from the book though and which I highly doubt will prompt me to change my 2 star rating I know many people love this bookor what I consider personal reasons therefore I tread lightly so as to not come off as critical of people s personal opinions rather just the book itself First I Nope found the author not so likable I ve read other readers reviews in which she was described as sounny and like a girl we d all love to know and have to tell you I didn t Rejected Rejected Rejected feel the love She came off to me as lofty self absorbed and needy Ielt like she wanted to make herself a victim of her divorce and her depression She was so vague about some aspects of the decline of her relationship with her ex husband as well as with some details about the divorce which led me to believe that she really did a number on him but then she whined throughout the book about how HE was the one making the divorce so difficult I don t mean to sound judgmental of how she coped with it because I can t relate to that and it would be unfair of me but I just couldn t help but Listening: The Last Poems of Margaret Avison feel that she kind of bashed the ex a little when she was seemingly the majority of the reasonor their split Plus she acted like she is the only person in the world to suffer through a divorce yet she was totally in love with another man less than a month after she realized she wanted out of her marriage and her account isn t clear as to how long after her realization she actually got the divorce ball rolling so I can tnever suffered a
#Help But Assume She #but assume she unfaithul So "It Was Hard To Have "was hard to have Good Things Happen Slowly: A Life in and Out of Jazz for her when she got hysterical over the ex disagreeing about settlement details Um I would think that happens when you blindside your spouse with a divorce reuest Not saying it s right just saying that s lifeSecondly in her search of spirituality I couldn t help butind some of it a little Buck: A Memoir faretched And could she have drawn out her stay at the Ashram in India any longer or with mind numbing snooooze inducing detail I Oh, the Things They Invented!: All About Great Inventors found myself skipping entire paragraphs at a time and not just because I was in a bit of a hurry to read the book before book club but because she bored the hell out of me Myavorite part of India ironically was Richard From Texas So I suppose that just sums up Yikes, Vikings! (Canadian Flyer Adventures Series for us what I got out of the India sectionBut I won t leave us all on a totally negative note I enjoyed parts of the book some of them thoroughly I loved herriends Five Days Left for instance and am perplexed at how Iind the author so unlikable but somehow she has such cool people in her life And she was SOMETIMES Searching for Robert Johnson funny with little sarcastic bits that caught me off guard and made me laugh aloud When she wasn t being overly wordy I loved reading her descriptions of Italy India and most especially Indonesia And of course who didn t drool over her description of that pizza in Naples YUM I read that part twice. Nd then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali By turns rapturous and rueful this wise andunny author whom Booklist calls Anne Lamott's hip yoga practicing Blood on Silk footloose younger sister is poised to garner yet adoringan. .