Saturday, January 8, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I know, I'm so late on the draw on this one, but the truth is, I had no interest in reading this whatsoever when it came out.  I'm embarrassed to admit it was the movie previews last year that sparked my interest in it.  Well, I won't be watching the movie.  I should have stayed with my first feeling.  At first, I thought, can I really be the only person who doesn't love this book?  But I checked and sure enough the Amazon ratings are full of people who didn't love this book, so it's not just me. 
Here's my take on it.  I think of it like moving to Toronto was for me.  Not something I ever thought I'd do.  There are aspects of it that are enjoyable, but for the most part I prefer something else. 
The book is divided into 3 parts.  I wish her actual descriptions of life in Italy had started much sooner, because when she got into it, I enjoyed it.  I could relate.  It inspired me to think, I'd really like to go to Italy.  She wrote interesting descriptions of the different cities, and the food!  I particularly enjoyed her description of the beauty of Roman men and the attitude of Rome among other cities.  If the whole of the book had been like this, she would have had me. 
Unfortunately, it wasn't.
I found the second part when she was in India offensive to most religions.  I think if you are going to write about religion then at least have some sort of understanding of them.  Her theology is so self-centered it's irritating.
The third part about her life in Indonesia was mildly entertaining, but the ending was so opposite of her intent that it was laughable.
Overall I found so much of the book to be self-indulgent and self-serving.  It was almost as if she is looking for validation in her selfishness.  I don't get it.  I know people who get it and love it, but I think there are so many better books out there that write about a year or a time of travel that I wouldn't recommend anyone waste their time on this one.


AngelaMae said...

I can agree with you on some parts of your review for sure, but I think that often what people don't get is that she wasn't writing this to please other people or even about her travels. It was about her journey internally and externally... so of course it is self-centered... it's about HER. I think I loved the book because of the journey she took... it was something I could identify with and still can as I journey inwardly to learn more about who I am and how I can gain the happiness that has alluded me. Yes, I have a faith that guides and helps me, but it shouldn't be a fault that she had a different one and chose to follow it. I commend her for taking the risk of laying her heart out there for the world to read...

Anna and Andrew Mayo said...

Glad to hear I didn't miss anything, Andrew brought the movie home the other day from a co worker, and I just didn't feel like watching it.