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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
Stock image - cover art may vary
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0143118420
ISBN-13: 9780143118428
Publisher: Penguin Books
Release Date: June, 2010
Length: 352 Pages
Weight: 10.56 ounces
Dimensions: 8.4 X 5.4 X 1 inches
Language: English
   
   

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

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It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of t...
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55

Customer Reviews

  A lovely, lovely find...

I heard this book discussed briefly earlier this year on the Today Show and decided to order it since, at the time, I was in the throws of my own divorce. Ms. Gilbert chronicles her international journey of self-discovery with such amazing detail and tenderness and humor that I recommend this book to anyone who has found him or herself in a place or state that he or she would like to change or leave (I imagine, that's everyone!). The story is engrossing and the writing is skillful. I couldn't put it down, and I feel more empowered to follow my own dreams and heart after finishing the book. That's 5-star material if I've ever seen it.
 
  Highly entertaining

There is nothing I like better than to find a book that is so interesting that I don't want to put it down. Eat, Pray, Love was funny, well written and thought provoking. Elizabeth Gilbert has broadened my horizons by writing about places and experiences that most of us will never have. Her search for inner peace and balance takes her to Italy, India and Indonesia and she describes each experience with beautiful prose and great humor. This book will expose you to a variety of perspectives about life, love and religion...I am a better person for having read it.
 
  Even in my underpants I can feel it

Liz Gilbert almost got me. As she starts her Italian adventure I was preparing myself for a pulpy read with easy (and possibly undeserved) laughs. And before that, the Amazon reviews almost scared me away. Boy, what a mistake that'd be! This is a spiritual book in the true sense of the word. Although I kept laughing throughout the book, its simplicity is deceptive. Between the lines, Gilbert is about so much more: vitality, coming into one's own, creating reality and matching the soul's aspirations to the delicious unpredictability of life.

After divorcing her husband (who is portrayed rather unflatteringly as a greedy and vindictive sob) the author decamps for the fountains of Rome where she makes great friends, samples excellent food and learns about the pleasure of dolce far niente from the world's masters in this important art. Here is a quote from Liz's book on why Italy, which has produced some of the greatest artistic, political and scientific minds of all ages, has never become a major world power: The Italian history of corruption by local leaders (a la Mussolini and Berlusconi) and exploitation by foreign dominators [France, Austria, Spain etc]

"has led Italians to draw the seemingly accurate conclusion that nobody and nothing in this world can be trusted. Because the world is so corrupted and unfair, one should trust only what one can experience with one's one senses, and THIS makes senses stronger in Italy than anywhere in Europe. This is why Italians will tolerate hideously incompetent generals, presidents, tyrants, professors, journalists and captains of industry but will never tolerate incompetent opera singers, conductors, ballerinas, courtesans, actors, cooks and tailors. Sometimes only beauty can be trusted. Only artistic excellence is incorruptible. Pleasure cannot be bargained down. And sometimes the meal is the only currency that is real."

This book is essentially revolving about beauty - of friendship, inner life, good taste (and food) and, not least, the ever elusive bounty that is bestowed by a life that is lived well.

In India Liz stays in a celebrity ashram north of Bombay where she has a couple of transcendent experiences whereas in Bali she befriends locals in the beautiful town of Ubud. In fact, her capacity for friendship - the genius of it - together with the honest and unflinching ability to face herself is something that I found very cool. So what if she has bad taste when it comes to men? To me, her naivete in all things male is simply a (n attractive) measure of her femininity and humanness. In any case, Liz's description of finding her inner strength is better than those of most self-styled guru and self-help "authority" out there, including by the controversial Gurumayi herself.

As I started to write my review in here i was kinda surprised (actually i wasn;t surprised at all) how violently some people react to the book. There is some real vitriol here, doubtlessly reflecting the (very real) American horror of idleness and pleasure, of decoupling from the "productive" life of the hive. There seem to be many, oh so many, envious and unfulfilled divorcees out there. To me it seems that many reviewers can't decide whether they are more insulted by Liz's snub of Puritan ethics or her hedonic streak, glamor (the bit of it that seeps between the lines) and courage to end a suffocating marriage. I imagine the very idea of spending a year "finding oneself" is anathema to the hard working hoi polloi. Yet - what else matters in this vale of tears?

A second set of reviewers is responding with a weary "been there done that" (lived amongst the Afghans and the Okies, spent time in ashrams, etc, haha) - never realizing that is the *spirit* of the author, her natural inclination to befriend her fellow humans and not to be better than they are, that represents a main draw of the book.

Is it true that one can live one's life in an ever expanding circle of vitality and joy? Liz Gilbert gives us a resounding YES. So what if she was paid to write about herself - this is what travel writers do for living. Having had my share of humbling and uplifting experiences I know for sure that she is not faking anything - her spiritual insights are the real deal. In my mind, she provides us with a XXI century (US) version of Lawrence Durrell's travelogues - only more light-hearted, self-deprecating and courageous. Bravissima!
 
  2nd time - LOVED it.

GET THE BOOK ON CD - I KNOW - UNORTHODOX BUT - I read this book and liked it. Recommended it for a friend or two and then as a gift for my mother bought the book on CD. My mother, never having heard a book on CD, immediately put it on in the car later that day. As we drove Gilbert's story and voiced entranced me. Having already read the book, the content was familiar but hearing Gilbert's voice and inflection was a whole different experience. Not only was she at liberty to take artistic license with emphasis and inflection, but she truly has a gift for language and accents. Hearing about attending the Italian soccer match with the profanity language lesson was laugh out loud funny. Hear the pain in her voice when discussing her inner turmoil and desire for understanding was heart wrenching.

Since listening to the CD and Gilbert's voice as a whole different media experience, I have purchased the CD for two other "non-reader" friends. They, too, LOVED it. One, undergoing chemo at the time, loved being transported by voice to another's struggle for a relationship with self and God (in all its forms).

Really, really, really recommend the CD!
 
  Read the reviews, but judge for yourself.

This book was given to me by a friend and unlike some people, I was captivated by the author. I found her to be funny and honest. Some may say that she is a spoiled brat because she seems to have a perfect marriage, career, life, etc. But is that what happiness is all about? Is it the big house, the extra large bank account, diplomas on the wall and a seemingly perfect spouse at home what makes happiness? I firmly believe that it's not. Sometimes we need to do things for ourselves in life. If it meant leaving her marriage because she wasn't happy, she shouldn't be criticized for that. She should be praised for not pretending. I have seen so much of this from people in my life, and it seems to end with therapy, antidepressants and ultimatly, divorce.

So the author has stereotypes. Don't we all. Every single one of us would be lying to ourselves if we said that we didn't have an assumption of what someone from a certain state or country, ethnic group or religion is like. We are human. We do that (i'm not saying it's right, just that we do that). At least Gilbert was honest about hers. And so she thinks Italians are sexy (not how she put it, but if you read the book you understand). Is that such a bad thing? And OK she didn't talk about the poverty in India. Had she dove into the nitty gritty about everything she saw, both positive and negative,it would take years to write the story and centuries to finish it. Her travels weren't about that. They where about her learning who SHE was as a person. It floors me that people think that there is something wrong with that. So she shopped and ate, and made friends and found a lover. That't life. Remember when she met Felipe and she was considering breaking her vow of celibacy for the year? She felt guilty. It wasn't like she said, "oh well" and jumped in his bed. She made sure she was making the right decision and not jumping into another potentially "dangerous" relationship.

If you read the book, and you either loved it or hated it, you can agree that she enjoyed herself in Italy, she learned about God, prayer and forgiveness in India, and about love in Indonesia. Look what she did for Wayan and Tutti??? Gathering her friends to make sure that that woman and her children weren't homeless-wow, that's love. Felipe brought a different kind of love into her life. So she achieved everything that she wanted on her travels. She ate, prayed, and loved. She made me laugh, she taught me lessons, and she inspired me to want to know ME. In my opinion of course, that was her point. To learn about herself, and share that journey with others so that they can learn about themselves also.

If you haven't figured it out yet, I liked the book. In fact I recommend it. And-I can't wait for her next book.