The extent of this woman’s self absorption is astonishing. Spending a year contemplating your navel is a luxury not many could afford or stomach. By the end of the book there isn’t much doubt that the most important person in her life is herself. I think an author reading their book allows for the reader to get the truest vision of the story they are telling, but I found Gilbert to be very unlikable and too much like a spoiled adolescent.
I have mixed feelings about this book. While I enjoyed and have benefited from the various right-on-target one-liners that emerged periodically from the mouths of the many colorful characters, I found the "journey" of this politically correct, entitled woman of privilege to be a histrionic exercise in self-absorption. Her choice of countries based on the letter "I" is most telling. All about "me". It's one of those deceptive narratives that gives the illusion of intimacy yet comes off as shallow and self-serving.
In spite of all her enterprises into enlightenment, the end of the book brings her no closer to resolving her issues with the men in her life - relationships that are many years in the past. And how does she end up? What has she learned? She ends up paired with another flawed human being from whom she will have to discover all over again how to detach. Perhaps at another five-star ashram? Raising another pile of money to throw at one, just one, needy subject?
She needs to discover that spritual solvency is not somewhere "out there" but inside.
I bought this because I love Italy and Italian so much, and she expresses this so well. What bothered me about the book was that she has the money to spend a few years traveling and seeking enlightenment in India and Indonesia and, although she does try to help a poor friend in Indonesia, overall the plight of the desperately poor in those countries does not even touch her radar screen. She can afford to live in her own world and seek deep truths without noticing those starving around her. As a result, two-thirds of the book feel like a travelogue with blinders on. I felt like an ugly American tourist just listening to her self-indulgence. Skip the last 2/3 of the book and it would be a five-star experience.
The author's shallow rambling about self caused me to lose my appetite during her eating phase, not want to think about prayer or meditation during her prayer phase, and I quit before any negative impact in the love phase.
Have moved on to Faulkner
Was just herself
After 2 hrs I turned it off. Couldn't stand it one minute more. At least read Infidel when you read this one. I couldn't stomach the main character, nor her story. Should be zero stars.
I wasn't sure I would like this book when I stared listening to it, but I stuck with it and was handsomely rewarded. The author has an amazing ability to take you with her on a year long journey to Italy, India, and Indonesia. She has an amazing ability to tell the story of the people, places, and wisdom learned along the way. If more people could see the world as she has, our planet would be a much better place for everyone.
This book was one I invented a whole roadtrip for just so I could enjoy it all in one go. There is so much to chew on in here: places, foods, loves, tragedies, furnishings, musings, religions... It is not only the pasta that is toothsome. Along with the writer and the narrator, I experienced the emotions of the book almost as if they were my own. I looked forward to my next reading session as one might hunger for another good meal.
For a book that is searching for everything, I unfortunately, found nothing. Shallow and cotton candy
sweet. Elizabeth Gilbert doesn't have a clue. Still can't believe this book has such a high star rating. This is suppose to be nonfiction! I guess like the reality shows today are nonfiction. Total waste of time and an Audible credit.
I had great expectations given all of the other reviews but found this book to be one of the most boring I have ever listened to. I was expecting more of a story rather than endless "how I feel ramblings". Pick another book.