At the end of her best-selling memoir Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert fell in love with Felipe - a Brazilian-born man of Australian citizenship who'd been living in Indonesia when they met. Resettling in America, the couple swore eternal fidelity to each other, but also swore to never, ever, under any circumstances get legally married. (Both survivors of difficult divorces. Enough said.)
But providence intervened one day in the form of the U.S. government, who - after unexpectedly detaining Felipe at an American border crossing - gave the couple a choice: they could either get married, or Felipe would never be allowed to enter the country again.
Having been effectively sentenced to wed, Gilbert tackled her fears of marriage by delving completely into this topic, trying with all her might to discover (through historical research, interviews and much personal reflection) what this stubbornly enduring old institution actually is. The result is Committed - a witty and intelligent contemplation of marriage that debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in her amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibility of adulthood.
Gilbert's memoir - destined to become a cherished handbook for any thinking person hovering on the verge of marriage - is ultimately a clear-eyed celebration of love, with all the complexity and consequence that real love, in the real world, actually entails.
©2010 Elizabeth Gilbert; (P)2010 Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
I'm an idealistic, 30 something year old, urban philosopher that lives in Cape Town, South Africa.
Being on the precipice of marriage myself, I bought Committed hoping it would discuss marriage from a few different sociological perspectives, which it did, albeit lightly. What surprised me is that this book is primarily a story, a story about Elizabeth Gilbert's attempt at coming to terms with the whole idea of marriage after having been through an intensely painful one already.
And being a guy I was hesitant to read an emotional account of her experience, but having just finished the book, I'm pleased to say that I have grown by reading this book. Without really expecting it to, it has addressed some of my own concerns, doubts and questions about marriage. And now, going into marriage, I think that I will approach it with a better appreciation for what women have given up for marriage in the past, and hopefully I'll use this knowledge to help redefine marriage within the privacy of my own union, and in doing so, within my community.
Commited is a book for those people who have or have had at some point in their lives, a hard time coming to terms with the institution of marriage. It is probably not for those who do not or did not question marriage, or those who do not or did not feel uncomfortable with conforming to such traditional institution. Commited is a long personal reflection of the author with regard to the need of getting married independently of her will. It seems that process took her took many months. To me, it took years. So, I definitely recommend the book. But don't expect a sequel of Eat, Pray, Love. This is an exercise on introspection, with rather little travelling and fun.
After finishing the book, I immediately looked for some of her speeches and talks and particularly enjoyed her TED talk on the creative process. She is an incredibly articulate writer with the perfect mixture of ironic and serious prose.
I had never listened to a writer speaking his (her) own book. It is very interesting and she did it well. I wished, though, she sounded a little more ironic on the ironic parts and paused longer after them, so that I would have had time to finish laughing before she started the following paragraph.
It is a long book, impossible to listen in one sitting for someone who juggles between family and office.
Whenever I go walking I love to listen and learn. Even while doing errands like going to the bank. Gone are nights falling alseep mid page.
All pumped up after reading Eat Love Pray - I was so keen to be engaged again by the Author that I dove right into this book without hesitation, only to be completely disappointed that 90% is about the history of Matrimony which was a big fat BORING and 10% about Elizabeth and Filipe. I felt completely let down by the Author and it feels like her publisher told her to spit another book out as the loyal fans will just go ahead and buy it regardless - Well Yes I did and I advise everyone DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME OR MONEY ON THIS ONE.
Such a shame to follow through with something so boring. The 1st and last chapter were ok but gee the marriage research just dragged and dragged.
I would strongly recommend it to readers married or unmarried, pro or against marriage, regardless of sex, age or sexual orientation. It was reassuring to me as someone who is pro and actually happily married, yet it opened up the horizon from the point of view of those who might be against matrimony for various reasons. I felt it was an honest narrative, which sometimes even brought tears to my eyes. Moreover, in my opinion the style was flawless, and in addition, the vocabulary and the way the text was crafted offered wonderful practice to my not-mother-tongue-but-dearly-beloved English. As an extra bonus the reader herself narrated it. I enjoyed every word. I am ready to listen to it again.
I would not like to compare it to another.
Extra layers of her personality.
Elizabeth Gilbert feels like a friend now after listening to her read this book. I love how she argues both sides of the argument fairly, looking honesty at the issues she's concerned with.
Insightful, thought provoking and rewarding
Brilliant book. Feels like it was written for me. I am married and have always questioned marriage, wondered about history of the thing. This book delves into the history of marriage, the way it varies in cultures and countries, why we do it and what it all means. Now I just need Elizabeth Gilbert to have children so she can answer all my questions about raising children and motherhood.
amazingly enough this book is good, and yet, i did not like it. the writer is talented but the subject is I ME MINE. it made me tierd listening about me me me. the witer is very educated, interesting but i do not take her view on life in general. the biggest thig regards her choise not to have kids. i find it odd. just like she thinks, and i agree with her ,that traveling teaches you and open your mind, raising a child does the same. so with all her wide view i think she still misses a lot from the whole picture. eventhough she is part of the "auntibragaed".
i did not like this book, still i will look into future books that miss gilbert will write cause she is a good wrtier, just not on the subject of marriage.
The writer is very honest, brave and creative. You can find the answer why people hesitate about marriage.
"Catch up .... it's as good as the last one!"
I like Elizabeth Gilbert because she talks about things that we only think! We only think about 'marriage' but not in the way we should. This memoir was always going to be difficult after the best seller 'Eat, Pray, Love' which is an amazing book, but this book is different, very different. This book tells us of the story of her romance a few years on and also more importantly about marriage and the things that we don't say or think that we should have before we do get ... or don't get married. Read it and I guarantee you won't be disappointed. Congratulations Elizabeth you have done it again!
"Different but as enjoyable as eat pray love"
I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to Elizabeth Gilbert read Committed. It is an interesting mix between a story of two lovers and a thesis on marriage. It is very different from the fabulous eat pray love but different isn't a bad thing, it's just different!
"Definitely Not A Follow Up ........"
..... to Eat Pray Love! I bought this book thinking us readers would learn more of Elizabeth's love story with her Brazilian lover that was so beautifully unfolded for us at the end of Eat Pray Love, the big adventure the two of them were about to embark on where the book left off. However, this book starts a couple of years later in the life of the two lovers and ends abruptly with their quiet marriage. In between, for at least three quarters of the book is what only can be described as a travel guide of marriages from all around the world, how they do it in different countries, the meaning of marriage in different cultures, its not a personal account just like a reviewers study guide. I was left feeling very disappointed with this, its nothing like as described in reviews or adverts.
This is not like a novel it is more like a text book for students who are studying marriage. It is full of text book style essays on what Gilbert has researched on marriage. The 'story' as such is a very small one stretched out between Gilbert rambling on and on about historical and geographical marriage facts and figures. It's also seriously self indulgent and you just get sick of Gilbert whining on about not wanting to get married again. 1st world problems! She also calls her listeners 'people'. Yuk. Big disappointment. The audio however is good and she is a good reader, but that does not make this a good audio book.
"Lots of interesting facts..."
But not quite a story. After eat pray love I had high hopes but finished this feeling a bit like nothing had happened.
I still don't agree with marriage, tho obviously circumstances demanded it in this instance, so not sure where this took me
"a bit repetative"
Yes, because I think Elizabeth Gilbert has an amazing voice. She is very easy to listen to and her speech draws you in.
I didn't like this as much as 'Eat, Pray, Love', mainly as this one isn't really a story, or at least the journey she describes is too much the same. It makes it feel too long.
Her amazing voice, and obvious knowledge of the subject as it's her book.
No unfortunately not. The only thing I did feel from time to time was irritation, at some of the times when EG keeps going backwards and forwards with contradictory opinions as part of the research she was doing.
Disappointing compared to Eat, Pray, Love. Too much a 'lesson' in beliefs and research about marriage & not enough about the lifes of the people actually involved, maybe there wasn't enough to justify writing a book about it, as some of the lengthy explanations and readings came across as padding.
This book is so wise and human. I read it when it came out, but listening to it was a real treat. Lots of a-ha moments. I love hearing Liz Gilbert herself read it too. It's soaked through with her visceral experience. Recommended.
"Fabulous read - slow starter that really warms up"
At first I didn't really take to this book - as it wasn't the same style as Elizabeth Gilbert's previous Eat Pray Love - but once I got past that - and listened to it a second time, I reallly got into it and totally loved it! It's not Eat Pray Love, but it's not meant to be. As a Psychologist I really enjoyed the author's thoughts, insights and explorations of her own and various other women's views on marriage - and then of course warming up to discover the sequel of her life with Philippe. I now totally love this book! even tho I didn't take to it at first listen. HIghly recommended!
After Eat, Pray, Love I was excited to read another Elizabeth Gilbert book and I wasnt disappointed!
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