Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. She had everything an educated, ambitious American woman was supposed to want: a husband, a house, a successful career. But instead of feeling happy and fulfilled, she was consumed with panic, grief, and confusion. She went through a divorce, a crushing depression, another failed love, and the eradication of everything she ever thought she was supposed to be.
To recover from all this, Gilbert took a radical step. In order to give herself the time and space to find out who she really was and what she really wanted, she got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. Eat, Pray, Love is the absorbing chronicle of that year. Her aim was to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature set against the backdrop of a culture that has traditionally done that one thing very well. In Rome, she studied the art of pleasure, learning to speak Italian and gaining the 23 happiest pounds of her life. India was for the art of devotion, and with the help of a native guru and a surprisingly wise cowboy from Texas, she embarked on four uninterrupted months of spiritual exploration. In Bali, she studied the art of balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence. She became the pupil of an elderly medicine man and also fell in love the best way, unexpectedly.
An intensely articulate and moving memoir of self-discovery, Eat, Pray, Love is about what can happen when you claim responsibility for your own contentment and stop trying to live in imitation of society's ideals. It is certain to touch anyone who has ever woken up to the unrelenting need for change.
©2006 Elizabeth Gilbert; (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., and Books on Tape. All rights reserved.
"Sustaining a chatty, conspiratorial tone, Gilbert fully engages readers in the year's cultural and emotional tapestry, conveying rapture with infectious brio, recalling anguish with touching candor, as she details her exotic tableau with history, anecdote and impression." (Publishers Weekly)
"Gilbert's sensuous and audacious spiritual odyssey is as deeply pleasurable as it is enlightening." (Booklist)
I Never write reviews, feeling it best for individuals to make their own decision. However, and this is a big however, I am making an exception for this book. Unless you are recently divorced, going through an acrimonious divorce, are bipolar or otherwise mentally challenged, do not buy this book. It has absolutely nothing to do with the title. I thought it sounded wonderful, would never have believed the majority of the book deals with mental problems, divorce etc. Would not have bought it had I "heard" the first 2 chapters. This may not be a politically correct review, but it is realistic.
Well written and entertaining throughout. For me, it felt like I would enjoy it more if I were going through a divorce or other mid-life crisis. The author describes her divorce and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 as if they are accurate comparisions for grief and sympathy. I had problems identifying or sympathizing with her at all. If you are going through a divorce or other moderate emotional tragedy in your life, this book may help you cope. If you have had real tragedies in your life, this book may offend you.
Thinking this book was about my beloved Italy and the fast developing India, I was excited to read it. Instead it is the ranting of a self indulgent, narcissitic, left wing spoiled brat. It's awful!
I have listened to hundreds of books and have never before written a negative review. I held my nose through the first two parts, thinking that surely she could not end up the same pathetic human she started out as (plus, I paid for this book and I was going to listen to it). She treats you to at least an hour (and then comes back to the subject several times) of why it's OK she doesn't want a baby. We're all HAPPY you're not having one, OK? Move on, already. She falls apart over the most minor, self-inflicted, personal problems, and treats listeners to repeated dissections of them. This is juxtaposed with limitless descriptions and examples of her otherwise fabulousness. I am almost to the end, and I quit listening when it struck me that she was not going to grow or change during the course of this book, even though that is supposed to be the point of her travels. It is, unfortunately, about a trivial and self-absorbed year in the life of a trivial and self-absorbed icky person.
Wanted to know what all the hype was about. It came strongly recommended by many friends of mine. I didn't enjoy this. I liked hearing about the places she traveled, but she was so insecure, it was depressing. Not that great.
This woman was so self centered that I could not stand her. She made it sound like she is the only person who has ever gone through a life-changing divorce and we should all care about her self-indulgent, privileged trip around the world to "heal." Also, this was poorly written with so many similes and metaphors that it was nauseating.
Mostly. She did most of the accents well, but otherwise didn't change her voice much.
Elizabeth. I hated her conceited attitude and self-righteousness.
More spiritual growth.
She read it great, its, funny but kind of shallow.
I don't know, I tried to listen several times and could just never get interested in the book.
It was just boring.
The narrating was ok. The story overrode the whole thing.
Couldn't get far enough into it to know.
I had figured if it was worth making into a movie it would be great. It just wasn't worth the credit.
Elizabeth Gilbert is a woman that women can relate to.
This is a great book. I love it. She is so real. I needed this book now... right now.
If you are wanting a book about "The Meaning of Life," this is not the book. I gave it the stars because it was an interesting read with regard to the character's travels and the people she met.
I could not, however, relate to a "privileged wife" being unhappy with her life and walking away from her life. Also, as someone being treated for depression and anxiety, I was distressed that the author suggests that those suffering from this condition can go off medication. Having "been there, done that" you can't and I resent the idea that anyone can. Nobody would suggest to a diabetic that they could discontinue their treatment.
Additionally, the sound quality was awful. The author was the narrator, and found her soft voice hard to hear and was constantly having to play back certain sections.
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