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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia | [Elizabeth Gilbert]

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

Around the time Elizabeth Gilbert turned 30, she went through an early-onslaught midlife crisis. 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. She got rid of her belongings, quit her job, and undertook a yearlong journey around the world, all alone. This is the absorbing chronicle of that year.
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Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (5263 )
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4.3 (1843 )
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  •  
    Linda Ocala, FL, USA 08-27-06
    Linda Ocala, FL, USA 08-27-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Save your Money"

    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.

    40 of 81 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jason Cathedral City, CA, USA 06-19-06
    Jason Cathedral City, CA, USA 06-19-06
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    "Well written sob story"

    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.

    38 of 79 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Pueblo, CO, USA 06-12-10
    Michael Pueblo, CO, USA 06-12-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
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    "Fooled"

    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!

    6 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cameo Palm Harbor, FL, USA 01-25-09
    Cameo Palm Harbor, FL, USA 01-25-09 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Shallow and self-congratulatory"

    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.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly san anselmo, CA, USA 02-13-08
    Kimberly san anselmo, CA, USA 02-13-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "eat, pray, love"

    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.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cathleen United States 10-09-13
    Cathleen United States 10-09-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Disappointing"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Elizabeth Gilbert again?

    Doubtful.


    Did Elizabeth Gilbert do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Mostly. She did most of the accents well, but otherwise didn't change her voice much.


    What character would you cut from Eat, Pray, Love?

    Elizabeth. I hated her conceited attitude and self-righteousness.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Claryville, NY, United States 09-18-13
    David Claryville, NY, United States 09-18-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Did she learn anything?"
    What would have made Eat, Pray, Love better?

    More spiritual growth.


    What could Elizabeth Gilbert have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    She read it great, its, funny but kind of shallow.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Gilbert – was your favorite?

    Liz


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    dissappointment


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Relax n' Read 09-13-13

    Dawn

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Really tried but couldn't get there."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I don't know, I tried to listen several times and could just never get interested in the book.


    What was most disappointing about Elizabeth Gilbert’s story?

    It was just boring.


    Did Elizabeth Gilbert do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    The narrating was ok. The story overrode the whole thing.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Couldn't get far enough into it to know.


    Any additional comments?

    I had figured if it was worth making into a movie it would be great. It just wasn't worth the credit.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Matthews, NC, United States 01-20-13
    Lisa Matthews, NC, United States 01-20-13
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    "I needed this now"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes


    What other book might you compare Eat, Pray, Love to and why?

    Wild


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Elizabeth Gilbert is a woman that women can relate to.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a great book. I love it. She is so real. I needed this book now... right now.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Deb New Milford, CT, United States 11-10-11
    Deb New Milford, CT, United States 11-10-11 Member Since 2014
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    "Don't Listen to the Hype"

    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.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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