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 am only sorry that I did not read this sooner. Instead I did what I knew was wrong, and that was listen to the critics harp about her selfishness. You know what? We all need to be selfish in order to be generous! Good work, Ms. Gilbert! You made me cry and laugh. I absolutely loved this book. Now I will see how Julia Roberts does in portraying you!
I loved listening to this novel. Since the author is also the narrator, it is even more enjoyable!! It was so moving at times, and paints a wonderful picture of countries far away. Elizabeth Gilbert's search for understanding and faith is wonderful to behold thoughout the book.
One woman's very self-absorbed journey through life. Do I care about how much she wants to love God ? No...skip this dull, dull book.
I thought it was a great 'read'. I have not seen the movie, but was interested in the story nonetheless. I enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's voice and really enjoyed the journey she took the reader on. There was a lot of hope and a lot to relate to - to some degree. I always looked forward to listening on my phone in traffic, or at an appointment. It was a very quick book to get through - which I really enjoyed!
Loved Italy!, India was a little harder to get thru, but Bali was the payoff. I really enjoyed Elizabeth Gilberts narration. would listen to again......
I enjoyed this book. I fought this book because it was and Oprah pick and because EVERYONE seemed to be reading it. But I broke down and downloaded and I couldn't stop listening! I thought the fact that it was read by the author made it more personal. I rate it as worth your time.
Excellent. Love listening to author narrating herself. I highly recommend listening. I have several times.
Not a fan of this tale. I spent a lot of time trying to articulate to friends what it was that I didn't like about the story. It has literary strengths that I enjoy: direct and crisp prose, insightful observations, and a female protagonist who does what many or all of us have at one time dreamed of doing. Yet many of the character's "adventures" seemed sketchy to me. She was writing a book about praying and eating and love. How does eating until one's pants don't fit or scrubbing floors for four months without complaint make an individual more self-actualized? I've eaten like a starved refugee and scrubbed floors for years without once having a euphoric metaphysical vision. Not once!
Surprise and spoiler: she meets a man whom she will marry for life (I plan on watching this marriage). How special is it that she fulfills prophecy and ends the book perfectly by doing so. I think that I can summarize my thoughts about her journey with one word: contrived. Still, I give her points for being a fine writer who knows how to sell herself.
I'm a divorce survivor too but it was extremely difficult to relate to this person. No wonder she was willing to take a year off to strengthen her relationship with her Higher Power. ...I enjoyed the book more when she got past Pity City and after trudging the long road to the "spiritual" part of her journey...I began to enjoy the book more.
I just don't see what the big deal is about this book...And I can't believe someone wanted to make a movie from it.
Nice touch having the author do the reading. That was the most enjoyable part.
I can see from the reviews readers either love or hate this book. I wanted to hate this book also. I am a man and I felt Ms. Gilbert wasn't giving her relationship a fighting chance and therefor would have probably never went on this journey nor written this book. It IS full of self indulgence and some feminist Marxism and she does ramble quite a lot but overall I found the rambling to eventually have a good point. I found myself listening intently most times wondering what she was going to discover next. I was able to put aside my differences with feminist thought and actions and learn something about myself and my path through life and be inspired. I don't believe anyone (even women) should be inspired to feel superior to anyone else but at one point this book takes a turn toward plain self discovery and she learns to be a person and not a female person.
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