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'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert - Book Review

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3 Star Rating (5 Reviews)

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'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert

'Eat, Pray, Love'

Courtesy Penguin

The Bottom Line

Elizabeth Gilbert's talent as a writer is evident in Eat, Pray, Love. She took a story and subject that could easily seem self-indulgent and told it with such humor and wit that readers around the world have not been able to put the book down. I picked up Eat, Pray, Love as a skeptic, but read it through in just a few days.

Pros

  • Short, easy to read chapters
  • Humor and analysis throughout keep the book light, but thoughtful
  • Gilbert shares where to find the best pizza in the world!

Cons

  • The section on Indonesia seems to lose direction and drag
  • When Gilbert presents personal discoveries as universal truths, the tone is a little annoying

Description

  • Publisher: Penguin
  • Published: February 2006
  • 352 pages

Guide Review - 'Eat, Pray, Love' by Elizabeth Gilbert - Book Review

I must admit up front that I read Eat, Pray, Love a couple years after it was released. I read it long after Oprah endorsed it, and I read it reluctantly, thinking that it would be whiny or preachy or prescriptive, and almost certain I would not like it. Within the first few chapters, however, I understood why the memoir has been a bestseller for so long.

I like how Elizabeth Gilbert organized Eat, Pray, Love into 108 short chapters. She is good at writing little stories, giving us glimpses of her one year journey to Italy, India and Indonesia through two to five page anecdotes. This style keeps the book from degenerating into long self-analysis and makes it very easy to read.

Each section of Eat, Pray, Love claims to highlight one of Gilbert's pursuits: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India, and balance in Indonesia. Although the India section particularly focuses on Gilbert's pursuit of spiritual enlightenment, the whole book could easily be labeled a spiritual memoir. I knew from the start that I would probably disagree with some of Gilbert's spiritual conclusions; however, she writes her story with such sincerity and humor that I still found it a very enjoyable read.

That being said, I've read reviews and seen women on TV who follow Gilbert as if she's their Guru and treat Eat, Pray, Love almost as if it is a holy book. While I thought Eat, Pray, Love was a good read, I also thought Gilbert's "insights" were often simplistic and would not recommend this book to those looking for self-help. It's a good choice to throw in your beach bag, but don't expect it to change your life.

User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Ate, Prayed, Loved the book!, Member Read2havefun

Eat Pray Love was honestly one of the best books I have ever read! I had not ever read a nonfiction story before and so my expectations were low. I did not think a nonfiction story could be good, untill I read this book. After reading this story I feel inspired and have placed 'visit Italy' on my bucket list and 'learn Italian'. I would most certainly recommed this book to anyone who loves to eat, pray, and love.

3 out of 4 people found this helpful.

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