Elizabeth Gilbert ã 2 SummaryY And that s my final peeve about this book I wondered if Gilbert had any sense of duty or sense of obligation to anything beyond herself Gilbert seems to recognize the bonds of duty that restrict the locals she encounters Yet she somehow paints them as pleasurable or inevitable yokes for the people who bear them Her detached observations of life and death rituals in India and Indonesia as though they are restricted to those parts of the world made me want to shake her and say but there are rituals everywhere you have made a conscious decision to remove yourself from the ones you know I ask about duty not because I wanted Gilbert to stay in a loveless marriage but because the concept of duty is also linked to a concept of justice What is it that we ought to do What do we owe each other Part of me felt that Gilbert took comfort in the non dual aspects of Eastern philisophies in a strange way She seemed almost relieved that the non duality of existence would ensure that one would not necessarily be punished by the niverse for selfish deeds I felt like Gilbert embraced that aspect of the philosophy without realizing the eual importance those cultures place on the balancing notions of reciprocity duty of being social beings in the truest sense often taking it to the other negative extreme The lack of sense of obligation to anyone other than herself made Gilbert seem curiously dead to the contradictions around her She didn t seem perturbed at the abject poverty of the Indian women around her or to Beverly Grays Problem uestion if it was just She never wondered how a spiritual person should grapple with the injustice of the world nor did she seem toestion the rightness of living in the midst of poverty in an artificial environment created to specifically cater to pampered Westerners In Indonesia she finally seems to see beyond herself to the suffering of others but when she does try to help someone it seems impulsive and done almost with carelessness so that the whole thing almost becomes a big messAfter all of this the end of the book just seemed to fall flat as Gilbert tried to wrap things p ickly crowning it all of course with a romance with a doting and exotic lover This book had a lot of potential but Dias Story Cloth ultimately it seemed like a story about one woman s sense of entitlement and her inability to everite move beyond that though she does make some valiant efforts to do so Don t bother with this book It took me nearly a year to finish it I was so disgusted by the writer s apparent lack of awareness of her own privilege her trite observations and the Chillwater Cove unbelievably shallow way in which she represents a journey initiated by grief that I initially couldn t bear to read beyond Italy Like others who have written here I made myself pick the bookp again because so many people have raved about it and I made myself finish it hoping all the while there would be some redemptive insight or at least some small kernel of originality or wisdom I was sorely disappointed Liz is so obsessed with male attention throughout the book in every section she expounds in great detail on her flirtations with men many of whom seem to take care of her or compliment her on her wit beauty or charm that it makes her self described Winter Of The Salamander uest to learn to be alone seem absurd and farcical She does not have a feminist bone in her body shocking for a woman who is purportedly on aest for self discovery after what she describes as a devastaing divorce She seems to have absolutely no capacity for self awareness or reflection in this regard and her superficial treatment of this and other aspects of her psyche bored me to tears Basically this memoir accounts her flirting her way across the globe into a new relationship with little to no growth in self awareness that I can perceive Even in India her purported time of inward reflection she attaches her herself to the likes of Richard from Texas who seems a cross between a father figure and object of flirtation Ultimately she falls in love with a man much older than she who seems to dote on her in The Story of Charlottes Web uite a paternalistic way When she spends pages talking about her bladder infection from too much sex I have toestion what her intentions are in writing about this Why do we need to know about her bladder infection What does it add to our Christian Charm School Leader Guide understanding of herest To me it says only Look I m desirable Not so interesting Additionally her brand of spirituality certainly does not come close to transcending the fashionable Western obsession with all things Eastern particularly Buddhism and the ashram culture That a Westerner could go to India on her spiritual Hey Diddle Diddle Leveled Text uest and have absolutely no awareness of 1 her gross appropriation of another culture s religion and 2 the abject poverty that surrounds her is inexusable She oozes privilege at every turn and that privilege remainsnacknowledged and Gorgeous and...Hung?! unexamined I was willing to look past my initial reaction that the end of a relationship is not in the grand scheme of things that bad everyone s suffering certainly has its own validity However I wasnable to muster much empathy for Elizabeth Gilbert despite my attempts to overcome my disgust at her shallow preoccupation ltimately my disgust at her shallow preoccupation Ultimately woman had nothing to teach me other than that I should trust my own instincts to abandon a book when I have such a strong reaction of dislike from page one I am sorry I spent the time and energy trying to finish it I happened to read somewhere that she has recently bought a church in Manhattan which she is converting into her personal living space And this is enlightenment I am sickened that Paramount has bought the rights to the book for a motion picture and that she stands to make even money than she already has on this insipid memoir I found this book nbelievably phoneyI hated this so much that I got p early this this insipid memoir I found this book nbelievably phoneyI hated this so much that I got Understanding Yandere Lovers up early this to finish it and gave my copy to the library and honestly I m not too proud of thatTo me it just felt so insincere that there s no chance I would have made it past the second chapter had it not been for book club obligationsI enjoyed her writing style but I absolutely could not warm to her at all To be fair I do think she would be an excellent travel writerThe section on India was agony to read I have met enough people freshly returned from Indian ashrams to know that they often seem a tad self absorbed and I also suspect that they really only getp at 3am so that they have even me time She didn t do much to alter my opinionHonestly this woman meditated longer harder and bluer than anyone else has past or present She won the meditation competition that no one was actually having Possibly it was not enlightenment that she found but simply that she finally became completely self absorbed Easy mistake to make Ok I admit I still have about 30 pages to go which I will get around to reading soon need a break from the book though and which I highly doubt will prompt me to change my 2 star rating I know many people love this book for what I consider personal reasons therefore I tread lightly so as to not come off as critical of people s personal opinions rather just the book itself First I found the author not so likable I ve read other readers reviews in which she was described as so funny and like a girl we d all love to know and have to tell you I didn t feel the love She came off to me as lofty self absorbed and needy I felt like she wanted to make herself a victim of her divorce and her depression She was so vague about some aspects of the decline of her relationship with her ex husband as well as with some details about the divorce which led me to believe that she really did a number on him but then she whined throughout the book about how HE was the one making the divorce so difficult I don t mean to sound judgmental of how she coped with it because I can t relate to that and it would be Kings of Paradise (Ash and Sand unfair of me but I just couldn t help but feel that she kind of bashed the ex a little when she was seemingly the majority of the reason for their split Plus she acted like she is the only person in the world to suffer through a divorce yet she was totally in love with another man less than a month after she realized she wanted out of her marriage and her account isn t clear as to how long after her realization she actually got the divorce ball rolling so I can t help but assume she wasnfaithul So it was hard to have sympathy for her when she got hysterical over the ex disagreeing about settlement details Um I would think that happens when you blindside your spouse with a divorce reuest Not saying it s right just saying that s lifeSecondly in her search of spirituality I couldn t help but find some of it a little far fetched And could she have drawn out her stay at the Ashram in India any longer or with mind numbing snooooze inducing detail I found myself skipping entire paragraphs at a time and not just because I was in a bit of a hurry to read the book before book club but because she bored the hell out of me My favorite part of India ironically was Richard From Texas So I suppose that just sums Brothers up fors what I got out of the India sectionBut I won t leave s all on a totally negative note I enjoyed parts of the book some of them thoroughly I loved her friends for instance and am perplexed at how I find the author so nlikable but somehow she has such cool people in her life And she was SOMETIMES funny with little sarcastic bits that caught me off guard and made me laugh aloud When she wasn t being overly wordy I loved reading her descriptions of Italy India and most especially Indonesia And of course who didn t drool over her description of that pizza in Naples YUM I read that part twic. Nd then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali By turns rapturous and rueful this wise and funny author whom Booklist calls Anne Lamott's hip yoga practicing footloose younger sister is poised to garner yet adoring fan. .
Eat Pray Love is the monologue of a Neurotic American Princess Liz in her mid thirties The first few chapters background the rest of the book a confessional that tells how she came to find her 8 year marriage distasteful realised she wasn t keen on the next logical step which is apparently to fill her expansive apartment with children and plunges into an impotent depression Without even getting drunkOne night whilst bawling on the bathroom floor a habit she has grown fond of she is struck by a flakey attack of twattery Being an American this experience manifests itself as finding some kind of God or thereabouts Naturally she resolves to leave her husband Her husband isn t keen on this development and Liz finds that strangely he takes poorly to having his heart shattered into a million piecesHusband behaves badly and our protagonist feels hurt and sad But no matter because before long Liz hooks Leaders Eat Last up with the sexy exciting yoga chanting David who takes a five minute break from his headlong charge toward floaty Thai fisherman s pants a thin ponytail and male pattern baldness to rattle her well bred bones Liz drinks deeply from lust s stagnant wellBut divorce negotiations do drag on leaving Liz once again bawling on the bathroom floor This time however it s David s bathroom floor And David it seems isnimpressed by such displays It seems men are interested in women for their La muralla verde uniue and interestingalities and The New Competition unless you are Bob Dylan melancholy gets old fast Incidentally if you find a chap who does like this constant emo drama then runHere s what really bothers me about this book Eat Pray Love is a New York Times bestseller It was recommended to me by a friend a woman who is a successful publisher in her own right According to her this is the best book she has read this year It s been a short yearIn short she isn t given to fawning excesses that one might expect from anyone who doesn t think this book should have been printed on softer paper I think 3 ply would about do it So I was surprised by her ringing endorsementI am told you see that women get this book Which means they sympathise andnderstand it I bet its on Oprah s Fucking Book ListWith this in mind here s what I will say when I am invited to Oprah s Fucking Book clubfeminist rantWomen You will get to the end of this book and may still be Domestic Slavery Considered as a Scriptural Institution by Francis Wayland and Richard Fuller under the illusion that it is not your responsibility to make yourself happy Whereas it is in fact your own responsibility to make yourself happy Being happy without being with a man does not trivialise love You should find challenges entertainment fun excitement passion the thrill of mastery and satisfaction of achievement through your own doings not who you are doing Love might enhance this It cannot substitute thisCan you imagine if men felt so incomplete without women When did is become acceptable for men to be our projects When did it become acceptable for women to be defined by their men as if something less than this arrangement denigrates the sanctity of a relationship Fuckntil I read this book I thought I d dealt feminism a crippling blow by jack knifing the trailer this morning I look like Susan Sontag in gumboots compared to this bookIn EPL the author s only explanation for her pathetic simpering twattery is that she is as affectionate as a cross between a Golden Retriever and a barnacle This is supposed to tell Mini Habits for Weight Loss: Stop Dieting. Form New Habits. Change Your Lifestyle Without Suffering. us why her sex life resembles pollen in a strong breezeTo her and all other Oprah book clubbers who get this book get a Golden Retriever Or barnacles Or maybe a Golden Retriever with barnacles But for sweet knit one purl one Christ leave this book on the shelfPost Script I m not anti American I lived there and many of the best people I know are Americans I have however noticed a peculiar enthusiasm for Godliness in the land of the free This was one of those books I will read over and over again All those cynics out there who criticize Gilbert for writing a too cutesy memoir that seems beyond belief and who claim that she is selfish for leaving her responsibility are clearly missing the point First she did not write the book to inspire you She wrote it as her own memoir you can agree or disagree with how she went about her enlightenment but you cannot judge her for how she found happiness It is her memoir not yours You can achieve enlightement by whatever means you want Second to call her irresponsible for leaving responsibilities behind is absurd She was in annhappy marriage You cannot force yourself to be happy I applaud her for doing something that many people are afraid to do She had no children and so the responsibilities she neglected were minimal I also suspect that those of you who didn t enjoy the book could not relate to it You have never suffered a life changing tragedy You have never felt paralyzed by fear anger or disappointment You have never had to go through a healing process that seems endless You have never felt lost That s great for you but Children of the New World unfortunately that makes it hard for you to relate to this memoir Finally those of you who found her story toonbelievable have probably never felt the joy of traveling the world There is no better way to discover yourself than getting out of your comfort zone and immersing yourself in someone else s Traveling the world is not self indulgent If doing what we want to or enjoy doing is self indulgent then we are all guilty If you are enjoying an ice cream sundae meeting your FRIENDS FOR A NIGHT OUT OR A GOOD WORK for a night out or a good work you are being self indulgent My guess is that those of you who didn t find the value in this book are nhappy with your own life Perhaps you should be a little self indulgent yourself What I m about to say must be wrong because I couldn t get through this book I tried And I failed So I have NO BUSINESS WRITING THIS Don t read itA cousin recommended EPL and I thought it would teach me something about the book market My secret boyfriend at the public library was horrified I checked it out given his ACLU offensive intimacy with my record and tastes and yes like others I was embarrassed to have EPL in my possessionBecauseWhat IS this MOVEMENT of lily white bourgeois women with fancy educations working themselves into identity crises that they think can be solved by a new form of coloniasm This hyper feminized adventure travel Subaltern poaching for the 21st century Taker mentality as spiritual estThese people need their own version of Outside magazine or some shit Oh yeah they already do It s called the GAIAM catalogYeah We re talking some serious dilettante tourism taking entire countries as theme spas Italy for excess India for asceticism Indonesia for the middle path Ladies Country I is not your personal terrain for self discovery You don t get to interiorize Country I as a metaphor for your personal potential If your interior journey needs a bunch of leisure time and poor countries to be realized maybe you re asking the wrong The Rabbit Who Wants to Go to Harvard uestionsThe consumerist mentality was so self important and so priveleged that I just couldn t make myself give this book any time WHY I cringe to think why so many women want to feel that this was a true spiritual journey It was a pre paid journey The woman starts off with tellings over and over about how painful her divorce was however she dismisses how it ever came to be that way Leaving her audience only to guess it was so horrible she had to leave and find way Leaving her audience only to guess it was so horrible she had to leave and find asked in an interview if dumping her husband and pushing off wasn t selfish here is what Ms Gilbert had to say What is it about the American obsession with productivity and responsibility that makes it so difficult for Quantum (Captain Chase us to allow ourselves a little time to solve the puzzle of our own lives before it s too late This statement alone tells so much A responsibility towards a marriage and spouse is considered annwanted obsession and one s own pursuit of happiness supercedes everything else If a man decided to dump his wife and family to flee to the Himalayas to meditate we wouldn t be calling it a spiritual journeywe would call it irresponsibility India This when she got just a little too proud of herself I grew so tired of her boasting about how all her decisions led to a higher plan of consciousness and a new appreciation for life and a new Introduction to Mythology understanding of theniverse at large And Bali was even worse I was hoping the little old guy didn t remember her Didn t that whole episode just turn out a little too cutely And then she fell off her bike She met her doctor friend and bought her a house And met an old guy and then she did things to herself And then she slept with the old guy And of course she s better at that than any of Perilous Love (Sinful Souls MC us because she is now enlightened And then she made a little rhyming couplet of a life in Australia America Bali and Brazil Double cringeItaly The author s angst and shallow self discovery and pretend real people met with the express purpose of reflecting what she would like to learn lessons that most ofs will have learned far earlier in life before interesting lessons presented themselves To Children of Blood and Bone uote a phrase from the Italy section of this book cross the street if you dare to even glance in a bookstore window and entertain a thought of buying this book Elizabeth Gilbert has no ideas about life Not only does she have nothing to teach she has nothing to say This book is so vicarious that it reveals a profound and deeply disturbing ignorance about the complexities of real life The author s observations about life are simplistic and her insights so embarrassinglyndeveloped and nsophisticated that she comes across as a detached observer There are very few passages in this book that reveal any real This beautifully written heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success marriage house in the countr. Ense of transformation in her life She never really seems to glean anything authentic or deeply affecting from any of her experiences And because she has gained nothing she has nothing to offer The reader is frustrated and nable to connect with her on any level This memoir not only lacks readability it lacks any real humanity She is right when she says that she is not a traveler she does not have the heart or spirit of a true traveler because she somehow remains deeply Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - Selected: An Interlinear Translation unaffected She is merely a tourist a spectator barely scratching the surface of the lands she traverses the people she encounters and the experiences of what it means to be human She fails to see the poverty that surrounds her or maybe she sees it She definitely never writes about it maybe because it is not part of the road to any enlightenmentIn spite of her year long journey she is stillnable to gain true insight or wisdom from her pain and struggles There is no profoundness in her journey whether it is personal or physical This book is just a simple walk through a simple mind She is not even a good enough writer to be able to cleverly disguise her childlike observations in beautifully crafted language I would rather read the trail journals of a young backpacker any day At least they are real After reading the book I wondered how it found its way to the bestseller list I was perplexed by its popularity So I did some research As it turns out Eat Pray Love is an ideal industry example of how a publishing company can create a best seller from the printing of a trade paperback In hard cover this book only generated mediocre book sales in the year in was published However someone at Penguin adopted it as a darling and created a hard core campaign to sell the trade paperbackWell when they said here s 200 000 dollars Elizabeth now go travel and don t forget to eat pray and love when you come back I will get you the best editor and we will both feel enlightened So shallow I cringe I cringe even for the women that buy into such shallownessIf you really want to live with intention live your journey here and now YOUR here and nowThis book gets Zero stars I am embarrassed to read this book in public The title and the flowery pasta y cover screams I m a book that contains the relentless rants of a neurotic 34 year old womanSo I m afraid that the strangers on the Metro will think I identify with herBut in the comfort of my own bed I am totally falling for this memoir Yes Gilbert is emotionally self indulgent are we supposed to feel bad that she lost both houses in the divorce annoying she s just tickled when she gains 23 pounds after eating her way through Italy and often really immature oh The endless endless cryingThen again this is a memoir and when the writing is just so clever so hospitable so damn funny it s really hard to hold that against Gilbert in the endThe plot goes something like this A 30 year old writer has everything she wants including several successful books a husband and two houses When she realizes she doesn t want to have kids and that she s not happy after all she has a breakdown and leaves her husband In the process she realizes she has no identity Boo hooBut instead Gilbert decides to pack Stowaway up and visit Italy India and Indonesia three places she hopes willltimately bring her the inner balance she s been longing for And on the surface this book is a really entertaining travel essay Gilbert has this wonderfully The Syntactic Licensing of Ellipsis uirky way of describing everything A piece of pizza a gelato And the people It s on her travels that I start to identify with Gilbert When I was 21 I spent four months traveling in Australia Just like Gilbert during her first weeks in Italy I was totally elated by my freedom But about two weeks in the loneliness came around and so did the anxiety My typical day started with this inner monologue I have to get to the museum before noon so I can fit in the sea kayaking trip at 2 And then I have to rush to the grocery store to get food to make dinner in the stinking hostel kitchen because god forbid I go out to eat causeIHAVETOMAKETHEMONEYLASTFORTHREEMOREMONTHSYikes How I envied the Eurotrash who could just sit by the hostel pool and read all day But if I didn t do everything then I would have failed at traveling In retrospect Australia was a turning point in my young life I had no idea that this go go go attitude was how I had been living for years No wonder people thought I wasptight Relaxing had never come easy to me and it never will but I m getting a lot better at letting go and not worrying about seeing every last museum so to speakGilbert ruminates on this topic The Persian of Thunder Bay uite a bit in her book Her first moment of truenfettered happiness comes when she poaches some eggs and eats some asparagus on the floor of her apartment So simple but so fulfillingIn India she writes that life if you keep chasing it so hard will drive you to death Gilbert is living in an Ashram a place where people come to meditate and experience divinity She s not very good at it and she wonders if all the energy she s spent chasing the next experience has kept her from enjoying anything At this point in the book I find myself wondering if Gilbert wants to be there at all Perhaps going to an Ashram was the thing she thought she should do not what she wanted to do I sure as hell wouldn tWhat I really love about Eat Pray Love is that it s all about asking the simple O que é o quê uestion what do I want aestion that would have come "IN HANDY IN AUSTRALIA AND NUMEROUS "Handy In Australia And Numerous Times In My handy in Australia and numerous other times in my It s so hard for some people including me and it really shouldn t be I think that when you can honestly answer that estion No I don t want to go to that discussion on post modernism even though I realize that I should be interested in it and it would make me a lot cooler in your eyes Really I just want to watch back to back episodes of Scrubs you re well on your way to realizing your own identity and being ok with whoever that person is Shallow self indulgent and mired in the sort of liberal American obsession with oriental exoticism that is niuely offensive because it is treated as enobling by its purveyors She treats the rest of the world as though it exists for the consumption of jaded rich white Americans and this book is a monument to that sort of arrogance and ignorance Wow this book took me on a roller coaster ride I couldn t decide if I loved it or hated it and it seemed like every few pages I d go from thinking Gilbert was delightfully witty to thinking this was the most horribly self absorbed person to ever set foot on the earth In the end the overall effect was rather like sitting at a party listening to someone tell a long involved story all about themselves and you re alternately annoyed and fascinated and you want to get Finding Maubee up and leave but she s just so entertaining that you keep telling yourself you ll leave in the next minute and so you endp sticking through the whole thing WARNING LOOONG REVIEW AHEAD I didn t hate Eat Pray Love but it left me really nsatisfied When I first started reading the book I couldn t help rolling my eyes and thinking Here we go another tale of a precious privileged woman who is nsatisfied with her life I stuck with it though and was charmed through the Italy section by Gilbert s humor and down to earth writing style Still for a woman who abandons everything in search of a true spiritual experience she leaves most of the important Fireborne (The Aurelian Cycle, uestionsnanswered I felt that Gilbert projects herself so strongly onto every place and every person she encounters that I m not sure what she really learnt along the wayAs delightful as the Italy section was to read I felt like she never really stepped out of herself to Potato Chips for Breakfast A True Story of Growing Up in an Alchoholic Family understand the country on its own terms and to move beyond the stereotype Despite it being a bit of a superficial assessment I have no problem with Gilbert associating Italy with pleasure There is enough beauty there to warrant itIt was her interpretation of what it means to open oneself to pleasure that bothered me and seemed very narrow For Gilbert this consisted mostly of overindulging in foods and allowing herself to put on weight It seemed like she came to Italy thinking she already knew how to experience pleasure and proceeded to enact it based on her definition even though there are indications that the Italian interpretation of pleasure is not merely restricted to this I would have liked to see her explore what it meant to devote herself to pleasure just as seriously and reverently as she seemed to take the meditative experiences in India Overall though my biggest problem with this book was I had difficulty at times believing Gilbert achieved the enlightenment she talks about because she is so internally focused Most importantly I still have not really grasped why it was necessary for her to travel to these 3 places Inderstand that her intention was not for this book to be a travelogue but it begs the Chimes of a Lost Cathedral (The Revolution of Marina M. uestion Why was it necessary to go to Italy India and Indonesia if the purpose was to not to gain something from them that could not be found elsewhere In every country Gilbert created a little security blanket of expat friends who seemed to cushion her from reallynderstanding the lessons the countries had to offer on their own terms Why go to India to meet Richard the big Texan Guru for example Why not just go to Texas For those of s with eyelids only half caked with dirt but who can t proot our lives and travel to countries of our choosing is enlightenment still an option I wanted Gilbert to talk about how anyone with an ordinary life but who is searching for insight could still balance spiritual yearning with dut. Y career and find instead what she truly wanted from life Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India ,