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Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Paperback – January 30, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade (January 30, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0143038419
  • ISBN-13: 978-0143038412
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3,544 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Gilbert (The Last American Man) grafts the structure of romantic fiction upon the inquiries of reporting in this sprawling yet methodical travelogue of soul-searching and self-discovery. Plagued with despair after a nasty divorce, the author, in her early 30s, divides a year equally among three dissimilar countries, exploring her competing urges for earthly delights and divine transcendence. First, pleasure: savoring Italy's buffet of delights--the world's best pizza, free-flowing wine and dashing conversation partners--Gilbert consumes la dolce vita as spiritual succor. "I came to Italy pinched and thin," she writes, but soon fills out in waist and soul. Then, prayer and ascetic rigor: seeking communion with the divine at a sacred ashram in India, Gilbert emulates the ways of yogis in grueling hours of meditation, struggling to still her churning mind. Finally, a balancing act in Bali, where Gilbert tries for equipoise "betwixt and between" realms, studies with a merry medicine man and plunges into a charged love affair. 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.
Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From The New Yorker

At the age of thirty-one, Gilbert moved with her husband to the suburbs of New York and began trying to get pregnant, only to realize that she wanted neither a child nor a husband. Three years later, after a protracted divorce, she embarked on a yearlong trip of recovery, with three main stops: Rome, for pleasure (mostly gustatory, with a special emphasis on gelato); an ashram outside of Mumbai, for spiritual searching; and Bali, for "balancing." These destinations are all on the beaten track, but Gilbert's exuberance and her self-deprecating humor enliven the proceedings: recalling the first time she attempted to speak directly to God, she says, "It was all I could do to stop myself from saying, 'I've always been a big fan of your work.'"
Copyright © 2006 The New Yorker --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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More About the Author

Elizabeth Gilbert is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, as well as the short story collection, Pilgrims--a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and winner of the 1999 John C. Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares. A Pushcart Prize winner and National Magazine Award-nominated journalist, she works as writer-at-large for GQ. Her journalism has been published in Harper's Bazaar, Spin, and The New York Times Magazine, and her stories have appeared in Esquire, Story, and the Paris Review.

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Customer Reviews

Could not put the book down until she finished reading it.
George J. Galanek
It just seemed like a waste of my time, reading this book, when I could have been reading something else more exciting and interesting.
Erica
(Eat, Pray, Love) is a really wonderful book about the personal spiritual journey of the author., Elizabeth Gilbert.
A Book Lover

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1,213 of 1,384 people found the following review helpful By taniam on March 31, 2008
Format: Paperback
I find it so surprising--reading the angry, negative reviews--that the people who hated the book hated it for exactly the reasons why some steer clear away from the the spiritual-journey-memoir genre. Yes, the author is self-absorbed, yes, she seems to think of only trite stuff, yes, she seems self-indulgent with her problems. And yes, she's allowed. It is after all a book that is positioned to address these things in the author's self; who otherwise would not be searching for something more: more meaning and more appreciation in/of her life.
Here is a woman who shows all the possibly-perceived-as-lacking-substance thoughts of hers and we are throwing tomatoes at her. One thing, she obviously wasn't afraid of that. She wasn't aiming to be coming off as some deeply wise woman but a fumbling girl-woman trying to break out of what she felt was imminent disaster (had she had the baby and delayed her need to find out what she truly wants from her life she might have left not only her husband, but their child, or most probably ending up not leaving out of guilt and becoming crazy instead: exposing her family to that for years; not an uncommon reality). She is not one for anti-depressants, remember.
This memoir falls in the same category as the TV show Sex and the City (of which it was compared to in a review here). Both get trampled for being supposedly superficial, covering the silly plights of city girls who don't know what they want and yet have everything.
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337 of 396 people found the following review helpful By darklordzden on October 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Elizabeth Gilbert was a self-absorbed, married, thirty-something living the privileged existence of an affluent writer in the most powerful nation on Earth, when, suddenly - shock-horror - she realized that she wasn't happy. As a consequence, she cast aside her husband, took up with another man - with whom she still wasn't happy - and, after this relationship fell into inevitable dissolution, decided to run off around the world in order to "find herself" (one must assume that she'd already looked down the back of the sofa) after receiving a handsome advance from a publishing company to chronicle her subsequent exploits.

"Eat, Pray, Love" is pseudo-intellectual, altruistic, mother-my-dog pap of the worst kind masquerading as spiritual insight. Read between the lines and it expounds selfishness as a virtue and mindless hedonism as both philosophy and legitimate path to spiritual insight. Unsurprisingly, that great doyen of the gullible, Oprah Winfrey, loved it and made it one of her book club choices, thus unleashing it to a wider audience than Gilbert's talents as a writer would normally have ever allowed. Apparently, God help us, a big-screen version with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts is currently in the offing.

As a literary construct, Gilbert herself seems to be the contemporary living embodiment of Tom and Daisy Buchanan from "The Great Gatsby", of whom F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "They were careless people...they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness...and let other people clean up the mess they had made."

"Self-absorbed" does not begin to cover it; "self-centred" is not nearly an adequate description.
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394 of 465 people found the following review helpful By MLynn on May 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I picked up this book on the strength of good reviews and found myself wanting to throw it at the wall. The author is a fine writer with a good sense of humor who seemed to want to write about her journey to self fullfilment, spiritual awakening and happiness. Instead she came off as a priviledged, slightly spoiled writer who needed an excuse for a writers advance so she could travel for free. She reveals herself to be a spiritual narcissist who obsessively navel gazes. While many passages are light hearted and funny and she is oh, so very clever and witty!! there was no real depth, no real meaningful questions asked or answered except for how she could get more breaks and be FULFILLED. It seemed like an extended article for SELF magazine. Instead order books by Kathleen Norris or even Anne LaMott for God's sake!
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161 of 188 people found the following review helpful By Yoly on August 10, 2010
Format: Paperback
This is the worst book I have ever read, and I have read some bad books. The first thing I could not stand was her lack of honesty with herself. Even though she tried to be funny and cute when she was "self-bashing", it was easy to read that it was more for the audience than being authentic about her feelings. Secondly, her psychobabble is beyond intolerable. Thirdly, she is so self-absorbed, she forgets to acknowledge that not everyone is the same and happiness for others mean different things. She is narrow minded and frankly cannot see past her own life. She find every excuse possible to explain why her life is more fruitful than the next person, when all I can see is a troubled and lonely human being. There are so many other books out there written by experts on the field, that I'm not sure why anyone bothers taking advice from someone who obviously wrote this book to boost her own ego.

Additionally, the idea that someone was given an advance to write a book about finding herself is... well, pretty disturbing considering the audience who is trying to follow Gilbert's footsteps. Should it not be the other way around? Should she not have had this revealing experience and then shared it with the world? After all, if she was 200k in the hole by the time she finished her trip, she pretty much had to write a book even if she only found disappointment.

Lastly, I find her dishonesty discouraging. At the beginning of the book she chooses to not disclose the fact that she cheated on her husband. Maybe that was the reason she didn't fight for the money when they were divorcing? In my opinion, she was deceiving and less than open about her life and her errors as a human being. She appeared more concerned on being likable than being honest.
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