- Paperback: 400 pages
- Publisher: Riverhead Books (January 30, 2007)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0143038419
- ISBN-13: 978-0143038412
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 1.1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4,147 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,371 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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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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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.
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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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
When I first picked it up , I was pretty bored by the beginning, but a friend had described the story, so I skipped past the beginning and, happily, found myself " in" Italy with the author. Later, after I was well into the story, I went back to fill in the beginning.
My love for the story was partly because of a connection I have to the practice of Siddha Yoga which is the spiritual practice described by the author, and the GuruGita, the chant which she describes, but never names. I knew some of the places described and because I could recognize them, even though they were given different names, I experienced the book as very authentic.
Also, I had experienced my own, analogous, spiritual odyssey in a different part of the world. That probably made the story all the more real and appealing for me.
There was romance , but I was not especially hooked by it.
As for travel inspiration, it didn't make me salivate to go to any of the places described; but, now that I am remembering it, my mouth begins to water, both for Italian and Indonesian food.