- 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: 4,152 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,951 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
The book is about Ms. Gilbert doing 'a geographic' which in 10-step program lingo means that you leave your home and go somewhere else thinking you can start over and all your problems will go away. In reality, wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. Our inner baggage is just as present as our outer baggage.
Ms. Gilbert starts her journey in Rome. I agree she is very self-absorbed there. She has every reason to be. She has just ended a relationship, she is searching for something meaningful and she is trying to find it through travel. In a sense, she is a tourist in Italy, not really going deeply into the nuances and sensibility of the country.
She then goes to India where she partakes in a Ashram. Interestingly, she learns the most from her Texas friend who gives her many life lessons that help to lighten her inner load.
Her last stop is Bali. Here she comes into herself. She truly becomes part of the culture, trying to understand it, evaluate its impact on her and to be nonjudgmental but pragmatic. She finds meaning in her life which she carries with her, hopefully, for the rest of her days.
I don't want to go into the particulars of the travel as that would give away too much of the book. Enjoyment of this book requires that each reader travel vicariously with Ms. Gilbert.
I read the book and listened to her on my IPOD. I loved reading the book and enjoyed her telling her own story in her own voice. I highly recommend this book. I think it will resonate more with female readers than men. It would be interesting to get a break-down of the positive and negative reviews based on gender.