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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
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"An engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining memoir... [Her] account of her time in India is beautiful and honest and free of patchouli-scented obscurities." —Lev Grossman, Time
"A meditation on love in many forms... Gilbert's wry, unfettered account of her extraordinary journey makes even the most cynical reader dare to dream of someday finding God deep within a meditation cave in India, or perhaps over a transcendent slice of pizza." —Los Angeles Times
"Gilbert's memoir reads like the journal of your most insightful, funny friend as she describes encounters with healers, ex-junkies, and (yes!) kind, handsome men." —Glamour
"Readable [and] funny... By the time she and her lover sailed into a Bali sunset, Gilbert had won me over. She's a gutsy gal, this Liz, flaunting her psychic wounds and her search for faith in a pop-culture world." —The Washington Post
"This insightful, funny account of her travels reads like a mix of Susan Orlean and Frances Mayes... Gilbert's journey is well worth taking." —Entertainment Weekly ("A" rating)
"Be advised that the supremely entertaining Eat Pray Love—a mid-thirties memoir by the endlessly talented Elizabeth Gilbert—is not just for the ladies, fellas." —GQ
"Compulsively readable... Think Carrie Bradshaw cut loose from her weekly column, her beloved New York City, and her trio of friends, riffing her way across the globe on an assortment of subjects ranging from the 'hands-down most amazing' Sicilian pasta she's ever tasted to her reason for buying sexy lingerie to our collective, species-driven instinct for being on the planet." —Elle
"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." ' " —The New Yorker
"An intriguing and substantive journey recounted with verve, humor, and insight. Others have preceded Gilbert in writing this sort of memoir, but few indeed have done it better." —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"In this engrossing and captivating travel memoir, journalist Liz Gilbert globe-trots for a year to Italy, India, and Indonesia... Lucky for us, the lessons she learns are entirely importable." —Marie Claire
"Gilbert's writing is chatty and deep, confident and self-deprecating... that makes her work engaging and accessible." —San Francisco Chronicle
"As a friend--and as a writer--Gilbert is innocently trusting, generous, loving, and expressive." —The Boston Globe
"Gilbert is an irresistible narrator—funny, self-deprecating, fiercely intelligent... [She's] such a sincere seeker... [It's] impossible not to applaud her breakthrough." —Salon.com
"An intimate account of a spiritual journey. But it's also a zippy travelogue with rich, likeable characters...You will laugh, cry, and love with a more open heart." —Rocky Mountain News
"Gilbert is a witty, funny, and likeable pilgrim on a hero's journey." —The Oregonian
"Run-of-the-mill envy doesn't begin to describe what many readers must feel when devouring Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Pray Love." —St. Louis Post-Dispatch
"A captivating storyteller with a gift for enlivening metaphors, Gilbert is Anne Lamott's hip, yoga-practicing, footloose younger sister, and readers will laugh and cry as she recounts her nervy and outlandish experiences and profiles the extraordinary people she meets... [Her] sensuous and audacious spiritual journey is as deeply pleasurable as it is enlightening." -Booklist (starred review)
"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." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"Gilbert takes us on a pilgrimage, with the humor, insight, and charm that only come with honest self-revelation and good writing." —Jack Kornfield, The Omega Institute
"Spilling out of this funny (and profound) circus car of a book are dozens of mesmerizing characters; people you'll envy Liz Gilbert for finding, valuing, loving, and, I couldn't help noticing, joining for irresistible meals. I've never read an adventure quite like this one, where a writer packs up her entire life and takes it on the road." —Alan Richman
"This is a wonderful book, brilliant and personal, rich in spiritual insight... Gilbert is everything you would love in a tour guide of magical places she has traveled to both deep inside and across the oceans: she's wise, jaunty, human, ethereal, hilarious, heartbreaking, and, God, does she pay great attention to the things that really matter." —Anne Lamott
- Publisher : Riverhead Books (January 30, 2007)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 400 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0143038419
- ISBN-13 : 978-0143038412
- Lexile measure : 1080L
- Item Weight : 12 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.47 x 1 x 8.46 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #9,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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That’s exactly what she needed - rest. She needed to be strong. She planned a one-year vacation in which she hoped to mend her broken heart and to find peace. She would spent four months in Italy; four months in India and four months in Indonesia. She points out that each country begins with “I’ and this journey was about self discovery.
It’s a must read for people like me who’ve had our hearts broken, and then those hearts never seems to mind. I’m still aching over the loss of my dad and my birth family. I’ve studied meditation with differing results. This book proved a how-to book on how to heal.
Chapters were not intended to be how-to chapters, but that’s what many of them were for me.
Most of us can’t drop everything and rush to an apartment in Rome and then to a retreat in India and then to Bali. But we can learn yoga and meditation anywhere. We can order pizza and make new friends.
If you aren’t hurting and you don’t need the guide to meditation and self discovery, it’s still a great book. The collection of 108 personal essays are fascinating with lots of fresh insights into the human psych and the types of characters that one usually finds only in a novel. There’s Richard the Texan who nicknames Gilbert, “Groceries; there’s the plumber who takes her to the highest spot at the Indian retreat, there’s Ketut the medicine man who is somewhere between 65 and 112 years old and Wayan the medicine woman searching for a home. It’s hard not to fall in love with these characters. Gilbert gains weight in Italy, self awareness in India and self confidence in Bali, Indonesia. And she finds love.
Some chapters are too pat. She discovers the four brothers who are sort of guardian angels we all have. On her way home that day, a monkey threatens her, but she is feisty, and she stand up to the creature. After all she’s got four tough brothers protecting her. Too pat. The chapter was contrived.
The reader is so busy rooting for her that he forgets his own troubles - except to put the book down for awhile to eat, pray, meditate and fall in love.
That’s a lot to get from one book.
Top reviews from other countries
The idea of travelling in order to "find yourself" always seems attractive, particularly to middle aged women.
Initially I found the memoir difficult to engage with. The author is in her thirties and I though she was trying to use this as a barrier to readers. I also found her chaotic thought processes quite complex to work through. What kept me reading through this was the gorgeous descriptions of sights and emotions. I'm not a religious person but strongly acknowledge a spiritual side of the world which seems to escape understanding - this book made me confront that and think a lot.
At one point, the author describes that her spirituality interests her sister from a point of "intellectual curiosity" which I can understand and think this is how I approached this whole book.
During the year, Elizabeth Gilbert visits Italy, India and Indonesia. In each place she looks for different experiences, all working towards giving her some contentment with her life. I struggled with the transitions between countries as they seemed to happen very swiftly. Overall, I found that I was never really given the chance to properly understand the author and gain any deep understanding of her motives - I think I~ would have preferred this book to be three separate volumes.
What I did love was the open minded way that the author approached everything that came her way and the accessible way in which she described her experiences. I partly envy her religion as it does seem the means to a wonderful way to approach the world and everything that is thrown at you.
Throughout the book there are all sorts of little gems which I am trying to remember to make me a better person.
I may recommend this to some friends but will be very careful who I select. It took me a long time to read this book which is an indicator of my enjoyment.
But as It turns out, this book is pretty awesome!
Gilbert is disillusioned with life and disappointed in love, she travels to the three I's:
Italy - where she eats, India - where she prays and Indonesia (Bali) where she finds love.
It's as simple and yet as momentous as that. You'll either read it and chuck it across the room or read it and come away with something profound for yourself. Liz is a gifted writer, I have ear marked, highlighted and underlined the heck outta this book.
I suspect many would secretly love to do exactly what Liz did (I would), but cannot due to commitments, responsibilities and budget constraints.
That's perhaps why there are so many bad reviews, I get that, I understand. But maybe instead of reading it with your defences already up, try reading it like it's fiction. Be open minded and give it a go.
Its a "chick-flick" type story, not my kind of genre so I've not enjoyed it.
The book is split into 3 segments each consisting of 33 chapters. Each chapter is very short, some not even a page, so it's not a huge book.
Part 1 talks mainly about how much the protagonist loves learning and speaking Italian, and how much she wants to get off with her Italian language tutor, and how much weight she has put on.
Part 2 gets a bit better only because of another guy giving her a reality check, otherwise it covers mostly how she can't get out of her own head.
Part 3, haven't made it to this part yet. Haven't finished Part 2 yet. Book is still sitting unloved on my shelf waiting for the end of the world to come and destroy it so I don't have to continue reading it.
Or I could put it in the compost bin...