Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Published January 2007 by Penguin Group
Source: I bought this one
After a messy divorce and other personal missteps, Elizabeth Gilbert confronts the "twin goons" of depression and loneliness by traveling to three countries that she intuited had something she was seeking. First, in Italy, she seeks to master the art of pleasure by indulging her senses. Then, in an Indian ashram, she learns the rigors and liberation of mind-exalting hours of meditation. Her final destination is Bali, where she achieves a precarious, yet precious equilibrium.
This one took me for a ride. I loved the descriptions of the food and towns in Italy, I "got" Gilbert's sense of humor, and people Gilbert met in Bali were so interesting On the other hand, I finally took to skimming the chapters set in India. It's not that I had a problem with learning about Gilbert's experiences at the Ashram or even learning about Yoga. But, dang, it felt like a tutorial on Yoga and gurus and self-awareness at times and I finally had to just acknowledge that there was no way I was going to get through this without skimming. Perhaps this section suffered in comparison as well because the reader learns almost nothing about India whereas Gilbert did a fine job of teaching me new things about the history and lifestyles of both Italy and Bali.
I always have a problem with books turned into movies. Should I see the movie first so I don't risk being disappointed by the adaptation or read the book first so I don't spend the entire book with the actors in my head instead of forming my own impressions? The other problem with this second option is that I still spend the entire time comparing the book and the movie. I spent all of this book thinking "well, this is different than the movie," or "ah, so they combined these two scenes in the movie," or "this wasn't in the movie at all." Which wasn't necessarily a bad thing; I think they did a fine job of adapting the book and it was a comparison that held up well (except the ending - I liked the ending in the movie much better but then it was probably one of the very reasons that critics didn't love the movie).
Is Eat, Pray, Love self-indulgent at times? Yes. Did I sometimes want to slap Gilbert upside the head and tell her to just get over it? Yes. But I liked this book...a lot It made me think, it made me laugh and that's enough.
Posted by Lisa at 1:30 AM