Sunday, March 29, 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Author:  Elizabeth Gilbert
Country: U.S.
Year:  2006
# of pages:  334
Genre:  Non-fiction, memoir
Amidst the mind-numbing chatter which made this reading experience a bit shaky for me, I was pleasantly surprised how insightful and amusing Eat, Pray, Love  actually is. Relatable in a way, because I agree with some of her realizations. Of course I had to patiently sift through all the pasta talk (my mouth watered with all that pizza talk though!), boy problems, "me, me, me" issues, "I, I, I" crap, and all that first-world soul-searching dilemma that Liz felt like sharing to her readers, before I get to the meatier parts of her memoir. I mean one moment I'm silently cursing Ms. Gilbert for her neverending self-absorbed ramblings, like seriously - yakkity yak yak yak! - but then I read this and I can't help but forgive her. "To be honest, I've been talking too much my whole life, but I've really been talking too much during my stay at the Ashram. I have another two months here, and I don't want to waste the greatest spiritual opportunity of my life by being all social and chatty the whole time." I massage my throbbing temple and convince myself to give her another chance. Then there she goes again. The struggle is real. But maybe it's just me.

The essential, more philosophical parts of her memoir penetrated my heart and mind. She has some interesting things to say. If I could meet her I would probably wanna ask her lots of questions. And truthfully, I've highlighted lots of passages in her book, so yeah, it's not at all a bad reading experience. But my soul is a bit standoffish to be honest, my soul says she's not that amused at Ms. Liz - they just didn't connect. Such is life. To put it simply, this book was better than I expected, but it's truly nothing more than a fluffy attempt at being something really substantial. A level one, "A-for-effort-but-sadly-unsatisfying" guide for the spiritually & philosophically-hungry lost souls (with money to afford several trips abroad) in need of enlightenment. Almost there, but the more important & deeper things got lost with all of the author's hang-ups. I found myself wanting to meditate while reading this just to tune out Gilbert's self-absorbed rants.

It's still worth reading, especially for people wanting to break free from society's stifling conventionality. Let go and live life. I learned things from this book, that's for sure. It made me wanna go to that awesome pizzeria in Italy and taste all that cheesy thin crust pizza and learn their language from some dreamy Italian guy with a twin, it made me wanna meet Ketut and have my own medicine man pal, it made me want to not shave my legs and still meet that perfect Brazilian lover. But you see? It's all just a tad shallow. Liz was so focused on talking about her sex-related kidney infections and her "should I take on a lover or not?" dilemma, and juggling life's pleasures and finding oneself through meditation while teaching us how to let go of unhappiness & real life problems, that something just got lost in the process. And that's why my soul didn't buy all this crap. That this book is simply one privileged person's rant about how her life sucked, but then she went to all these places and cleansed her aura (and kidneys!) and became a better, more enlightened person than the rest of the mortals around her, and even ended up taking a lover. How so terribly cliched and fashionably elitist. Coz seriously, can anyone do that? Airfare, man, airfare!

But of course she has all the right to share her story (it's not like she promised this is gonna be some heavy, deep philosophical stuff). And I'm not dismissing the fact that this could be a good read for others. So, as a story, I'm giving it a decent rating. I don't hate it, I don't love it, I'm not sure if I like it, but it's passable I guess.

My Rating:  3/5

Check out MY ULTIMATE BOOK BUCKET LIST or the books I wanna read before I die!

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