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Eat, Pray, Love (the book and upcoming movie)


Holds PhD in Packing
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Joined: March 21st, 2007

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  • Added on: April 4th, 2010
What do you guys think of this book? I have not heard of this book until my Travel Writing instructor mentioned how much she loved it in class. I have not read it yet but it seems interesting. And yeah, it's going to go to the big screen starring Julia Roberts. You can see the trailer here.

Thoughts on the book? Do you have to be a woman to enjoy the book?
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club


Street Food Connoisseur
Posts: 509
Joined: March 23rd, 2008

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  • Added on: April 19th, 2010
Ah, a little book I like to call "Chow Down, Bow Down, Frau Down." Trust me, makes perfect sense to those who read it. ;)

I liked it because Gilbert is a pretty awesome writer with some good insights about the places she goes. I've known guys who read it and enjoyed it too, just I think it became a womyn phenomenon because we passed it along to our girlfriends sorta thing. Will wait to hear about whether they wrecked it in the movie before I go see it though, as it's quite possible.

(don't think it ruins the book, but happens towards the end...)

One thing I did not like about the book though at the end was how she goes on and on about her revalation on how she doesn't need to always be in a relationship and have a guy take care of her (mentioned in the trailer)... and then goes and falls for a guy she likes a lot in part because she takes care of her. Um? I'm not saying she should be permanently celibate or that he didn't sound like a great guy to fall for, but the combination of "girl power!" and "knight in shining armor meets damsel in distress" angles together didn't mesh well for me.

Maestra LE

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Lost in Place
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Joined: June 25th, 2010
Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: August 7th, 2010
I've resisted reading it for a long time, because I'm one of those insufferable people who refuses to read anything that's too popular. :P But I finally started reading it yesterday, and am actually really enjoying it so far. The part early in the book where she says that she cannot have a baby until she is as excited about having a baby as she is about going to New Zealand, really made me think that she is reading my mind. Except substitute "going to grad school" for "having a baby" in my case.


Holds PhD in Packing
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  • Added on: August 9th, 2010
The movie is coming out this Friday but I'm still undecided if I should watch it though. The themes of the movie (based on the trailer) of "letting yourself go" and "everything will take care of itself" are something that resonate with me. But then, I read somewhere that the author got a cash advance to go travel for the book. I don't know but I just find that quite disingenuous. Did she planned out her trip and carefully formulated her experiences to retrofit what she had planned to write about even before leaving? I would probably take her book and the movie more seriously if she decided to travel first without any pretenses of writing a book (no book deal or cash advance), had some life-changing experiences where she gained some revelation about herself and life in general, then decided to write about it.

Maestra LE wrote:The part early in the book where she says that she cannot have a baby until she is as excited about having a baby as she is about going to New Zealand, really made me think that she is reading my mind.

Hmmm.... that's actually a good way of looking at it. Maybe I should read the book (or at least watch the movie) despite the author getting a cash advance for the book. The next time someone asks me when do I plan to settle down and start a family, I'll start responding with the same stuff -- "I won't settle down until I am as excited about settling down as I am about moving to London or Tokyo, or travelling to India or wherever".
"This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time" -- Fight Club

Maestra LE

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Lost in Place
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Location: Durham, North Carolina, USA

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  • Added on: August 10th, 2010
heymikey wrote:But then, I read somewhere that the author got a cash advance to go travel for the book.

She flat-out says in the book that she did. Her divorce had just become final and her ex-husband had gotten everything, so her publisher financed the trip. Nice of her to be honest about it, but I agree that that fact probably skews the whole endeavor a bit.

I'm now about a third of the way through the India section and am taking a break.


Knows What a Schengen Visa Is
Posts: 302
Joined: March 24th, 2005

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  • Added on: August 14th, 2010
I'm not sure why people have such an issue with the fact that her publisher advanced her money for writing a book about her experience. Haven't we all said at one point, "if only someone would pay me to travel the world?" And here this smart, funny, very good writer lady found someone to do just that, and it makes her life experience less genuine somehow. I don't get it.

I'd like to recommend reading the book before seeing the movie. I enjoyed the book, not only because I can empathize a lot with the author on many issues, but also because she is very honest, in my opinion, about the shitty things going on in her life and in her mind. And from my understanding, they have completely glossed some of this stuff over in the movie.

The only issue I have with the book is how many people now think they have to go do her exact trip in order to find what they are looking for, which is the exact opposite of the point of the book. But that is not her fault.
If you don't know where you want to go, you can't get lost.

My RTW blog is "Melting"


Holds PhD in Packing
Posts: 268
Joined: July 25th, 2008

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  • Added on: August 15th, 2010
I've read so many reviews of this book and I don't get all the hate.

People are hating because the book was publisher-financed. I'll second what Emeraldeyes said about how wonderful it would be for someone else to pay for your travels.

People are also hating because she traveled to all these places and didn't really focus on what was going on around her; only what she was feeling and dealing with in her head. This is a book with a clear intention-to deal with what's going on in her head. I'm sure she did focus on the new places she visited and saw a lot of amazing things, but that's not what the book was about.

People are hating because she found love at the end of the book, when that wasn't her intention. Um...hello? How many times have you found love when you were least expecting it?

It's a book of one woman's journey though a tiny portion of her life that's been very inspiring for many women. (Not sure about the male perspective.) I've read it three times, during three very different parts of my life and have taken away something new from it every time. She's a very good writer, and when I've sang praise for this book while loaning my copy to every woman I know that hasn't read it, I tell them reading her is like having a conversation with Elizabeth Gilbert. At least, how I'd imagine it. She's a really easy read.

Now for the movie, which I had to see due to my love for the book, was absolutely terrible. I don't know if it's because it was blown up with Julia Roberts as the lead role, or because they seemed to rush through the story, even though it was a bit lengthy of a movie. There was no character development. The book was so quotable and the movie seemed to ignore that fact. I wish Eat Pray Love wasn't such a Hollywood movie, I think that it would have been much better as an independent film.

Read the book. Stay far away from the movie.

There's my two cents.
"i'm on my way, don't know where i'm goin..."~Paul Simon, Me and Julio


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  • Added on: August 29th, 2010
I HATE this book.

It is shallow and completely self-centered. Sure, it has a nice, interesting theme of food and relaxing.

I had the misfortune of seeing a trailer for it starring the big lipped julia roberts (obviously it is catering to the age 45-60 crowd) and got pissed when it showed the person with whom she made a conection while in an indian ashram was some stupid british guy. what is with these "travel writers" who ONLY FREAKING HANG OUT WITH PEOPLE WHO ARE EXACTLY LIKE THEM. Luckily, I have forgotten the details of that insipid book, but was it a white middle age guy she connected with in the book? Or was it Hollywood trying to give white guys someone to relate to. Gawd, I hate this crap. So, she traipses a few countries away and ends up staring at her own belly button and her spiritual guide is a freaking anglican-raised, codfish and chips eating guy?

I am almost done reading The Bone Man of Benares. This book, while intriguing with its details of life on the hippie trail is almost as insipid. He leaves Katmandu before the weather turns bad, along with all the other westerners so that he can "find a smaller scene" yeah, man, yeah, its all about the scene. This d--che ba- is basically a drug addict who is staggering from one city to the next, on the well worn hippie trail, using people and being used by people and RARELY getting to know local people. This shit drives me batty.

AS far as I'm concerned, Terry Tarnoff and Julia Roberts can go smoke some crazy shit while given the place of honor on account of their WHITEness and hopefully, lose their credit cards and passports so they have to live on the streets as beggars for a few years. YEah, man, yeah, that will really get you a taste of local life.

Money, citizenship and their white skin is all that lets them stay on top. Without those things, these mush heads would be picking through a garbage heap in xyz for their grub each night.


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Guidebook Dependent
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Joined: March 28th, 2010

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  • Added on: September 2nd, 2010
I haven't read the book. I could care less that it was financed by a publisher -- how many books are written without an advance from the publisher? I'm not crazy about the whole "Woman becomes interested in travel when her marriage ends, goes on a cushy trip, finds herself" theme in women's travel writing as a whole, but that's hardly Liz Gilbert's fault.

I did enjoy the movie more than I thought. It was aesthetically pleasing -- I love a "pretty" movie. Gorgeous shots of scenery and food. I thought the side characters were the strength of the film, more than Liz. I thought her insane ex husband was hilarious, and the stories of the people she met (Texan guy, Indian girl, her friends in Italy, Ketut) let me get emotionally invested in the movie even when I didn't care much for the main character. I couldn't identify with her much, and she does seem clueless and self-centered, but a lot of people do lead pampered lives and then go off to find themselves in ways that most of us cannot afford, so who am I to say that their experiences shouldn't be made into a movie? I wouldn't give the film any awards or anything but it's worth watching, especially if you want some visual inspiration. I definitely wanted to go off to Bali and eat a lot of Italian food after watching.

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