Henrietta Maddox Webloner

Eat, Pray, Love or Loathe
April 11, 2011, 10:11 am
Filed under: Help Yourself, Love, Writing

Years ago, a few sassy, strong and independent women I know said to me, “Have you heard of Eat, Pray, Love? You must read it, it’s great. It’s like nothing you’ve ever read before”. So, when opportunity arose (I was in a bookshop and had nothing to read), I bought, read, loved. I thought it was such a harmless book of such an epic journey that no-one could dislike it.

It was the seed of a journey of my own. One that didn’t involve travelling, actually. It involved experimenting with meditation, exercise but more often than not, expanding on reading that aimed to guide you to inner peace. But I don’t know if any of that would have happened if it wasn’t for the writing of Elizabeth Gilbert.

Don’t get me wrong, she’s no Aldous Huxley but she’s mildly humourous, never bombastic and writes in a conversational style that’s familiar; with ideas, thoughts and issues that many women can relate to.And a story of how she changed her life for the better rather than staying deeply unhappy in a loveless marriage. Do if you’re interesting in self-discovery, her story could be one of inspiration for you.

Recently (as said in an earlier post) I realised not everyone sees this book in the same way. Here are some of the comments on Amazon:

“It’s awful! Navel-gazing, whingeing, self-pitying, self-obsessed, narcissistic without the charm or humour that might have made it likeable.”

“One can just imagine Ms.Gilbert sniggering as she writes about her ‘spiritual’ experiences, (particularly the appalling self-centred nonsense that is the ‘India’ section) and then laughing all the way to the bank as half-wit readers ‘ooh’ and ‘aah’ at her every word.
This is a truly self-pitying, self-indulgent and badly written book.”

I’m intrigued to know more about these reviewers. Where they come from. What they have to offer in terms of recommendations. But most of all, how they’ve got themselves into such a tether about the book. You can’t disagree that Gilbert talks about herself a lot. But it’s not exactly moaning, is it? I suspect these women either have a taste for classic literature. Or more likely, have got themselves into lifeless marriages and don’t know how to get themselves out.


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