Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love - Seriously??

No doubt somebody really liked this book and will disagree with me venomously*, but the EPL book, while has proved such a blockbuster it is being made into a movie (with the likes of Julia Roberts as lead, no less, and that ¨uber-yummy Javier Bardem guy), was, to me, a real dud. Such a let-down. (Though the movie, I suspect, will be a cute chick flick. If nothing else, but to feast one's eyes on Bardem. Sigh).

Okay, mooning over. Back to the book: Am I the only reader who thought, when the writer was falling apart because of a failed marriage, 'Oh crimnamy, woman up, buck up and shoulder on.' Maybe because I've gone through a divorce and have lived with 25 years of surgery and chronic illness, I don't have much patience for wading through pages and pages of self-absorbed whining and moaning.

The 'E' part of the book was my favorite. What person hasn't entertained the idea of leaving it all behind and beginning over? To do so in a foreign country as exquisite as Italy must have been a dream come true. Her descriptions and accounts of her life were funny, ironic and marvelous. The 'P' half was interesting -- just. Again, too self-indulgent to fully engage this reader. And I'm fascinated with spirituality, spiritual matters, and different religions. But the killer, to me, was the 'L' ending. She seemed to have learned nothing from her experiences on the road. As soon as she falls for 'F,' all her new-found-knowledge seems to fly out the window, and what hard-learned lessons she learned didn't seem to 'take,' as she once again falls into a narcissist and needy pattern of living.

This is a book I read 2 years ago, but it's newly bugging me because I can't pick up a magazine without seeing a headline blaring her name and touting her new book on, of all things, marriage, which she assures us right away she was 'forced' into by immigration services who would not allow 'F' in the country otherwise. I have read the articles, and an excerpt of the new book, and all I can add to this rant is that I won't be reading the rest of it, and she must have one hell of an agent to garner all the publicity she's commanding.

And I add for the record that biographies and memoirs are among my favorite genres of reading. Bought the newest bio on Louisa May Alcott the other day.

* Do it on your own blog. I reserve the right to reign on this one. Ha.

16 comments:

Aleta said...

Never read it and after reading your post, I'm not going to waste my money. I've been through two divorces (second marriage was a nightmare and a half.. it could make a book, but I doubt anyone would believe it... it's just too "out there" for the things that happened). But anyway.. I don't need a poor me/learn nothing from the past kind of story. It's called "big girl panties." Pull 'em up!

Emily said...

All the reviews I've read about this book have been terrible, which doesn't surprise me. I saw an interview with the writer a few years ago and she was incredibly irritating.

What do you think of the Alcott biography so far?

Molly said...

I picked EPL for my bookclub,and we all agreed she was totally self indulgent and whiney, we felt bad for her ex-husband!

I love biographies too, my fave is Personal History by Katharine Graham.

Life Laugh Latte said...

Two years ago several friends of mine read it. I never did. They all loved the E part...just like you. They all thought her journey was interesting. But, I guess I just have some issues with our cultures lack of commitment to their promises. Certainly divorce in some cases needs to happen, but my impression is that she just left it all behind to follow her quest. Just too common in our day really. Isn't quite right...toss it aside. Not one of my friends recommended the book. Holly

Chris said...

Might I suggest something in a Great White Whale?

Lisa Marie said...

Oh I have been wanting to read the Louisa May Alcott! Let us know how you like it. I never read "Eat, Pray, Love". Just was not my cup of tea

I Wonder Wye said...

Graham's 'Personal History' is a great read - talk about putting on your big girl panties!! K, having read 'the dick' in high school, I'd never suffer through it again -- Or 'Silas Marner' for that matter.....

Eva Gallant said...

Haven't read the book, probably wouldn't have, based on the name; definitely won't bother now.
I been through divorce, the death of my parents and a sister, the loss of my job, and went through bankruptcy (all more than 20 years ago). I agree, You pull yourself up by you bootstraps and move on!

strokeofliving said...

I had a great, long response that was deleted because my laptop sucks ass. So rather than retyping it all, I'll just say that I was underwhelmed by EPL and am mad that I didn't just check it out from my local library.

strokeofliving said...

Okay I'll add a few more things, I've never been divorced but now in my 40's I have had failed relationships that felt like only what I can imagine that divorce feels like. Yes the snot chin & tears type of break up.

The author can read my blog and say "So what you had a stroke, you're alive, get over it and get on with your life." Everyone's respective experiences are subjective so I can't judge what is important to highlight in her book or not. I've been to Italy and have experienced the food too. I've been praying for three years that my body is restored to full function but it has not been, I keep it moving no matter how hard. Would that make a great book? I dunno? Just on third eye opening while reading EPL. Trust me I looked for it.

e said...

Well, I did read EPL, which I checked out of my local library. While I enjoyed the section on Italy, the rest I found a bit underwhelming and was ultimately glad I hadn't actually paid for the thing.

All of us face crossroads in life, but I've never had the luxury of picking up and leaving behind things I did not like. At this point, that would require something akin to levitation...

Do let us know more about the Alcott bio.

Leslie said...

So it wasn't just me. I was like "who cares". We've all been thru trials and I believe that there are better writers among us.

Jayne Martin said...

I enjoyed the book at the beginning, but less so as it meandered from Pray to Love. I agree that the best part was Eat in Italy. It had me racing out for gelato. Her latest one doesn't interest me at all.

Tam said...

Yikes! I'm the only one here who loved the book! But I won't spew venom because I haven't met a single person who also liked it. Maybe it just came at a time in my life when I wanted to get away from everything so I traveled vicariously through her to another world for awhile. You're right about one thing, though. She's a bit of a whiner. But I'm a bit of a whiner too, so perhaps that's what made me feel a bond... :)

Eric said...

Hi, ur blog is really nice and interesting, You have maintain it so beautifully that I truly like it. I just wanna suggest that u should go for blog advertising & marketing there is a website which is offering very unique features at affordable prices. There are Expert advertising teams who will promote ur blog & affiliate ads through all over the networks. All u have to do is submit your blog plus pay affordable prices and rest leave it to Advertising Team for Promotion & Marketing.Finally I have bookmarked ur blog & also shared with my friends hope u have a wonderful day & !!happy blogging!!.

Gamma Sharon said...

Hmmm... you have me intrigued, should I read it or not...Lol I might have to try it and see if I agree. Love your blog and thanks so much for commenting on mine. I told my daughter to read the comment you left and then come and read your blog.
Happy Saturday!