Tuesday, February 16, 2010

All The Ladies In The House: A Question

A very intelligent and charming friend of mine recently finished Eat, Pray, Love and came to very different conclusions about it than I did.

Me: "I threw that book across the room it made me so mad. I hate the voice so much."

She: "But why do you think so many women are reading it and wanting to abandon their lives; shouldn't you give it a chance just based on that fact alone?"

She is, of course, correct. So. I'm asking you, reading friends, should I give it another chance and if yes, why, and if no, why not?

11 comments:

Nadine said...

I am forwarding you an email from my dad about this book that will make you laugh. Go check your email.

Also, I think ppl like you and I should avoid those kinds of mainstream books. I mean I couldn't get past the first page of Twilight.

Carrie Snyder said...

I liked it. There were things about the book (the third section) that irritated me, but I still liked it. Now I'm trying to recall why. The idea of leaving everything behind in pursuit of self seemed so indulgent and spacious. But I liked her voice. If didn't, you probably still won't. There are too many good books to read without forcing yourself to read ones you actively hate. Unless you want to figure out why you hate it, and why so many others loved it.

sassymonkey said...

If you hated it enough to throw it across the room you will still hate it. It's one of those books you either like or really, really don't.

Kari said...

I read it and I thought it was terrible. I am not sure that desperate housewives wanting to abandon their lives is enough reason to read anything. That's exactly the same reason they're reading Twilight, isn't it? (Which I have also read and which I also thought was terrible.)

Lori said...

Hi Ragdoll:
I just breezed into your blog while surfing twitter (when I should have been writing myself). I brought this book to my book club thinking that my group of 12 accomplished women would LOVE it -- as I did. Well needless to say, for the most part they thought it was superficial, phoney with hardly any redeaming qualities. I sat there initially in shame because I had loved and it did alter some of my opinions about life -- especially spirituality. I don't know why so many woman love this book -- and I don't know why so many people hate it. Vanilla -- Chocolate? City living -- Surburban living? I guess life is about choices. So my advise is if you didn't like it the first time you probably won't the second and possibly even more so because you wasted the time. Cheers, Lori

Melwyk said...

Oh, I hated this one. I read the whole thing because I thought I better give it an honest try.But I just really disliked her voice.

rachel said...

I was bored out of my tree.


drivel.

Zesty said...

Well I'm in the minority here. I expected to hate the book and loved it. I didn't find it self indulgent. To me it was about someone who by all our societal standards had everything she needed to be happy, but she wasn't. Sure, most of us won't get the opportunity to travel for a year to sort ourselves out, but I found that aspect really superficial to the essential theme of the book which is being honest with yourself about what you really want out of life. As for her voice, well I like her sense of humour. I found the reaction to the book more disconcerting than the book itself. I remember seeing an Oprah episode and women were referring to it as "the bible". They just seemed to have checked their brains entirely, which made me really uncomfortable. Ironically enough, it seemed to make Elizabeth Gilbert uncomfortable too. She kept making the point that it was about people taking their own journeys, not copying hers.

Melwyk said...

Thinking about this a little further, I have realized that I didn't really like the author's voice because it reminded me so much of someone I know personally and generally find hard to take. Aha!

indigo herself said...

well, i loved it but i think it depends on what else is going on in your life at the time...what passages jump out. i have her next book but haven't dug in yet. not sure i want her take on marriage. the Oprah hype is cringe worthy. i feel like i fell in love before the hoopla, maybe it would hit me differently now. she has a great TED talk on writing that is worth a listen. www.ted.com

Melwyk said...

You know, thinking about this further I think I disliked it so much because the authorial voice reminded me so strongly of a person I know in real life. (and find generally annoying)