I attempted to read Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert when it was first released. I didn’t make it very far because I was a little bored. The book wasn’t drawing me in and Gilbert’s writing style didn’t really make me want to keep reading to see if it got better later on. I ended up watching (and really enjoying) the movie of Eat, Pray, Love. Julia Roberts did a fantastic job, and I loved the different places that were shown. The cinematography was beautiful and I really felt like I was visiting these places as I watched the movie. I even craved pasta and gelato when Liz went to Italy!
I thought that since I had enjoyed the movie so much I would give the book another chance. It did get better as I got further into the book, and there were a few parts that I really liked but overall I didn’t like the book too much. Gilbert’s writing style feels very self congratulatory and gets boring. I also disliked the more spiritual parts of the book; it was a little too cheesy and wasn’t explained in a way that made it seem like more than a joke. I also felt that the book dragged on too much. I realize that the events of the book take place over a year, which is quite a bit to put in one short book, but I feel that a lot of the details added were not that interesting and took away from the book, making it feel more like a journal.
I usually really enjoy travel writing and biographies/auto-biographies so I was surprised that this book just didn’t resonate with me. Obviously since it became a bestseller, many people would disagree with me when I say this is a book that I wish I had skipped over. It’s o.k., but nothing fantastic. I would give Eat, Pray, Love the book a 2/5 and I would give the movie a 4.5/5- great acting, beautiful settings, and a good blend of serious and funny moments. The movie also did a good job of separating the wheat from the chaff- it took all the good bits of the book, left out the boring bits and tidied other events up so that they flowed better. Three cheers for artistic license!