(pic from google)

The only way that you wouldn’t have heard about this book is if you were living under a rock. On a second thought, may be if not even then. This book is omnipresent… its on ‘Recommendations’ shelf of every book store, it all over TV shows and even on Oprah, its in bedrooms of most of your friends, its on every book blog you read, its even on the big screen. It’s near to impossible not to know about this book.

But if you still have missed this book here is the synopsis –

Elizabeth Gilbert, a 30 something year old sets off a year long vacation to Italy, India and Bali to find her true self after a terrible divorce and a bitter break up. In Italy she gorges on good, in India she embarks on a journey of spirituality and finally in Bali she falls in love again.

Sounds like an amazing book doesn’t it? It absolutely isn’t! This is an atrocious book that took me one whole month to read it. Every time I tried to read this book I hardly got through 4 pages before I either lost interest or fell asleep. This reminds me that I should thank Elizabeth Gilbert as I have now found a way to cure my insomnia.

I really won’t judge her decisions of leaving her husband, leaving everything that they had built for years and not having a kid (even though I fail to understand why and I actually felt sympathy for her husband and also I hate getting personal but it’s a memoir) I still say that she is a narcissist. She has no clue about life or the real hardships of life; she fails to see that actually her life isn’t all that bad and these kind of people irritate me the most. She keeps whining through the whole book and I guess every body has a limit of taking a meaningless rant and I reached mine at page 30 but still I continued hoping that the book will get better at some point but nada… it just kept getting worse and more irritating.

In the book she says that she is a bad traveler and I totally agree with her. She is so self-absorbed in her own grief and misery and whining and ranting that she fails to imbibe the beauty of the place. She lives in Italy for 4 months but doesn’t bother to visit any museums. The only reason she goes to Napa Valley is to eat pizza (and I thought I was a sinner of gluttony). She comes to India stays for 4 months and doesn’t even bother to visit Mumbai and acts like she has India all figured out. You just can’t come here stay at an Ashram in rural part of the country and say this is INDIA. To know India and its people you need to get out into the streets. You need to experience the dirt, the passion, and the love, the culture, the modernity, the rural and the urban India to actually say you know India. You just make statements like – “And maybe its in preparation for my trip to India that I decided to spend last week in Sicily – the most 3rd world section of Italy, and therefore not a bad place to go if you need to prepare yourself to experience extreme poverty” or “In India you don’t touch anything but yourself”. These statements made me furious at her… may be if she had bothered to connect with the country and really understand it I wouldn’t have been so offended. She goes to Bali and spends her time in house of the medicine man and Wayan (who I liked at 1st but in the end had no respect for her) and in bed of this older guy. This reminds me of something that irritated me throughout the whole book – Celibacy and Sex. She says this is a spiritual book but you find more talk about her celibacy (is it really that hard to stay celibate for a year) and sex (I really dint wanna know the condition you had thanks to too much of sex) than spirituality (which I still don’t think she gets).

The success of this book is thanks to the good marketing. The book is supposed to be witty but not even once did I smile (let alone laugh) but I kept rolling my eyes throughout this book. Her writing is easy to read but dead boring. It never manages to hold your attention. The only thing about this book I like is the cover (it’s very pretty and attractive) and her division of the book into 3 parts. Other than that nothing else appeals to me. I m actually surprised and disappointed that Oprah and Julia Roberts liked it and suggest it.

This plate of spaghetti is not really of my taste.

Ratings – 1 star out of 5 (half for the cover and half for marketing).

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  1. Oh dear…I thot that the movie was bad….the book too, huh ????

    U certainly are a movie buff, haan Harini ???? Went thru ur list of movies, but couldnt comment with the huge pile of posts to read. 🙂 U’ve tremendous amount of patience to have listed them all in order and written something abt it… 🙂 🙂 Will use this list, when I need to watch a movie… 🙂

  2. okk I am gonna stay away from this one 😀 thank god didnt buy it last weekend 😀

  3. I read a tweet of a friend of finally getting hold of this book….and I was wondering I should too considering its made into a movie which I guess is running successfully ….but now i doubt I am gonna read it…this sounds pretty bad 😛

  4. Very few people do a frank book review and I appreciate you for that. I don’t think its possible for people to understand a country by living there for four months, or even four years! Even if we go to the United States or anywhere else, it will take us quite a long time to settle down and well still be wondering why they do this and why they do that… I also wonder why our poor people live quite long and also much happier than these rich westeners! Its high time people (especially the western ones) understand that happiness is not in direct proportion to the amount of money that one holds.

    Destination Infinity

  5. LOL you’ve found the solution of insomnia in this book 😀

    Oh you’re right this book is being so much hyped…somewhere inside me I thought it’s not going to be that great..that’s why may be it didn’t make way to my bookshelf yet…though I’m waiting to see the movie-sole reason-Julia Roberts 🙂

  6. you saved me lot of bucks.. just last weekend, I picked this book and then thought will buy next time.. If it’s that boring, then no way I am picking it up.. instead might watch the movie, since Julia Roberts is there in it.. but there is so much of hype around this book.. every blogger has been raving about it!

  7. Awww you too 🙂 I didnt like the book even one bit. I knew the movie is gonna suck too. Anyway I dont watch movies adapted from novels, I prefer reading. And this one – thumbs down!

  8. Thanks a lot gal…:) You have saved so many readers from a terrible book like this and for to those who have already read it, better luck next time… 😉

  9. the book looks so delicious…;)

    Well…I shouldn’t have judged it by its cover 🙂

  10. I guess i wont miss anything then.. 🙂

    after all those movies you on to books now 🙂


  11. Lol .. .i stopped reading as soon i saw the word synopses .. and jumped to the last line .. u see i dint want to know the story 😛
    but when i saw the last few lines and ur rating i thought i would skip the book and your synopses should be enough .
    thanks for saving my money. . i have been on a shopping spree these days ..have bought almost 10 books this month alone . read only 2 till now 😛 .. if not for ur rating and this review i would have definitely bought the book

  12. wokay i’m not gonna order for eat pray love~

  13. Thankfully, I hv nt picked this up 😉

  14. I live under the stone..not heard of it at all!! anyway, it’s a bad book, so don’t regret this either 😛

  15. Hahahahaha! I loved the review!
    See, I am not even planning to read this book, but for a weird reason I thought you will recommend it! I loved how honestly, you called it atrocious! Hehe!
    And the reasons you cite for disliking it, are perfectly understandable, and I too would totally judge it by those!

  16. i think i saw somebody’s tweet on very similar lines… is it such a bad book? wow, makes me a little curious to read it now 😉

  17. never thought of reading this one before and will surely never thought of reading from now too 😀

  18. I am tagging you on the topic ‘My top three movies of all time’ – Pls do if you find time… 🙂

    Destination Infinity

  19. I skipped this post, because I am currently reading the book. Will come back later to read and see if I agree 😉

  20. the movie didn’t do justice, did it?

  21. Hey add me on good reads, sent you a request few days back..

  22. wow…is it such a bad book… i somehow lack the patience to read an award-winning book. But thanks to you, I don’t have to read it anymore. Loved the review 😉

  23. I was going to read this, but maybe I will pass too. Hmm.. not sure yet. Although I’m not really into “food books”.

  24. Hi ,
    I didn’t read the book but saw the movie. i liked it though , i don’t know wether it’s the content or just seeing julia after a longggg time ;). Follwoing your blog.

  25. heheh…i had such a blast reading ur rant about her rant…hehe… but ur totally right..i saw the movie with great expectations coz it takes a lot for me to read a book… but in the whole movie i didnt like anything..all the points u made r valid…she does have a very self centered outlook on the whole story..which is rather annoying and even julia roberts couldnt save the story… but let lone julia, i think in the movie javier’s character just totally sucked the charm and sex appeal i felt for him in his previous movies like vicky, christina, barcelona and no country for old men [i know that dustrubing that i found him sexy in that movie, but i did..i caNT HELP IT..IM TWISTED LIKE THAT..HEHE]

    so yeah, i think the story really managed to snooze all the characters for me and that’s terrible…


    follow if u like what u see?


  26. At least the book cured your insomnia 😀 The cover of the book is very appealing and I was tempted to buy it but on a second thought decided against it. Thank god you saved me 😀 You’ve done an honest review flaying the book which it deserves. Thanks for saving us folks from a very bad book.

  27. i liked the honest review:)

    thanks for that

    i am a new follower 🙂

    hope you like my blog


  28. I loved your review 🙂 the honesty in it and all that you said about the Indian part in the book and especially when acted on screen had me walk out of the book and theatre for a little bit of time! I got so wildly angry that I thru the book…
    But I like some portions of it too, it got me doing my yoga again for one, like it cured your insomnia 😉 though I skipped so many pages in the Bali and India part! Italy was lovely though… the movie even with Julia in it was horrible!!
    The first and last of memoirs I will read… I never knew it was a self-help book… mmm… !!

  29. oh, i found it boring too!
    i didn’t read the book but i’ve watched the long movie! it’s just a book about traveling, foods and other entertainments…

  30. Nice Review! I’m a new visitor here… and had to read this when I saw the title. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found this book extremely boring. With all the hype around the book, I almost felt like I had to read it till the last page. Never happened! Movie was watchable because of Julia.

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