I read Eat, Pray, Love several months ago for book club, and I have to say I was horribly disappointed. I know this is a terribly unpopular opinion, but I could not stand this book. Obviously this book spoke to a lot of people, but it truly is beyond my comprehension. Despite a great title and a decent premise, I found the the book both disappointing and aggravating from beginning to end. To me, the author came across as self-absorbed and irritating, and her 'insights' into the people she met and the places she went were shallow and annoying. The endless reflection on the horror of a marriage that didn't seem that horrible to me, and the quest for spirituality that had Gilbert chatting with God in India made finishing this book a torment.
Finding out that Gilbert got the book advance before heading out on her journey made total sense to me; I definitely felt the trip fit into the book proposal rather than the other way around. The fact that Gilbert's giant spiritual journey to learn how to be alone ends with her pairing up with a Brazilian expat was the final straw; I certainly don't believe she grew or learned anything at all about herself on this quest. On Amazon, I recommended getting this book from the library because I was seriously annoyed that I helped fund this venture by spending money on this drivel.
We read Eat, Pray, Love in book club because one of our members had just returned from her honeymoon where she read and fell in love with this book. I suppose that the honeymoon glow might have impacted her decision- goodness knows I love the movie Dodgeball because I saw it on my honeymoon. Nevertheless, no one else in my group liked this book (though no one else was as virulent in their hatred as was I). It is clear to me that I'm in the minority, that most readers love this book and the message it sends, but for the life of me I can't figure out why. If you read this one, and loved it, can you please share your reasons? Can you help me try to understand this phenomenon?
Other reviews (per Weekly Geeks):
The 3 R's