Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Eat, Pray, Love

This was a book club pick. I couldn't get through it. It's a memoir.

Gilbert takes a year off from ordinary life following a divorce and spends it questing for pleasure and spiritual growth and balance, by spending four months in Italy (experiencing pleasure through eating and learning Italian), four months at an Ashram in India meditating, and four months in Bali seeking balance by spending quite a bit of time with a medicine man. She seems to find everything to be laden with meaning and magic and that gets old after a few chapters.

I always have problems reading memoirs. I dislike the inevitable posturing/posing; it's usually transparent and that makes me a bit embarrassed for the author. It's sort of like how I feel watching bad actors in a play. The authors always claim that they knew that for their memoir to be compelling they needed to show the readers their failures and inadequacies and they seem to think they've portrayed themselves honestly; but typically any such disclosures are coupled with explanations or excuses or balanced against something charming, all in the effort to be likable.

Couple that kind of posturing with pontifications about spiritual matters and you have Eat, Pray, Love.

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