I have done it! I have finally read the thing, and now I can have an informed opinion instead of just talking about how I hated the book in theory. Remember how I was going to hate Eat Pray Love? I tried, internets. I tried not to be swayed by her glib Ancient Mariner references. I tried not to chuckle at her Anne Lamott-esque humor (Annie! I would switch teams for you!). I tried not to get anything deep and meaningful out of the book. And internets, I failed.
ON THE OTHER HAND! It was pretty funny in parts. I get the sense that Liz Gilbert is fun to have at parties, but exhausting to have as a friend because she’s so self-absorbed and I have a fairly low tolerance for people’s man-drama. Still, her jokes that didn’t fall flat because she was forcing them on me so hard, those jokes were hilarious, and hilariousment makes up for a lot in my books.
I can also safely say that this book changed the way I look at life, but only because it was part of what I like to call Getting the Memo, where God or the Universe or your Dear Departed Nan is trying to tell you something (here, reading Gilbert’s blathering about being focused on the present coincided with a song on the radio commanding me to ‘beeeeeeeeeeeeeeee alive and breeeeeeeeeeathiiiiiiiiiiiiing’ AND with a discussion my sister and I had about how we can never enjoy the piece of pie we’re currently eating, because we’re always like, MAN, I’d love some more pie after this pie. I’d better hurry up and eat this piece so that I can have another). But because I’m so totally self-absorbed, I do a lot of wool-gathering and navel-gazing as it is, and tend to not lend a ton of credit to those things that encourage my narcissism.
SO! I have drunk the kool-aid. Liz Gilbert, your book is not awful. I can see why it appeals to so many people, but I can also see that about James Patterson, and that man writes huge steaming piles. I feel like I’m echoing every review I’ve ever read of EPL, so I’ll heave my own heavy sack of ambivalence into the ether-sphere and go.