Gilbert's Latest Lacks Magic of Eat, Pray, Love

Academic interest in marriage obscures personal touch in Committed
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 4, 2010 12:52 PM CST
"Eat, Pray, Love."   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert's new book, Committed, has our heroine coming to terms with marriage after swearing off the institution, with the aid of a lot of research. Some critics aren't convinced:

  • "One generally doesn’t indulge another person’s emotional processing at this length unless the jabbering is likely to conclude with sex," Ariel Levy writes in the New Yorker. And that's not where the book goes—rather, it ends with "suspicious" "peace and contentment."

  • The author "seems, at times, in her own uncomfortable, self-deprecating way, to be trying for a history or analysis of the institution of marriage," Katie Roiphe writes for DoubleX. "Her new status as bestselling author seems to have endowed her with some responsibility to write about the larger culture, which is the central problem with the book."
  • That old Gilbert is still there, Malena Watrous writes in the San Francisco Chronicle, but "heavily researched chapters like 'Marriage and History' feel more academic, which would be OK except that she is not making a coherent argument about marriage so much as trying to talk herself into it."
  • Yeah, it's not Eat, Pray, Love, rites Eryn Loeb of Bookslut. But it is good. Gilbert is "open about the fuzziness of it all, making Committed one of the wisest and most sensitive explorations of marriage—or really, relationships in general—I’ve read."

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