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Eat Pray Eat Paperback – 2 Aug 2012
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In the throes of a mid-life crisis and joyfully afflicted with mild alcoholism; what starts as another tour of a culture through the medium of food, results in Booth being dragged kicking and screaming into a month-long intensive yoga programme.
My favourite of Booth's books so far - it's full of great observations, just enough history to be bearable, and tons of the absurd situational humour that India is so famous for.
This is a fascinating insight into the country, culture, people, religions and places in India - both popular tourist attractions and the more remote areas of the country. For me, it was his descriptions of the food which were the most evocative and it often led me craving all the foods he described.
At times, though this did feel a little self-indulgent. It also highlights his 'mid-life crisis' and his attempts (mostly through yoga and meditation) to overcome this. However, the use of humour throughout showed it wasn't much of a crisis and I would have also liked the hear more about his family and their adventures. Or perhaps a male reader will be more sympathetic to his plights?!
Overall though, I would recommend this to anyone who is thinking of travelling to India or who have interest in food.
Even though there are plenty of great bits on Indian food in the book, the most interesting theme for me, surprisingly, became the existential self-therapy he is more or less willingly thrown into. I would ordinarily skip the yoga boot camp chapters out of sheer Chick Lit phobia, but as he undergoes his transformation while maintaining a healthy distance to mumbo jumbo spiritualism, palm readings etc., it all became very gripping.
As always with Michael Booth, this is a food and travel writing at it's best, but given the more serious backdrop it also became a personal, insightful and very inspiring experience.
In Eat, Pray, Eat, Michael Booth describes his own mid-life crisis, one which works out a lot happier than most. He drags his family to India and hauls them round ghettoes in a bid to write the difinitive Inadian cookery book. Can he do it before he goes mental? Well, let's just say there are hopeful twists and honest lessons to be learnt in this book of man-wisdom.
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