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on 2 November 2011
Eat Pray Eat was actually less about eating than I expected, and if you're looking for the 10 best Mango Lassi recipes, this might not be for you. It's the unfolding of a full blown mid-life crisis, in a brutally honest and mostly hilarious (though at times tragic comic) way. It's about eating too much, drinking too much, obsessing too much, wanting too much. I relate.

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.
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on 9 October 2011
'Eat, Pray, Eat' details Michael Booth's three month travels around India in an attempt to write the definitive gudie on Indian food. He travels around the country with his wife, Lissen and their two young children Asger and Emil. While he can't wait to sample every type of food, she would like to visit cultural places of interest so it is an interesting mix of both.

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.
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on 28 August 2011
THREE certain facts mark the fate of all men: You will be born, you will die, and somewhere in between you will have an urge to own a Harley Davidson or start wearing inappropriately tight trousers.

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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on 29 November 2011
I have read two of Michael Booth's other books, the one about Sushi and another about life at a French cookery school so I knew what to expect and was looking forward to this one. Of the three I have to say it is my least favourite. Definitely less about food, though there are plenty of brief references to the meals he ate as part of his research and article assignments. His food obsession is plain to see, though this book is less about the food than the other two I mention. This one is more about his slow unraveling, his wife's desire to fix him through yoga and palm reading, and his children's ongoing experiences of life in a far away place. His children's thoughts on one or two experiences provide a few laugh out loud moments and overall I did enjoy the book and he does write well. But I would say read the other two I mentioned first.

If he genuinely went there to write the definitive guide to Indian food, I hope he saved that part for a second book, because this wasn't it. Very much a personal story first, a travel book second and a food book third.
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on 12 November 2015
For someone who has always wanted to go to India but been too scared, this book has taken me there and viewed it with similar eyes. In the first few pages I nearly stopped reading as I thought it was going to be middle class, 'my life is so terrible, poor me , blah blah blah' . I am so pleased I carried on reading. I have laughed out loud, been touched by the description of someone whose life has spiralled out of control and hit the bottom, it is inspiring to read of the efforts to get out of this pit and make a turn around. Wonderful descriptions of India of all it's contrasts. Yoga and pranayama descriptions interesting too for any aspiring yogis. Good read
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on 19 September 2014
I loved "Sushi and Beyond." It was a great companion to my travels around Japan. I was hoping "Eat, Pray, Eat," would be a similar companion to travels in India. However, the "eat" portion is skipped through rapidly and then the rest of the book is mostly about his yoga and meditation practice. There are occasional wry moments but on the whole this has proved the point that there is nothing more boring than hearing someone talk about their yoga practice.
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on 12 February 2014
This book is both fun and serious. The humour is refreshing and the human struggle behind it truly touching. It is also informative as far as India is concerned and how a western tourist can survive it. Michael Booth has written an funny, relaxing and interesting book: the ideal book to take your mind off your own troubles (if you have any). However, when it comes to describing and explaining his experiences within the framework of Indian spiritual traditions or via the means of philosophy, he tends to become a bit confused. These realms of human enquiry, even after spending 3 months in India looking for answers, are still quite alien to him...
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on 8 April 2012
I loved this book by the as-yet-largely-unsung author Michael Booth. He has a brilliant, alluring, witty writing style. He is also a talented observer of life's little details.
Set against the backdrop of a food-related family adventure to India, the book is a no-holes-barred account of a deeply personal life reckoning. As the reader, you come away feeling privileged indeed to have been an invisible passenger on his very private journey.
There is plenty of wit and wisdom as well as wonderful insights into the food and culture of India (I'm hoping there will be another book to follow covering the latter in more detail).
Although the author is best known as a food and travel writer, I was aware before buying the book that food and travel was the backdrop and not the principal theme. Having read his quirky 'Just as Well I'm Leaving', I was well aware of his wider talents beyond scope of food writing.
If you've never read Michael Booth before, and you're not at stage in your own life that you'd fully appreciate the searingly honest account of his 'reckoning' and the contribution of yoga and meditation to his reconfigured lifestyle, then DO NOT BE PUT OFF. Anyone remotely interested in food, cooking and food writing would be mad not to read his 'Doing without Delia'- a no-holes-barred, hilarious account of a wonderful adventure, this time in Paris, where the author managed to bag himself a place at Le Cordon Bleu. There is also plenty of food and cooking wisdom in this book as well as a fascinating insight into the world's most famous culinary school.
Me? I'm off on a Japanese read the only Michael Booth book I've not yet read: Sushi and Beyond.
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on 26 December 2012
This was the most entertaining and amusing book I've read in months. I laughed out loud numerous times. The author has a gift for description, self-deprecating humour and finds the perfect words to reveal what he is feeling and experiencing. He is unafraid to share his foibles, faults and musings. Cynical and endearing he takes the reader along on the India trip as if he were speaking to an old friend. He has a refreshing honesty and awareness of himself and how he sees the world. It's a thoroughly fun read, an endearing ending and I look forward to reading more of his books. I highly recommend it.
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on 23 May 2013
Oh how I found myself chuckling throughout this book! Its' humourous, educational and personal tone really hit the spot for me.
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