Sometimes the rave reviews and hype surrounding a book leave you so disappointed when you actually get to read the book.
But not in this case - the raves are TRUE.
Gilbert writes in such a direct and engaging manner, what I describe as writing with a 'conversational force'. It feels like she is having a direct conversation with you and responding to your thoughts.
I love the fact that her writing is imbued with a certain self awareness (or in cultural theory speak: self reflexiveness) of how kooky her thoughts and feelings are to even herself.
There is a mixture of humour and humility in her writing. A rare combination that lifts this book above the generic 'here is what happened to me overseas' type of memoir.
Plus her writing on food - soooo funny! Here's an example of her reactions on finding the best pizza in Napoli:
"I love my pizza so much, in fact, that I have come to believe in my delirium that my pizza might actually love me, in return."
My version of the book has a rave blurb by Minnie Driver - WTF?
Really strange as the other blurbs from Guardian, New York Times Book Review, Marie Claire (to be expected).
But Minnie Driver as the last blurb?? Also she says something so generic - "amazing and wonderful" - it makes me wonder whether her PR flack actually made it up.
Anyway, musing about this reminds me of this article on problematics of blurbing in the promotion of books.