Buzzation on Elizabeth Gilbert's "Committed"


Interesting mix of responses to Elizabeth Gilbert's new book Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace With Marriage. I'm wondering if Elizabeth recorded this amiable interview for the NYT Book Review before or after Janet Maslin trashed the book with a spiny wrecking ball.

I'm downloading a sample to Kindle now, but I gotta say -- the brutality of that review will probably make me purchase purely out of solidarity with this terrific author. There's book reviews and there's value judgments. And then there's just junkyard dog meanness. I'll let you decide for yourself where the review lands on that spectrum.

Meanwhile, Elizabeth's website offers this interesting Q&A.

Comments

marjorie said…
curtis sittenfeld's review in the magazine was SO much kinder and easier to read, while making some of the same points about the book's flaws.

i had the same reaction to maslin's takedown as i did to reading the remembrance of karl malden in the Year in Death (i forget what they call it) roundup in the NYT magazine a couple of weeks ago. it focused ONLY on his support for elia kazan, known seller-outer of other artists in the mccarthy era. it was SO meanspirited and single-minded -- uh, i THINK the guy had an acting career, but the piece was all about him standing by (stubbornly and kind of dimly, the obit implied) a dickwad.

i GET having an agenda, believe me. and i get wanting to make people sit up and take notice with your reviews/criticism. but DUDE. MEEN. as the kids say.
Joni Rodgers said…
Totally agree. I didn't see the Sittenfeld item until after I posted this, but that's a perfect example of a review that says what needs to be said without eviscerating the author in a way that leaves her personally gut-shot -- and makes us witness it.

Curtis Sittenfeld is terrific in general. I like her a lot.

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