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Jennifer Egan of The New York Times described Gilbert's prose as "fueled by a mix of
intelligence, wit and colloquial exuberance that is close to irresistible", but later stated that the
book "drags" in the middle. She continued in stating that she was more interested in "the
awkward, unresolved stuff she must have chosen to leave out," noting that Gilbert omits the
"confusion and unfinished business of real life," and that "we know how the story ends pretty
much from the beginning."
Oprah Winfrey enjoyed the book, and devoted two episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show to it.
Maureen Callahan of the New York Post disliked the book because of its spiritual themes,
especially its focus on Eastern religion. She heavily criticized the book, calling it "narcissistic
New Age reading," and "the worst in Western fetishization of Eastern thought and culture,
assured in its answers to existential dilemmas that have confounded intellects greater than hers."
In addition, she was critical of Oprah's focus on the book, as well as Oprah's fans who enjoy the
book, asking why her fans are "indulging in this silliness," and why they aren't "clamoring for
more weight when it comes to Oprah's female authors."
Katie Roiphe of Slate magazine agreed with Egan about the strength of Gilbert's writing.
However, she described the journey as too fake: "too willed, too self-conscious". She stated that
despite the apparent artificiality of the journey, her "affection for Eat, Pray, Love is ... furtive",
and that "it is a transcendently great beach book." The Washington Post's Grace Lichtenstein
stated that "The only thing wrong with this readable, funny memoir of a magazine writer's
yearlong travels across the world in search of pleasure and balance is that it seems so much like a
Jennifer Aniston movie."
Lev Grossman of Time magazine, however, praised the spiritual aspect of the book, stating that
"To read about