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Pilgrims

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3.01 of 5 stars 3.01  ·  rating details  ·  1,089 ratings  ·  166 reviews
Folks around Dexter, Georgia, where Abby Houston grew up, say the obituary writer turned worldwide bestselling author is the luckiest woman alive. Her mama, though, says: "Lucky in life means unlucky in love." Her mama must be right, because Abby's been getting her heart broken since sixth grade. Then one day she waltzes into the tiny town of Bliss, Mississippi. Abby's use ...more
MP3 Book, 0 pages
Published June 10th 2008 by Penguin Group (USA), Inc. (first published 1997)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,487)
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Martine
Elizabeth Gilbert's Pilgrims (first published in 1997) has come in for a fair bit of criticism on Goodreads -- mainly, I think, because it is so different from her humongous bestseller Eat, Pray, Love. I get the impression many readers go into this collection of short stories expecting it to be a re-tread of themes discussed in Eat, Pray, Love, only to be fiercely disappointed and unforgiving when they find out it isn't. It's a pity many readers can't judge the book on its own merits, for Pilgri ...more
Destinee Sutton
I actually only read half of this, but because it's a book of short stories I feel I can comment on the quality of the book not having finished it. After all, I read 4 or 5 finished products and not 40-50% of a product. That makes sense, right?

Anyway, I only bought the book to give to my Mom because she loved Eat, Pray, Love so much. But then I didn't see her for like five days so I had it in my bag all that time and I just read it because it was there.

So the verdict is: She writes pretty good
...more
Beverly Fox
I am a huge fan of Elizabeth Gilbert. I flat-out fell in love with her when I read Eat, Pray, Love and that love was solidified when I read Committed.

It’s a strange experience, and one I haven’t had before: to come to know an author, love them and then learn that there’s an entirely different side to them that you never knew existed. That’s what happened to me when I read Pilgrims, Gilbert’s collection of short stories and my first exposure to her fiction.

I know that memoir and fiction are two
...more
Elizabeth
I suspect this book's wanting Goodreads rating has more to do with Gilbert's being shunned by literary types who assume Eat, Pray, Love (EPL) is her norm (and so haven't read her other stuff), and EPL-lovers who worship that book and had hoped for more of the same in this one, only to be very disappointed.

That's a shame, especially for the former category, because Gilbert is an outstanding writer. I was impressed by 'The Last American Man' and loved this collection. These are great, tiny short s
...more
Jillian
Gilbert calls her collection of stories Pilgrims and opens with the Prologue from Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.

There's an important problem with that parallel.

The stories told by Chaucer's pilgrims are primarily plot-driven with simple archetypal characters and solid endings. (The tub falls through the roof! The murderers are murdered! The couple lives happily ever after!) In contrast, Gilbert's stories have unique and well-drawn characters... and NO ENDINGS. Almost all of them just drift along
...more
Elizabeth
Dec 10, 2008 Elizabeth rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mom, and mostly anyone
I really enjoyed this collection.

I think my favorite thing about the stories is how they seem to be temporary glimpses into a life that has been existing and will continue to exist outside of the story. There is a little background information, but no real 'start' (like "once upon a time") to them, and there is no definite end. All of the stories seemed to just stop, like the end of a chapter, without a wrap-up. It didn't feel like I was cheated; it seemed natural.

The writing itself was relaxe
...more
Margaret
Sep 07, 2008 Margaret rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Margaret by: Mark
Unique, tough and real characters populate this rather quirky book of stories that all seem to fairly vibrate and hum with a rich and powerful sense of place. She captures beautifully the innocence and tenderness possible from a clueless 15-year-old boy as deftly as the defensive irascibility of a Montana woman who receives a visit from unexpected neighbors while her husband is away. I was repeatedly struck by the economy of her prose, something I aspire to but rarely achieve in my own. Will pro ...more
K.K.
Jul 15, 2008 K.K. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.K. by: Andrea Weatherman
Shelves: 2008-book-log
This is a phenomenal book. Short stories can be a difficult sell, and knowing that this author became famous for "Eat, Love, Pray" I was admittedly a bit skeptical of her creative ability since that book was pegged as more of a "self-help."

(Note: my sister Michelle highly sings the praises of "Eat, Love, Pray." I am not putting it down, I just didn't have much confidence in a person to successfully tackle both styles of writing.)

However, the author did it. And she did it well. She has a deep dar
...more
Amanda
Finally went back and read Elizabeth Gilbert's first collection of short stories. It's neat to see how far she has come. Her writing is definitely better than it used to be, but she was always pretty great. She has a way of describing things that is just unmatched - uses beautiful language that shows how well read and intelligent she is, but also throws in completely casual conversational lines that make you feel like you're just chatting with her. I didn't love/get all of these stories, but I e ...more
Emily
It pains me to give a book written by Elizabeth Gilbert only 1 star, but this book really wasn't very good. I listened to this collection of short stories instead of reading it. I found each story to be underdeveloped; each ending left me wondering why she had ended it when she did. In my opinion, she should stick to non-fiction.
emily
i loved eat pray love and my mom recommended this earlier book of gilbert's short stories. it's fascinating to see her voice in a fictional setting, and the stories are very diverse and each one leaves you thinking.
Catharine
While I thought the first three stories were dynamite, the rest of the book has disappointed me. The stories seem like line after line of dialog .. and not terribly interesting at that.
Christinaottis
I'm not that into fiction, but I love her writing. She has a great way with dialogue. Each of these short stories are unique and captivating.
Steph
A great collection of short stories. Perfect for someone with not much time since you can read each story in short spurts.
Susan
Masterfully written short stories. How can I become so invested in the characters by the end of the first paragraph?
Laura Keller
Aug 08, 2008 Laura Keller rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in American "grotesques."
Recommended to Laura by: Read about it in Time.
One of best collections of short stories I've read in years. Reminds me of Sherwood Anderson and Hemingway.
Sandra
After reading Gilbert's extraordinary fiction work "The Signature of All Things" and loving her memoir "Eat, Pray, Love" I assumed that she would also excel at short stories - unfortunately this short story collection of hers was not for me - they seemed very undeveloped, the writing reminded me of senior high essays and many of the stories ended abruptly in strange ways. I didn't even finish the last two stories in the book because I was just not enjoying the book! Elizabeth Gilbert is a great ...more
Maria
I used to not like short stories because I always felt that they ended too soon and I was left wanting more. I've recently discovered that I quite enjoy short stories that are just "the middle", with no real beginning or ending, just a bit of the journey.

And so I enjoyed some of the stories in Elizabeth Gilbert's Pilgrims, for the very reason that many people seem to not appreciate them.

The first one that really drew me in was "The Many Things That Denny Brown Did Not Know (Age Fifteen)". We all
...more
Lisa
From this book, I learned that reading short stories is not my thing. At the end of a short story, I always feel like I need more. I suppose it is a good exercise in self-discipline and imagination to be denied a complete resolution and decide for myself what happens next. But in order for me to take that mental leap I need to be more invested than 15-30 pages.

That being said, this is a really good book of short stories. The characters are interesting and deep, complicated and bittersweet. I lef
...more
Katherine
Yes, I liked 'Eat, Pray, Love' enough that I got curious about her other books.

One fiction, one nonfiction, and one memoir: that's an interesting lineup.

So I was at the Y the other week, and carrying this book, and a woman saw it and said "Oh, she wrote another one?," and I explained that this was an early story collection. "How is it?," she asked. "It's okay," I said. "I mean, up and down. I think it shows her kinda finding her voice." The woman nodded sagely. She told me to read some book call
...more
Aurora  Fitzrovia
1 - 1.5

Hätte ich das Buch damals nicht spontan in einer Bücherei kaufen können, wäre es vermutlich gar nicht in mein Regal gewandert. Keine der insgesamt 12 Kurzgeschichten hat mir wirklich gefallen. Mit meistens 10-20 Seiten sind die Geschichten zwar recht kurz und damit schnell gelesen, allerdings fand ich sie auch ziemlich langweilig und belanglos. Und seltsam.

--------------------------
Geschichte 1: Wanderer
Cowboygeschichte. Vermutlich hab ich es auch nicht wirklich verstanden, mich haben die
...more
Sarah
Known best for Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert took a different turn here with a collection of short stories that could be classified as character studies, though many also explore the character's relationship with one vital person. The lives represented are as diverse as the American landscape, and their experiences ring true whether poignant, funny, tragic, or promising, or a mix of everything together, as life often is. Unfortunately, Books on Tape did everything in their power to make thi ...more
Jenna Evans
I dig Gilbert's fiction, but I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 (I'm not going to review books I didn't like) because some of the stories are a little pedestrian, if solid. However, they're still engaging, and a couple of them were utterly haunting. The one that takes place in a storm at sea chilled me to the core, and I keep trying to explain it to friends. There's one about a mad neighbor that sort of emotionally flips itself inside-out, which I admired very much.
Sarah
I didn't finish this book before returning it to the library. But I got about two-thirds through, and seeing as they're short stories, that was fine.
This is a great collection of understated American stories - mostly in the West, or otherwise middle-of-nowhere. Truly beautiful, nuanced prose.
And now I understand the uproar over "Eat Pray Love" a little better. I loved "Eat Pray Love." I enjoyed its tone, Gilbert's openness, it's sense of hope and adventure and discovery. But it was nothing at al
...more
michelle
I really enjoyed this book! Must admit -- I'm a little surprised. I liked Eat, Pray, Love OK, but it was pretty navel-gazey. Obviously EPL won't give you a real indication of Elizabeth Gilbert's cadence in writing fiction -- which is lovely!

I read the review on here, and there are some fair points about the vignettes not having any ending. But I think that's the point. Sometimes life presents you with a short-story about a character who passes through your periphery and you don't get to know the
...more
Gina
I've always enjoyed Elizabeth Gilbert's writing style. Even though her book 'Committed' was one of the toughest read for me, I finished reading it because I love her writing style. And I love it even more in PILGRIMS. She certainly writes good short stories. This is one of my favourite so far, in terms of short stories collection. Well done, Elizabeth! You inspire me to write better!
Petya
немски превод на Pilgrims от Elizabeth Gilbert. пътува към мен.

update: пристигна :)

review: depressing. the stories begin nowhere and end nowhere, and this would have been fine, if they weren't so unbelievably exaggarated in their desolateness, oddness and general passiveness.

i'm only halfway through but it's been nothing else but depressing so far - and at times even annoying because of the scattered, senseless conversation pieces that are unlike anything people really say when they speak to ea
...more
Jean Doane
The last 3 or 4 stories in this anthology pleased me more than the earlier ones. The one I liked best was the one about the boy named Denny. he was caring and compassionate inspite of all that he did not know at age 15. I much prefer the voice the author uses in The Signature of All Things.
Ye Jin
Wow - my first bad review. Well - I read Eat, Pray, Love, and liked Gilbert talking about real life situations, her memoir of sorts. However this one was a stretch for me. I found it to be very "not" believable. I felt like she was trying too hard to stand in the shoes of a cowboy, and trying too hard to make her stories existential with a religious purpose. I almost felt like she stood in front of a chalkboard and diagrammed how her stories would read - they seemed stiff, uninteresting, and too ...more
Gretchen
This was a collection of short stories. While they kept me riveted while reading them, I felt like their endings were rather open-ended. I would get to the end of a story, wanting to know more!
This is the first piece of her work I have read. I will definitely continue on with Stern Men.
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Liz Gilbert's writing 2 18 Aug 08, 2013 06:05PM  
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Elizabeth Gilbert is an award-winning writer of both fiction and non-fiction. Her short story collection Pilgrims was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway award, and her novel Stern Men was a New York Times notable book. Her 2002 book The Last American Man was a finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.

Her memoir, Eat, Pray, Love, spent 57 weeks in the #1
...more
More about Elizabeth Gilbert...
Eat, Pray, Love The Signature of All Things Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage The Last American Man Stern Men

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