Marialyce's Reviews > What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges
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Mar 18, 11

bookshelves: march-2011, 2011-group-reads
Read from March 04 to 17, 2011

Another title for this book could have been "Dysfunctional Family Personified." While I did enjoy the read, I felt that the subject matter has been done often and frankly a lot better. We follow Gilbert and his family of siblings and a grossly overweight mother through their sufferings and eventually experience their love realizations of each other. Sorrow and pity abound for this family as we witness the destruction of this unit which seemed to be kicked off by the suicide of the father. The siblings are very cognizant of their situation while Gilbert seems to be the most effected by the desperation of being "the man" in the family. Saddled with a "retard" (his words not mine) for his younger brother, he tries to reconcile his existence and place the family in a somewhat order.( or was it disorder?)

It seems what Mr Hedges is trying to say is that no matter how bad your family may be, they still love you so that makes all well, doesn't it? I suppose for the time in which it was written, that this book was intended to shake up readers to the realization that a) don't think your family is the worst, and b) someone always has things worse than you do. We were suppose to feel sorry for Gilbert and all of the others. I felt the author seemed more engaged in trying to shock the reader than present a sympathetic view of this group of misfits.

I read this book quickly and though the topic was serious and sad. Sorry to say that I just could not give a topic such as this one read, the deep I thought that it deserved.
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Reading Progress

03/04/2011 page 75
24.0% "An easy read, thank goodness!"
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Judi/Judith (new)

Judi/Judith Riddle I saw this movie but I haven't read the book. Let me know how you like it.


message 2: by Holli (new)

Holli The movie was fantastic!


message 3: by Judi/Judith (new)

Judi/Judith Riddle Holli wrote: "The movie was fantastic!"

I also liked the movie!


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