Matt 's Reviews > What's Eating Gilbert Grape

What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges
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Mar 05, 2011

really liked it

From a passage in the book where Momma is talking to Gilbert about motherhood/creastion: "I see you and I know that I'm a god. Or a goddess. Godlike! And this house is my kingdom. Yes, Gilbert. This chair is my throne. And you, Gilbert, are my knight in shimmering armor."..."Shining, I think, Momma, is what you mean."..."No, I know what I mean. You don't shine, Gilbert. You shimmer. You hear?. You shimmer!"

My dictionary defines shimmer as a verb and as a noun: to shine with or reflect a soft, tremulous light; a soft tremulous light.

This novel shimmers with that soft, tremulous light. It is a subtle story, written in a subtle style. One is surprised to find what appear to be nondescript sentences that are actually keys to the book, great with meaning. The above discussion of "shimmer" is such an example. As is this, possibly my favorite sentence in the book, marking the moment of Gilbert's, for lack of a better word, awakening: "And as the remaining dirt on Arnie starts washing away, it begins."
I have wanted to read this book for years. And now I have. And it was worth the wait.
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message 1: by Dan (new)

Dan I too have always wanted to read this. Perhaps I will soon and we can discuss!


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