drink, play, f@#k – Overkill

Andrew Gottlieb is a provocateur.  Drink, Play, F@#k is proof of that.

Let’s get something clear right from the top: Yes, this book is a “parody” of Elizabeth Gilbert‘s eat, pray, love. Yes, I giggled a little at the title. And yes, it is fiction.

Why am I choosing to write about it? A few reasons:

  1. The title evokes a certain acknowledgement of the differences between men and women. Equality does not = exactly the same. I think this is a darned good equation. And thought. You may quote me.
  2. Some have said Gilbert’s book is “Self-indulgent twaddle“. I happen not to think so, as I learned one of the best emotional exercises of my life while reading it (petitioning God with signatures – you can read my post about the book here). That said, this is a (sort-of) response to her work and as such, deserves some attention.

What I kinda liked about it:

  1. It’s silly, if you like that kind of thing. Some call this comedy. I admit, I laughed a little.
  2. It has snark down to a fine art. Consider this: “So, for the record, my ex-wife is not an evil, crazy bitch. […] She still is a smart, beautiful, sensitive, creative, and interesting person. I just never noticed that she’s also the single most self-obsessed person on planet earth. And I’m factoring Sharon Stone and Kim Jon Il into this equation.” (pg. 39)
  3. I expected the “f@#k” chapter to be the longest and most drawn-out and surprisingly, it wasn’t. “Play” (in Vegas) was by far the longest. I don’t know why this is listed under the reasons I liked it except, I was just pleasantly surprised.

What I REALLY didn’t like about it:

  1. Gottlieb literally uses Gilbert’s book as a template and by this I mean, he must have gone through her book page-by-page, experience-by-experience and then wrote his book to mirror it. As in: I wish Giovanna would kiss me. There are many reasons why this would be a terrible idea. (pg. 11) Where have I read that before? Oh yes, page 7 of Gilbert’s book: I wish Giovanni would kiss me. Oh, but there are so many reasons why this would be a terrble idea. I understand the notion of mimicking but this feels like overkill. And just… mean. I don’t like mean.
  2. In relation to #1 above, the main character is “Bob Sullivan” … and guess what? He just happens to be the husband of “the character” in Gilbert’s book! Talk about a coincidence! So, wait. Gilbert’s “character” is actually Elizabeth Gilbert – a real person. Is that right? Yes. Bob Sullivan is her fictional husband, made up by Gottlieb? Yes. Okay, got it.
  3. The book was clever at first, annoying by the end.
  4. And frankly, boring. By the end, I mean. Of each chapter.

Now see, I appreciated Gilbert’s book because … yeah, I love the notion that any of us can change our lives if we wanna. Did I believe every word she wrote? Actually, yes, I did. No reason not to! I took it at face value and enjoyed it very much. But to each, his/her own.

Also, hello! Check out my shingle: The Self-Help Whisperer. Of course I loved it! It was about a journey of self-discovery.

And yes, I can see why some people found it annoying and (more than a little pretentious) and sappy. Men, mostly, but a fair amount of women, too.

It’s not just a gender thing. What we bring to the table can shape our perception. I came into the book with an open mind and heart.

But Gottlieb’s book… well, of course I came in knowing it was a parody. I knew it the first time I saw it, there on the shelf. I mean, it has the word f@#k spelled out with condoms. Not too much to guess at there!

At the end of the day, I have to say… not worth the read unless you simply hate Gilbert’s book, in which case, you might find it hilarious.

Otherwise, skip it.

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