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The Compulsive Reader: What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges


Gilbert Grape hates his life. At 24, he's still living at home in the boring small town of Endora, Iowa, working a part time job as a clerk in a failing family owned grocery store. His long suffering older sister is always on his case, his young sister likes to pretend he doesn't exist, and his mother hasn't left the house in years. And then there's Arnie, Gilbert's retarded 17 year old brother, whom he loves and yet resents. But things are changing in Endora. As Arnie's milestone 18th birthday approaches, and with it all of the Grapes and a mysterious, unassuming girl who has Gilbert as confused as ever, he might just begin to see his family in a whole new light.

What's Eating Gilbert Grape is such a frank and straightforward novel, you can't help but read it. Gilbert has the makings of the ideal narrator: engaging, frustrating, witty, and honest to a fault. His wry humor and harsh truthfulness will capture the reader's attention from the start, and the cast of lively, colorful characters only contribute to the quaint and rather typical portrait of small town life on the cusp of a new age of progress and technology. What's Eating Gilbert Grape takes a deep look at human nature and love that will truly impact everyone who picks up this surprising novel.

(Picture is of movie poster, review is of the book.)

2 comments:

Breanna said...

I love What's Eating Gilbert Grape! I read the book a long time ago when I was like 13. And I immediately watched the movie as soon as I finished it. Both are really good. I own the movie now and watch it a lot, lol.

Great review!

-Breanna

Shooting Stars Mag said...

Awesome review. I've been meaning to read this book for a long long time. I think the next time i order books online I'll include this one. It's about time! I've seen the majority of the movie and it's definitely great. :)

-Lauren