What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

Book - 1991
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The coming-of-age of a 24-year-old grocery clerk who has spent his entire life in an Iowa town with a population of 1091.
Publisher: New York : Poseidon Press, c1991
ISBN: 9780671038540
Characteristics: 335 p. ; 24 cm


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Feb 01, 2014

I just want to point out that the commentator "Madymino" says it's a good book, but wouldn't recommend it. The language and sexual content is not that coarse unless you're Victorian. Like a lot of readers, I saw the film first and wasn't even aware it was a book for a long time. Peter Hedges also wrote the screenplay and has gone on to direct a few films himself, including "Pieces of April" and "Dan in Real Life." The book is quite a bit darker and less quirky than the film, but is well worth reading for its sardonic depiction of small town life and its vivid characters. It has something in common with McMurtry's "Last Picture Show," but with more Gen X angst and alienation.

brianreynolds Aug 04, 2012

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? from the perspective of someone who grew up in Iowa -- that field-of-dreams, first-to-the-primaries, nothing-but-corn-and-more-corn mythical paradise that purports to be the heartbeat of the United States -- is a romance. Romance, not in sense of 24 year old Gilbert being torn between an affair with a married woman old enough to be his mum and a femme fatal 15 year old from Michigan, but in the sense of Don Quixote in quest of the Holy Grail, of Holden Caulfield searching for honesty. Gilbert is looking for a path around his family in a state where family is a synonym for the deity. He is searching for a way to hang onto a past that has already become the future. He is an angry young man, as likeable as most mythical Iowans are raised to become. Hedges wastes little breath dancing around the loveliness of small town folk and Midwest sunsets. Nor does he elevate Gilbert’s quest to the level of Indiana Jones in terms of pace or action. Grape is sometimes amusing, sometimes poignant, but right to the highly choreographed conclusion, it is an adventure. Without the pretence of a suit of armour, Gilbert tackles one everyday dragon after another until he finally confronts himself in the mirror.

Madymino Jul 13, 2012

This was a good book. The story in it was very interesting, centering around Gilbert Grape's mentally challenged brother (Arnie)'s upcoming 18th birthday. I would have enjoyed it more though if the author omitted the course language and sexual content. I wouldn't read it again and I don't recommend it to others.


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Madymino Jul 13, 2012

Coarse Language: There are some swear words in the novel.

Madymino Jul 13, 2012

Sexual Content: Gilbert, being the narrator of the story, talks about certain urges and his erections. There are also a couple affairs in the novel. This makes the novel very disturbing.


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