Customer Reviews for

What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Average Rating 5
( 19 )
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  • Posted December 15, 2012

    ONe of my favorites. Period.

    ONe of my favorites. Period.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 27, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing Novel

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is the story of a self-sacrificing man who, even though sometimes it's hard for him to do, always puts the rest of his family before his own desires. However, when a young woman named Becky comes to town, Gilbert struggles even more with the problems that he was already having trouble controlling. To me, this book shows us that if you don't try to make everything about yourself, and you spend more of your time helping others than helping you, it will pay off in the end. I really enjoy Hedges' style of writing in this novel, with very simple and to the point dialogue and descriptions, but still with enough embellishment so that you picture the characters and settings exactly the way he wants you to. Also, Hedges does a great job at bringing the characters to life in a believable, life-like way, and the way that the family interacts is identical to some of the dysfunctional families of my friends and acquaintances. The only thing I do not like about this book is that I watched the movie first. Some of the characters are described differently in the book than they are portrayed in the film, and after watching the movie first it's hard to picture the character Arnie as overweight when he is played by Leonardo DiCaprio. The only reason I can find for someone not to read this book is if they don't enjoy reading great pieces of literature, because that is certainly what What's Eating Gilbert Grape falls under.

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  • Posted July 6, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    My Favorite Book!

    I took a car ride that was 10 hours and I read the entire book. From the first page you are hooked! It was one of those stories you hate to see end! I recommend this book to all teens and adults, not so much a kids book. I loved every minute of it! I had seen the movie because I am a HUGE Johnny Depp fan and I thought the movie was sort of dumb... so I read the book and thought the story is so great, too bad the movie wasn't so great. Although Johnny Depp's portrayal of Gilbert was amazing. Any way read the book if any and if your not a movie fan, don't watch it, it will make you confused.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    A reviewer

    The characters in What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges are gritty and flawed and repulsive and totally engaging as well as entirely believable. It's a great study of a young man seeking meaning for his life and trying to decide when he can put his own needs before the needs of a very dysfunctional family. Gilbert's day-to-day life in small-town Iowa is mind-numbingly realistic, and you can understand both his frustrations at the life he's living and the limitations that keep him living it. As long as he doesn't think too much about his situation or analyze his prospects for the future, life can go on as before. But when a girl who is very different from anyone else Gilbert knows arrives on the scene, he begins to question everything. This is a great book to read in a mother-daughter book club of girls in 11th grade up or an adult book club and then to watch the movie. Comparing and contrasting the two is very interesting, particularly since author Peter Hedges also wrote the screenplay.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2006

    One of my favorite books

    This books is definitely one of my favorite books. Soon, I'll be reading 'An Ocean in Iowa', Hedges second novel, soon. This novel is about a 24-year-old named Gilbert Grape and his struggles growing up in a difficult family. I watched the film before reading the novel, and they are both great. To this day, What's Eating Gilbert Grape has remained my favorite film of all-time. It is simply a masterpiece dramedy. I loved and enjoyed the book, and strongly recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2006

    Inspiring, Wise and Unforgettable

    I have thought about going back and writing reviews of some books I've recently read, but could never find the time to do it. But after finishing this book no more than 10 minutes ago, I couldn't keep myself from running right over to the computer, its that good. I could go on for a long time about why this book is so amazing, but I will just tell you one simple truth: this book is real, it captures life in a bottle for you to hold up to the light and examine in a way you never have before. There is a page in the life of every person contained in this work, with a hilarious, cynically optimistic (yes I'm aware this is an oxymoron, but somehow after reading the book it makes sense) view of the world, that will not leave one reader untouched.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2005

    One really must love Gilbert.

    I myself am a 'Lord of the Rings' or 'Wrinkle in Time' fantasy type person. This book has become the only realistic book I've ever loved. Mostly because Gilbert makes such a witty, and brutally honest narrator, and you really get to love the characters in the book. It's not a gushy-romancy thing, but it really feels like real feelings are being delt with. Applause for Hedges for creating a masterpiece!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2005

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is an inspiring story of a young man discovering who he is and what truly matters in life through the many 'surprises' that come along during one summer, one chapter in his life. Gilbert Grape possesses qualities so unknown and yet so easy to relate to that it is possibly the greatest book I have ever read. I first saw the movie and noticed that it was based on a novel by Peter Hedges and so I am now in the process of finishing the book and am thoroughly enjoying comparing the differences in each story, although I cannot say which is better. I recommend this book to anyone who is searching for a fictional companion in this fight for ultimate happiness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 15, 2005

    My inspiration!

    This book got me back into reading about four years ago. Since then I have collected nearly 60 different books on various subjects. It inspired me to go into writing, and I'm currently writing a novel on the American Revolution and a screenplay on Joseph Plumb Martin. My goal is to write 10 books in my lifetime, and some of them take place in the midwest. This book really hit home for me. Because I am from a small town in Illinois that is similar to Endora. And I know of families that are similar to Gilbert Grape's. My Grandmother, Mother, and aunt are somewhat similar to momma. There are some great scenes and lines that I just love! The movie was good, but the book is 10 times better! I recommend this to anyone and everyone. Thank you Mr. Hedges, your story helped me find myself and my craft!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2005

    WHAT A BOOK !!

    This author can be so honest at times, that your breathe is taken away and a smile slips into its place. Hedges finds humor in events 'normal' people won't admit to being funny, because they can be politically incorrect or even cruel. We all secretly think like Hedges, but he has the nerve to write it down. The character Gilbert, is developed in such away that the reader can identify with him; at least I did. A wonderful book! Bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2005

    One of my top 5 favorite books

    This is one of those rare books that you will find yourself taking down from the bookshelf and reading again every couple of years. In fact, I recently invested in a hardcover copy through a used bookseller as my paperback copy was in tatters. This book reminds me of 'The Catcher in the Rye' in the way the main character is so universal. I have yet to run across anyone who's read this novel who didn't identify completely with Gilbert Grape. This is a beautifully written book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2003

    masterpiece

    The book is a literary masterpiece. From the beginnning to end you feel like you are Gilbert Grape ! I did not want my journey to end with Gilbert. His life to say the least was unique. I will recommend it to everyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2003

    Fantastic

    This book was well worth the reading. It was very sad but also happy too. But over all it was very good. You will fall in love with the characters and they will become your family.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2002

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape?

    Sad, funny, sweet.... you'll fall in love with Gilbert instantly and he'll stay with you long after you finish the book. As an English major I've read many books and this is my absolute favorite. I've read it at least once a year since I bought it a few years ago and I will continue to read it at least once a year for as long as I can... and when I can't, I'll buy it on tape to listen to.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2001

    Sour Grapes

    What¿s Eating Gilbert Grape, the first novel by author Peter Hedges, is an intense joyride of emotions from cover to cover. The book, written in 1991, portrays a 24 year old Gilbert Grape living on the brink of insanity in a tiny Midwestern town, fictionally named Endora. As a matter of fact, just about everything in the book is fictional. Hedges uses a unique abrupt writing style all his own to bring to life this small town and the characters therein. Most conversations between characters do not begin or end with 'he said,' or 'she said,' but rather begin by identifying the speakers, and then forcing the reader to follow along, allowing for a quicker, more upbeat read. Endora¿s unique population of characters unfolds slowly as the book progresses. The book doesn¿t just focus on Gilbert and his family, but on the inner workings of Endora as well. However, the reader doesn¿t just view Endora as is, but instead sees the small town through the eyes of Gilbert- whose voice Hedges uses as the narrator. The use of Gilbert as the narrator allows the reader to become submersed in Gilbert¿s world, feeling his emotions or disagreeing with them entirely- nevertheless providing for a unique view, and a unique book. There seems to be two main topics that remain constant throughout the book (there are many sub-plots and side topics though): Gilbert¿s strange and totally unique relationship with his family-and the relationships between themselves, (mainly the anticipation and planning of his younger, mentally challenged brother¿s eighteenth birthday), and Gilbert¿s somewhat romantic involvement with Becky, a beautiful sixteen year old girl who has come to visit her grandmother for the summer. Throughout it all you find the town and the people slowly changing- for better or for worse. Gilbert himself, however stubborn he may be, slowly changes and forms almost a new person entirely. It seems that the only constant, unchanging character is Arnie. With his child like playfulness, and all around stubbornness, the character of Arnie appears as almost the backbone of the story. Yet, no matter who you are or where you come from- What¿s Eating Gilbert Grape is a story that will keep you reading until the wonderful end, and will continue to stay with you- even after the pages between the covers have been read. In closing- I leave you with a quote, that possibly sums up more than half the book, from the master pessimistic narrator himself, the one, the only- Gilbert Grape: 'Everything is peachy. I¿ve got a mother who would eat her arm if she had enough barbecue sauce, a dork a$$ older brother and a wicked sister who got out of t his town, a little bit** of a sister who very likely made love to Jesus last night, and ever fattening older sister who deserves a decent man, and a retard brother who, we have reason to believe, has gone into hiding and is once again terrified of water.'

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2001

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape

    What's Eating Gilbert Grape is a loving story about a 24-year-old [Gilbert Grape] who has never left Endora, Iowa. Its a story about his life and wanting to get out, but along the way has to take on the responsibility of rasing his mentally challenged brother, Arnie. I would recommend this book because Peter Hedges does such and excellent job writing this book. He make you feel like you are in Gilbert's shoes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2000

    Subtle, Brilliant Novel

    I read What's Eating Gilbert Grape while in my late teens, and just recently bought PEter Hedge's newer book Ocean in Iowa. Hedges' superb subtlety in making the reader enjoy the somewhat mundane oddities of the main character's life is what made me enjoy both these novels. I am also impressed with his ability to maintain a certain atmosphere throughout the novel. The main character-Gilbert's- comments about himself, and disparragements about his family made me both laugh and cry. The book is wittily honest, and not afraid to take the risk of boring readers who seek action, to reach the readers who like to see the insanity that can happen to 'ordinary' people.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2000

    Loved It

    First book ever read. Didn't know much about the book, but somehow felt it would be a nice book to read. And I enjoyed it very much, I saw it on film first. Then I knew I had to get the book. I liked how the family stuck together. It shows that siblings aren't always like society has equipped them to be.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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