The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Signature of All Things - Elizabeth Gilbert
The good:

The mossy cover of the ARC I got was lovely. I don’t know why they changed it to a dark one or the kindle one that shows a woman going to the jungle. Despite how I feel for the contents of the book, that botanical cover was pretty nice. It fit the book perfectly.

The life lessons from Alma’s parents were nice to keep in mind, too bad Alma didn’t assimilate them and put them into action. Another positive thing was that reading about Alma’s field of work made me feel glad of how far the world of science has come and glad that scientists have modern studying methods these days.

Also those little facts about the plants and their medicinal properties where nice to learn.

And not that I’m planning to go on an expedition to wild undiscovered lands, if there are still any, but those lessons on what to do on such expeditions where nice to learn. You can check them out on the quote section of my review on my blog.

The bad:

The Signature of All Things is a loooooooong book to read. And I have a lot to say about the bad stuff of this book. If Elizabeth Gilbert, her editor(s), publishers etc. made me read this endless book, I deserve the right to make them read a long review. And because my thoughts on the bad are too long to post here, I leave you the link to my blog, so you can check them out. Be sure not to miss it, I know despite its length you won't be bored reading it. And you will laugh too. :)

I didn’t choose to read The Signature of All Things because of Eat, Pray, Love. I chose to read this book for all the buzz, which was only that, marketing buzz. The Signature of All Things is a never ending book about Alma Whitaker, a character whose life is as lethargic and boring as the mosses she is a master of. This book had potential to be a great story of all times, if Alma would’ve achieved something in her life. Maybe Gilbert should’ve just focused on Henry Whittaker’s life, that part was interesting and entertaining.

I don’t understand this tendency of authors these day to want to publish eternal long books. It takes mastery in the craft of writing to be able to write a long interesting book. This one felt like Gilbert had an idea for a book and she decided to over stuff it with tedious long chunks of apparently buzz worthy themes: botany, slavery, masturbation, homosexuality, evolution, to stretch the book just for the sake of publishing a 500 + tome. The book needs some serious editing to make it interesting. A lot can be cut off. This one is a clear example for authors that a book doesn’t have to be tediously long to be a masterpiece.

I gave this book 2 stars although now that I’m writing the review I feel like I was too generous at the time I finished reading it. But I’ll let it keep the 2 stars because I learned a lot of new words and despite the sea of boredom the book made me drown into, I managed to underline quite a few interesting quotes.

I don’t know who I could recommend this book to. Botanists, especially Bryologists might find it “exciting”. I’m just glad I managed to finish reading it and like Alma, will throw it into my mind’s oblivion.

Don't forget, full review and my other musings on my blog.

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