What's Eating Gilbert Grape by Peter Hedges

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Synopsis

Adapted into the classic 1993 film starring Johnny Depp as Gilbert and Leonardo DiCaprio in his Academy Award–nominated role as Arnie, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape is the touching and entertaining story of an unusual family that rises up to do the astonishing…

Gilbert Grape is a 24-year-old grocery store clerk stuck in Endora, Iowa, where the population is 1,091 and shrinking. After the suicide of Gilbert’s father, his family never recovered. Once the town beauty queen, Gilbert’s mother is morbidly obese after seven years of house-bound depression; his younger sister is boy-crazy and God-fearing, while his older sister sacrifices everything for her family. And then there’s Arnie, Gilbert’s younger brother with special needs. With no one else to care for Arnie, Gilbert becomes his brother’s main parent, and all four siblings must tend to the needs of their helpless, grieving mother.

So Gilbert is in a rut—until an enchanting new girl arrives in town. His family gathers for Arnie’s 18th birthday and Becky, the mysterious and lovely newcomer, breathes new life into Gilbert’s world. But can one person really change Gilbert, or his attitudes about his family and Endora? Rich with memorable characters, biting frustration, and family redemption, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape can’t be missed.

About the Author
Raised in West Des Moines, Iowa, Peter Hedges is an award-winning novelist, screenwriter, playwright, and director. He studied drama at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. His first novel, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, was made into a classic movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio in his breakout role. Afterward, Hedges went on to write and direct numerous critically-acclaimed films, including Pieces of April, Dan in Real Life, and The Odd Life of Timothy Green. His screenplay for About a Boy was nominated for an Academy Award in 2002.
 

About Peter Hedges

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Peter Simpson Hedges was born July 6, 1962 in Des Moines Iowa. He attended North Carolina School of the Arts where he studied drama. His novel What's Eating Gilbert Grape was adapted into a critically acclaimed movie of the same title, which launched his film career. In 2002, he received an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for About a Boy. In the same year, he wrote and directed Pieces of April, starring Katie Holmes. In 2007, he co-wrote and directed Dan in Real Life. He wrote and directed The Odd Life of Timothy Green in 2012. His plays include: Imaging Brad, Baby Anger, Teddy by the Sea, and Good as New. His other novels include An Ocean in Iowa and The Heights.
 
Published November 11, 2014 by RosettaBooks. 323 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment, Horror. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Kirkus Reviews

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 An ever-so-gentle coming-of-age story—a saccharine Last Picture Show—that almost smothers the evident talent of its author in an overdose of pop culture.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Publishers Weekly

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Wonderfully entertaining and amusing, this distinctive first novel goes down like a chocolate milkshake but boasts the sharpness and finesse of a complex wine, for Hedges's ostensibly country-bumpkin-

Sep 02 1991 | Read Full Review of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Publishers Weekly

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Wonderfully entertaining and amusing, this distinctive first novel goes down like a chocolate milkshake but boasts the sharpness and finesse of a complex wine, for Hedges's ostensibly country-bumpkin-

Sep 02 1991 | Read Full Review of What's Eating Gilbert Grape

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