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Extended Audio Sample The Good Body, by Eve Ensler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,072 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eve Ensler Narrator: Eve Ensler Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2004 ISBN: 9780739315026
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Botox, bulimia, breast implants: Eve Ensler, author of the international sensation The Vagina Monologues, is back, this time to rock our view of what it means to have a “good body.” “In the 1950s,” Eve writes, girls were “pretty, perky. They had a blond Clairol wave in their hair. They wore girdles and waist-pinchers. . . . In recent years good girls join the army. They climb the corporate ladder. They go to the gym. . . . They wear painful pointy shoes. They don’t eat too much. They . . . don’t eat at all. They stay perfect. They stay thin. I could never be good.”

The Good Body
starts with Eve’s tortured relationship with her own “post-forties” stomach and her skirmishes with everything from Ab Rollers to fad diets and fascistic trainers in an attempt get the “flabby badness” out. As Eve hungrily seeks self-acceptance, she is joined by the voices of women from L.A. to Kabul, whose obsessions are also laid bare: A young Latina candidly critiques her humiliating “spread,” a stubborn layer of fat that she calls “a second pair of thighs.” The wife of a plastic surgeon recounts being systematically reconstructed–inch by inch–by her “perfectionist” husband. An aging magazine executive, still haunted by her mother’s long-ago criticism, describes her desperate pursuit of youth as she relentlessly does sit-ups.

Along the way, Eve also introduces us to women who have found a hard-won peace with their bodies: an African mother who celebrates each individual body as signs of nature’s diversity; an Indian woman who transcends “treadmill mania” and delights in her plump cheeks and curves; and a veiled Afghani woman who is willing to risk imprisonment for a taste of ice cream. These are just a few of the inspiring stories woven through Eve’s global journey from obsession to enlightenment. Ultimately, these monologues become a personal wake-up call from Eve to love the “good bodies” we inhabit.


From the Hardcover edition. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elizabeth A | 2/7/2014

    " This is really wonderful. If you get the chance get the audio version and listen to Eve perform the piece - so very powerful. It made me laugh and cry and think. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zen Cho | 2/3/2014

    " I thought I hadn't read this yet but it turned out I had. I was a bit meh about it. I do really like the way she writes; it isn't that. I can tell she wants to do a sort of thing about the interconnectedness of communities of women all over the world and our body issues, but I was kind of put off by how the stories of all the other women are more about her than they are about them, particularly the stories of women in Third World countries. All this about African women being ~close to the earth~. And the African woman and the Indian woman were literally handholding her out of her body issues! They didn't get a story of their own. Bah. >:( "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin Geismar | 2/1/2014

    " stop hating yourself. read the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 stillme | 1/30/2014

    " The cover made me pick up this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaclyn | 1/22/2014

    " I love Eve Ensler. She is beyond amazing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh | 1/21/2014

    " Stellar cover art, you have to admit. Read Eve's monologues that were based on interviews and experiences she has had with women about their views of their bodies. From an image-obsessed, high profile women's magazine editor to a Latin woman worried about how her hips have "spread" to Middle-Eastern women forced to enjoy ice cream only in covert underground clubs to Eve's personal battle with her stomach. All women will find some sentiment to identify with in this selection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tonya | 1/20/2014

    " Funny as hell, powerful as nature, and as honest as my curves. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 leslie | 1/14/2014

    " Ensler pointed toward an important message in this play (which I was fortunate to see her perform as well as read), yet it pales in the shadow of her other plays. I think the problem is that there are no more surprises. If you want to learn something read Necessary Targets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 1/11/2014

    " I saw two students perform an excerpt of this book at the NFL Nation Tournament in 2007. They were terrific, as was the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ray | 12/23/2013

    " What can I say . . . I love Eve Ensler. A short, quick read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Daniela | 12/17/2013

    " Lovely and wonderful, even easier to connect with than the Vagina Monologues. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 12/11/2013

    " i wish this entire piece had been as good as the introduction. i was rather let down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrea | 12/5/2013

    " hilarious and provocative. even better than vagina monologues. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chelsea | 7/27/2013

    " It's got nothing on The Vagina Monologues, but I liked it. An interesting but not compelling commentary on womens' bodies and self-image. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Erin | 7/20/2013

    " this book was written by the same woman who wrote Vagina Monologues. It was better the 2nd time I read it. This is not my normal reading material. It was required for school. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shana | 4/15/2013

    " Towards the end of the piece there is an anecdote about women in Afghanistan and ice cream. This section really hit home with me about how ridiculous our body image issues are (in the western world). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Athena | 3/8/2013

    " I usually like eve ensler but this book was slower for me and harder to get through because it didn't trap my attention as much. But it was ok "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 AnnaMaria | 11/30/2012

    " Great book! I can imagine how fabulous the play could be. I could totally relate to her struggle with her body. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taylor | 8/20/2012

    " Loved it, a must read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krista | 5/25/2012

    " Not as good as the Vagina Monologues but good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 4/22/2012

    " Gotta Love Eve Ensler. After the Vagina Monologues I feel in love with Ensler and her feminism. This is a good short sweet book about the body and how we need to love it! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Noelle N. | 12/12/2011

    " She tries to relate her self-hatred as a commonality among women all over the world, but it feels more like a venting session about her stomach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 8/30/2011

    " Great book for women of all ages and the men who love them. Wonderful read for a group, and of particular interest to anyone who struggles with self image. Funny, sad, true, brilliant. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Holly | 8/27/2011

    " Very Fun. Must Read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Juliet | 6/8/2011

    " I thought this was kinda overly obvious and nothing too incredibly revelatory-but it still offered some good positive reinforcement and affirmation. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krista | 5/24/2011

    " Not as good as the Vagina Monologues but good! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sam | 1/20/2011

    " I enjoyed this book, though not quite as much as the Vagina Monologues. I find the last story particularly poignant and read it every time I am stuck dealing with a false feminist to remind myself of what some women really are capable of. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristina | 1/13/2011

    " I loved this book! Now THIS should be required reading for all preteens, boys and girls. After reading this I wanted to destroy my gym pass or "step off my capitalist treadmill" as Eve puts it. I have never felt better about myself than after I read this short collections of stories. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keri | 1/7/2011

    " Wow! She is interesting .... for sure! Such a feminist! Don't think I'll do anymore of her stuff~ "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gaselyne | 12/16/2010

    " Listening to heroine, Eve Ensler, read monologues from The Good Body. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 10/14/2010

    " Good book. A quick read. You'll finish it in about two hours, trust me. A great look into our obsession with our bodies. I loved all the monologues. Definitely check this book out! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Molly | 7/29/2010

    " I was shocked by this book. It was all about bodies and how people treat them. It really made me think of how much I need to love my body. Great book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Heather | 5/10/2010

    " A funny, frantic, enjoyable re-read. My only major complaint (or compliment?) is that there wasn't enough of it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Noelle | 4/25/2010

    " She tries to relate her self-hatred as a commonality among women all over the world, but it feels more like a venting session about her stomach. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rosalía | 3/7/2010

    " A very angry, bitter book from the perspective of a woman ranting at the "skinny" woman for her waistline. I thought it was sarcasm at first but then I just got tired of her relentless fury. Maybe she's hungry and needs to eat. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/8/2010

    " i wish this entire piece had been as good as the introduction. i was rather let down. "

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