My opinions: Right off the bat, you guys should know that this is a Y/A novel, a book for young adults. It's got certain scenes in it that aren't meant for children to read about. But it's largely a good read. Gilbert Grape is this 24 year old dude who's stuck in the small town of Endora, Iowa, with his family. The Grapes are certainly a strange family (besides their last name). The strangest members by far are his soon to be 18-year-old brother, Arnie, who like I said before is retarded, and his mother, who is described to be so fat that she would be the butt of all those "Yo momma's so fat" jokes. Gilbert is naturally protective of Arnie, but he seems to hate the rest of his family. The book is all from Gilbert's point of view. There's not much of a driving plot, like no quest or evil villain of any sort. It's just his life and how he develops as a character. The town he lives in is almost a character on its own. He doesn't like the changes happening in it. Gilbert resists change. He doesn't like the new supermarket or the fast-food restaurant being built, or the burning down of his old elementary school. One of the biggest changes is when a strange, pretty girl comes to town and has everybody smitten with her.
I believe I liked this book alright. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone, but it seems like a good piece of literature. Below is a trailer of the movie, What's Eating Gilbert Grape.