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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel…

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (2004)

by Deborah Moggach

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4734021,857 (3.5)41
  1. 00
    At the Jerusalem by Paul Bailey (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both novels are set in old people's homes.
  2. 00
    Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym (KayCliff)
    KayCliff: Both novels present the problems of old age.

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Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
reviewed in 2004 - A collection of interesting characters come together in a retirement home for Brits in India - a warm place with a plentiful supply of cheap labour. Bangalore is the same city where many of Enlgands' technical and professional jobs have also relocated. Across the street from the Dunroamin Retirement Hotel there is a call centre where people named Surinder and Rahul work through the night, speaking with English accents and pretending to be Sally Spears and Michael Parker calling from Enfield, England, in the afternoon. Moggach is an original writer, with wonderfully drawn characters, lots of social commentary, dark but sparkling humour and a gift fro the quirky plotline. ( )
  triscuit | Mar 7, 2015 |
The idea of an old folks' home in Bangalore is interesting and has great comedic potential, but the execution in this novel did not work for me.

I found this book's characters unpleasant. They were generally conniving, dishonest, racist, self-serving, and dull.

The plot was slow and meandering. By the time any of the elderly characters were in India, I had already lost interest.
( )
  wishanem | Jan 27, 2015 |
A diverse group of seniors have been given the chance to reside at a retirement home - sorry, hotel - in India. For various reasons the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is their most attractive option.

There are more characters, more complexities, and a more interesting story line, than the movie, which is significantly different. And although there is a deeper, more serious slant, the story is highly entertaining. Differences in culture are stark, but the human ability to adapt is still alive. Moggach portrays the modern India with its call centres and "Silicon Valley" existing side by side with poverty. What I liked least was that most of the characters had so much regret, and so little of their lives to look back on with joy.

The book was originally published with the title These Foolish Things. After the success of the movie it was reprinted as a movie tie-in. If I hadn't already seen the movie, I don't think I would have enjoyed this book as much. I could hear Judi Dench's voice every time Evelyn spoke. ( )
1 vote VivienneR | Dec 10, 2014 |
Loved this book...a fun, easy read that also made me think a bit about the challenges of aging. Can't wait for the movie! ( )
  ArleenWilliams | Jul 22, 2014 |
This book was originally published with the title, 'These Foolish Things', which after having read the book, I think that would have been a more apropos title, albeit, not quite as exotic.

The plot had promise, the gist being of a retirement home ('hotel') being set up in Bangalore, India for old folks in England to retire to. The first part of the book told their individual stories, as to why they were leaving their homeland for another clime. I looked forward to the rest of the book where their paths and lives converged on a foreign shore.

However, the author continued largely with their individual stories and of their adaptation 'issues' -- which was perhaps the original premise of the novel -- drawing on each character's idiosyncrasies. The problem, for me, was that I felt the ending was too abrupt, a too hasty attempt to tie up loose ends, which didn't match the pace of the rest of the novel, hence the low rating. I have not yet watched the movie, and am interested in making comparisons. ( )
  MomsterBookworm | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 39 (next | show all)
To be honest, I’d never heard of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (or even These Foolish Things as it was originally titled) until Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith and a whole host of other famous faces made it a big screen success. Of course, with a cast like that failure isn’t really an option, but would the book live up to my high expectations after belly laughing my way through the movie?

The good news is the paper version is sufficiently different to the screenplay that you don’t feel like they’re reinventing the wheel. But the basis of the story is the same; a group of seventy-somethings who up sticks and leave the UK to spend their twilight years at the ultimate retirement home – the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in Bangalore, Southern India. This overseas retreat might not quite live up to the OAP oasis its guests expect; but as their tales unfold and begin to intertwine, they each discover a very individual affection for their new found home and the people they encounter there.

Take Norman Purse, the very definition of a dirty old man. Thrown out of countless residential homes for inappropriate behaviour he is the inspiration behind the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, set up by his long suffering son in law Ravi and Ravi’s cousin Sonny. Then there’s Evelyn Greenslade, a rather timid widow who has barely made a decision in her life – until now that is. Dotty Dorothy Miller, who was born and brought up in India, and Jean and Douglas Ainslie, a ‘happily’ married couple who thrive on adventure. Last but by no means least, Muriel Donnelly; one of the Marigold’s most unlikely residents. Her aversion to ‘darkies’ isn’t quite as deep routed as her conviction that India will lead her to Keith - the prodigal son, on the run after some dodgy dealings went wrong.

Add a few more eccentric characters to the mix, a pinch of sadness, a good helping of humour and a love interest or two and hey presto –you‘ve got yourself a winner.
added by VivienneR | editSavista Magazine, Georgina Crawshaw (Jan 26, 2013)
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Muriel Donnelly, an old girl in her seventies, was left in a hospital cubicle for forty-eight hours.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812982428, Paperback)

Now a major motion picture starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Billy Nighy, and Dev Patel
When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, reaches the breaking point with his difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: “Can’t we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.” His prayer is seemingly answered when Ravi’s entrepreneurial cousin sets up a retirement home in India, hoping to re-create in Bangalore an elegant lost corner of England. Several retirees are enticed by the promise of indulgent living at a bargain price, but upon arriving, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once sophisiticated hotel has stalled, and that such amenities as water and electricity are . . . infrequent. But what their new life lacks in luxury, they come to find, it’s plentiful in adventure, stunning beauty, and unexpected love.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:21 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

When Dr. Ravi Kapoor's cousin sets up a retirement home in India, Ravi's father-in-law is one of its first guests, but what the renovation lacks in promised amenities and luxury, it makes up for in adventure, stunning beauty, and unexpected love.

» see all 5 descriptions

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