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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah…

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (2004)

by Deborah Moggach

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5464518,349 (3.48)46
  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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» See also 46 mentions

English (44)  Dutch (1)  All languages (45)
Showing 1-5 of 44 (next | show all)
The combination of characters, setting and slight mystery/suspense made this a charming and enjoyable read. ( )
  BridgitDavis | Apr 21, 2016 |
Much better than the film of the same name ( )
  JonBurton | Jan 26, 2016 |

Several British retirees move to Bangalore after falling for the promises made in a promotional video for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. This is a new type of retirement community, in a country where the elderly are revered. They are promised adventure, multiple activities, good food, on-site health care, and lower costs. What they get is not what they expected.

The novel features quite a collection of characters – a randy old man, a slippery entrepreneur, a dissatisfied hotel owner, a whiny and beleaguered widow whose son may be a crook, an adventurous married couple whose life is just too perfect to be believed, a sweet elderly woman whose son and daughter have basically abandoned her and whose savings have dwindled, and an Indian-born doctor and his British wife whose marriage is at a crossroads. Moggach also sprinkles in a variety of minor characters that come and go but sometimes have a major impact on the plot.

There are some aspects of the story that I really enjoyed. I liked seeing the major characters come face to face with issues they had shoved aside for so long. Some of them really blossomed in the new environment. I liked that not everyone’s story ends nice and neat and tied up with a pretty bow. I liked the unexpected alliances and relationships that formed. What I didn’t like so much was that it felt disjointed and not fully developed. A few of the coincidences were just too far-fetched and unbelievable to me. Also, having such a large cast of characters meant that I could never get close enough to them to really understand or relate to any one of them.

I was intrigued by the premise and, much like the characters in the book, seduced by the promises of the movie version. On the whole I did not find the book particularly entertaining or charming. It wasn’t bad, but it was rather blah.
( )
  BookConcierge | Jan 13, 2016 |
I actually enjoyed the movie more. Almost half of the book is taken up introducing the many characters before they move to India, and that makes it move slowly. The second half is better, with action taking place, but the stories do not feel as developed as I expected. There are probably too many different threads going on for any of them to get very deep. Still, this was a fine book. ( )
  Pferdina | Jul 12, 2015 |
Much different then the film which I had seen before reading the book. The beginning of the novel is dark with characters who generate little sympathy. However, when they get to India, things liven up and most of them open their minds and learn to take advantage of what their new circumstances give them.

The book has more characters than the film and an important one from the film is not in the book. Still a pleasant read once the plot moves to India. ( )
  lamour | Jun 9, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 44 (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)

» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Deborah Moggachprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wadia, NinaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:04 -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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