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The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C.…

The Hundred-Foot Journey (2008)

by Richard C. Morais

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Showing 1-5 of 40 (next | show all)
"The Hundred Foot Journey" is my most recent read. At first I was griped by the story, as the story progressed I found my interest waning. Although there is good character development, the story is slow to gain momentum after the first third of the book. I also found the ending anticlimactic. I didn't leave me wanting more. ( )
  bnolan02 | Sep 29, 2015 |
Eh. Didn't love it, didn't hate it. Listening to it on CD kept me semi entertained while on a road trip. Basically, it was better than constantly hitting the scan button on my radio, especially when in the middle of nowhere & there are only 3 radio stations that come in clearly, but not entertaining enough to leave a lasting impression on me. I'm not sure that I would've finished the book had I been reading it instead of listening to it while stuck in a car. ( )
  PiperUp | Aug 14, 2015 |
Well, this is one instance in which I think that the movie was far better than the book. The story focuses on Hassan, a young Muslim from India with a natural talent for cooking: his taste buds are "the equivalent for a chef to what perfect pitch is for a musician." After stricken by a tragedy in Mumbai, the family moves first to to London, then to France to open a restaurant featuring Hassan's mother's prized recipes. Unfortunately, their new place is across the street from a three-star Michelin French restaurant run by the haughty Mme. Mallory. The entire movie and a significant part of the book focus on the relationship between Hassan and Mme. Mallory, who at first tries to drive the family out of town but eventually mentors the young Indian. Even though the characters are somewhat stereotypes, I found them rather charming on film--but less so in print. And the last third of the book, when Hassan is trying to establish himself in Paris, tends to drag. The film's director was wise to bring back Mme. Mallory near the end and even to suggest a budding romance between her and Hassan's father. By the end of the book, we just find out that she is long dead. Bummer. ( )
1 vote Cariola | Jun 16, 2015 |
Recommended for people who like books about food, and books about traveling.

Okay...sure there isn't a whole lot of traveling happening in the book, but the main character does do a bit of traveling himself over the span of the book. I did feel that the first part of the book did seem a bit slow, but as I progressed and began to understand the characters for who they really were, it grew on me. The story was written with such lucidity and details as if he were recollecting the events of his life that I had to double check and make sure that this wasn't a memoir. It really felt like Hassan was a real person that I could perhaps run into on my next trip to France.

I felt that only three characters were well written: Hassan, his father, and Chef Mallory. All other characters were given a brief introduction and played small parts over the course of the story.

Overall, this is worth a read, especially if you're planning on watching the movie. ( )
  jms001 | Jun 14, 2015 |
What a nice book. Not great but it is funny, sad, romantic, hilarious. And it is about cooking and food. But even without this it would be a good book. I read Morais' first novel Buddahood Brooklyn and didn't like it too much. It was too poorly researched in my eyes. Too stereotype. You could accuse him of this with this book as well. He seems to easily fall into stereotypes. We have the typical Indian family we all know from Bollywood movies and other TV series etc. But still this book is very entertaining and also a happy book. It describes a journey from one side of life to another. Which is only hundred foot in distance but worlds apart. From the Indian slums to the Haute Cuisine in France.

Apart from the stereotyping what I did not like very much was the fast forward mode the author gets into sometimes. It isn't really worked out very well how the man characters journey from a dishwasher in his dad's Indian restaurant to a highly acclaimed chef did happen. A lot of this is just handled in a brief fast forward section.

An entertaining read with a nice lesson to learn. ( )
  PeterNZ | May 11, 2015 |
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I, Hassan Haji, was born, the second of six children, above my grandfather's restaurant on the Napan Sea Road in what was then called West Bombay, two decades before the great city was renamed Mumbai.
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Book description
Abbas Haji is the proud owner of a modest family restaurant in Mumbai. But when tragedy strikes, Abbas propels his boisterous family into a picaresque journey across Europe, finally settling in the remote French village of Lumiere, where he establishes an Indian restaurant, Maison Mumbai.Much to the horror of their neighbour, a famous chef named Madame Mallory, the Indian establishment opposite her own begins to garner a following. Little does she know that the young Hassan, son of Abbas, has discovered French cuisine and has vowed to become a great French chef. Hassan is a natural whose talents far outweigh Mme. Mallory, but the tough old Frenchwoman will not brook defeat.Thus ensues an entertaining culinary war pitting Hassan's Mumbai-toughened father against the imperious Mme. Mallory, leading the young Hassan to greatness and his true destiny.
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"That skinny Indian teenager has that mysterious something that comes along once a generation. He is one of those rare chefs who is simply born. He is an artist." And so begins the rise of Hassan Haji, the unlikely gourmand who recounts his life's journey in this novel. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents of the kitchen, it is a succulent treat about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste. Born above his grandfather's modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with his mother. But when tragedy pushes the family out of India, they console themselves by eating their way around the world, eventually settling in Lumiere, a small village in the French Alps. The boisterous Haji family takes Lumiere by storm. They open an inexpensive Indian restaurant opposite an esteemed French relais, that of the famous chef Madame Mallory, and infuse the sleepy town with the spices of India, transforming the lives of its eccentric villagers and infuriating their celebrated neighbor. Only after Madame Mallory wages culinary war with the immigrant family, does she finally agree to mentor young Hassan, leading him to Paris, the launch of his own restaurant, and a slew of new adventures. This story is about how the hundred-foot distance between a new Indian kitchen and a traditional French one can represent the gulf between different cultures and desires. It is a fable that is a testament to the inevitability of destiny.… (more)

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