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Richard C Morais'sThe Hundred-Foot…

Richard C Morais'sThe Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel [Bargain Price]… (original 2008; edition 2010)

by Richard C Morais (Author) (Author)

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9845513,908 (3.45)56
"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)
Title:Richard C Morais'sThe Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel [Bargain Price] [Hardcover](2010)
Authors:Richard C Morais (Author) (Author)
Info:Scribner (2010), Edition: First Edition
Collections:Your library

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The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (2008)


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Showing 1-5 of 54 (next | show all)
This little novel is a fun fast read for serious foodies. If you aren’t into food it will be difficult to understand most of the food and culinary references in the book. (I’m into food and there was a lot terms I didn’t know.)

Morais gives the reader a behind the scenes look into Haute Cuisine; the food, the restaurants, the chefs, the critics, and the business side of the restaurant "business." All of this is shown through the eyes of a native Indian chef, Hassan Haji, who is trying to make his way to the top of the highly competitive culinary world in his adopted city of Paris while trying to stay true to himself.

This novel is destined to become a movie. The author, Richard Morais, says in his acknowledgements that he hopes someday it will become a film, and I have no doubt it will. The book itself is almost like a screenplay-not a lot of depth to the characters, lots of visuals of opulent restaurants and food, easy and predictable plot line. These are not criticisms of the book per se, because I did enjoy it for what it was, an entertaining little read, but I think it might actually be one of those rare books that makes a better movie than a novel. (I absolutely see Dame Judy Dench as the quintessential snobby French chef and hotelier, Madame Mallory!)

Foodies will eat this little morsel of a book up, but others may want to wait for the movie version.
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  tshrope | Jan 13, 2020 |
Barely a three. The story would keep you awake if you are driving, but beyond that, I can't think of anything to commend it. Writing is common place. The name seems to me as ironic as the story doesn't lead to anything. ( )
  yhgail | Feb 20, 2019 |
This was the book for my work book club. We are going to discuss at an Indian restaurant because you can’t read this book and not get hungry! I saw the movie a couple years ago. I remember liking it but I think the plot is pretty different. ( )
  strandbooks | Dec 31, 2018 |
I suspect the movie is probably the better product. I had never heard of this book until, yes, the movie with Helen Mirren was being released. I even watched the first 30 minutes or so of it but even Dame Helen wasn't enough. I thought maybe this was a case that the book was better than the film. After reading this I'm pretty sure that's not true.
Author Morais tells the story of Hassan, a man who grew up in Mumbai. After tragedy strikes his family moves to London and then France to flee their grief and open a restaurant. There Hassan cooks, falls in love, learns from a great teacher and generally lives his life. Sounds like a great coming of age story, right?
Nope. The first 2-3 parts (Mumbai, London, Lumiere) were by far the most interesting. His childhood, the descriptions of food, family, what it's like to be immigrants far from home, etc. But by the time the book moves to France my interest steadily waned. Hassan isn't a very well-developed character and neither is almost anyone else. It's like the author hit "freeze" to keep these characters in this particular part of their development. For example, the tragedy that strikes the family doesn't seem to have major repercussions later, except mentioned here and there for Hassan when he tries to have relationships with women.
After awhile I also became increasingly suspicious of Morais' cultural knowledge. It seemed the family has a freak-out over a particular incident with his female cousin which more like a plot device than anything else. The family certainly had a right to have the argument but it was not quite for the reasons I suspected. Not to mention how the family didn't seem to experience that much (any?) racism, especially considering that they were in a rural part of France. I'm not saying they should have, but it seemed too cliched and too neat overall for me.
Once the book moves to Paris I pretty much lost interest completely. I haven't seen the film adaptation in its entirety but reading the synopsis on Wikipedia reinforced my feeling that the author should have ended his book a lot sooner instead of moving to Paris. As I've only read the book it just seemed like the text reached (or should have reached) a more logical conclusion instead of extending it to a fourth part.
I normally am more of a book over film person, but in this case I think there's a good chance the movie might have been adapted and does improve upon its reference material. Based on other reviews it seems there are a few people in that camp (it helps to have Helen Mirren and at least some of the same people who made the 'Chocolat' film).
I bought this since I had a coupon from Barnes & Noble but I would definitely recommend the library instead. It does make me want to see the film though. ( )
  acciolibros | Feb 11, 2018 |
Take a journey through food with the Haji family that spans the globe from Mumbai, London, and Paris. Any foodie or person who loves to travel will enjoy following the main character, Hassan, through his life of travel and food. Hassan is brought up in Mumbai learning to cook from his family. Although turmoil touches his family, which prompts them to move to England then France, Hassan follows his passion and becomes a well known chef. This book is a joy to read and really takes you on a colorful journey across continents and cultures. The author does such a wonderful job describing the food cooked in this book that you might not want to read this book on an empty stomach! I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking to get away with a great read.

Ashley C. / Marathon County Public Library
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  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
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I, Hassan Haji, was born, the second of six children, above my grandfather's restaurant on the Napean Sea Road in what was then called West Bombay, two decades before the great city was renamed Mumbai.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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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