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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Spice Of Life
What a delightful book! Richard C. Morais' tale
spans two continents and three generations of a
family of foodmakers from the poor streets of West
Bombay (seen through the eyes of Hassan Haji, a boy
with the finest gatronomic and culinary sensibilities)
who, following the sectarian murder of "Mummy" Haji,
translocates briefly to Southall as a...
Published on 21 July 2010 by The Wolf

versus
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and funny tale that doesn't quite go the distance
I really enjoyed the beginning of this book as our hero has a rather amusing way of describing events and his family - he being Hassan a Muslim in India when that was not the ideal thing to be. His family are ultimately ''encouraged'' to leave their successful restaurant business and originally land in England. Another failure ensues, so their father decides on a tour...
Published on 13 Aug. 2011 by Elizabeth Taylor


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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading before the movie comes out!, 18 July 2010
By 
bomble "bomble" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Other reviewers have done a great job of summarising the plot of this book and (so far three five-star ratings) they seem to have been won over completely. I did like it a lot, but also feel that it falls well short of 5* (or trois-étoiles Michelin).

Morais quite openly declares in his acknowledgements that he'd love to see his tale transformed to the silver screen to honour his departed friend, Ismail Merchant (of The Merchant Ivory Collection [DVD] [1992] film fame). I'd say there's a good chance it will be... but that's not an unqualified compliment. There's so much familiar about the basic plot elements here; achievement against the odds... cultural stereotypes that turn out to be hiding the character's true colours... an ageing mentor whose protégé reaches heights they never quite managed themselves. These are the building blocks of the Hollywood drama, retold and reconstructed in every conceivable permutation but yet chronically lacking in basic originality. I'm sorry to say that I could almost see the checklist of plot elements that Morais seems to have used to ensure scriptwriter interest.

Just as I can enjoy a Billy Eliot, Bend it Like Beckham and other such films, so I found A Hundred Foot Journey to be a good read and happily munched through its pages of succulent foodie descriptions and anecdotes in the life of an up and coming chef. But in the end I couldn't help feeling unsated. The key to winning Michelin stars, asides from culinary flair, is attention to detail and commitment to quality at every level. It may be that my personal history (which includes some knowledge of Bombay, many years lived in France and some very fine meals along the way) got in the way of the `suspension of disbelief' required to really enjoy an escapist tale. For example, I'm not sure how many Muslim children attended the Jesuit St Xavier's college in Bombay but I can't imagine there were many.

It's a good read which is especially delightful for those who live to eat rather than vice versa. But in the end it just doesn't have the kind of emotional depth that makes a novel truly brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not that funny on the page, 1 Jan. 2015
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Not that funny on the page . The first part is entertaining and I hope the film will concentrate on this part of the book. The rest is going through his carreer far too quickly and really exploits the true story of a real chef who committed suicide when he lost a Michelin star( unfortunately his name escapes me at the moment). Altogether disappointing after such buildup by reviews and readers comments.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars THE HUNDRED FOOT JOURNEY., 18 Jun. 2014
This review is from: The Hundred-Foot Journey (Paperback)
Soon to be a major motion picture (I believe it opens here in the UK on September 12th) The Hundred-Foot Journey is available in different covers including the paperback version I received and, for those who like the idea of a movie edition, a cover featuring three of the films stars.

A tale of humble eateries, a novel of fine dining, that takes the reader from India to France via England and other parts of Europe. With a narrative that is by turn poignant (I actually found myself shedding tears over one character's decline) and sumptuously mouth-watering (not to mention occasionally laughably cheesy) this should have been a veritable feast of a story and yet ultimately I found it unfilfilling.

Full of descriptions that were incredibly vivid if at times a little too lengthy and a portrayal of Indian cuisine that was impressive (the French element less so) I'm afraid it was the plot, so obviously a secondary consideration, that was lacking. The fact that the author acknowledged he had high hopes the book would become a film telling in as far as it went some way to explaining why at times the novel read like a screenplay.

With narrative such as a pan seethes with “prattling onions and furiously spitting lemon grass" and scenes which see clams no bigger than babies fingernails being served I'm sure this is many a foodies idea of literary heaven, its just unfortunate that it wasn't to my taste.

Copyright: Tracy Terry @ Pen and Paper
Disclaimer: Read and reviewed on behalf of publishers, Alma Books, I was merely asked for my honest opinion, no financial compensation was asked for nor given.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars YAY! I LOVED IT, 14 Nov. 2014
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Wow! This is a super fantastic book,... I loved every minute of it, and have since recommended it to loads of people!
I would also recommend going to go see the film- I originally saw the film, then was like- I'll order the dvd. only to find this jem! The plot of the book IS very different to the film, so be prepared for some shocks!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well crafted, Good Read, 22 Aug. 2010
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I wouldn't have bought this book based on the synopsis, but as it was on Vine I decided to give it a whirl. I am very pleased I did!!

It actually is a very good book. The first half, describing the journey from childhood India and partition, through to rural France via adolescent Southall is a vivid and colourful picture of clashes of culture, fascinating and evocative.

The book only seems to lose out slightly towards the end, when the mature 3 star chef seems to lose his own way. I would have preferred an ending with some loose ends tidied up.

In the editorial, the author admits he would love to see this book turned into a film, and indeed there are times when this comes trough in his writing.

There is also a sense that the author is sometimes name-dropping and perhaps a little too interested in the cult of celebrity both on screen and in kitchens.

But never mind - only one star off for that - and otherwise this is a thoroughly recommended read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An uneventful journey, 26 Sept. 2011
This review is from: The Hundred-Foot Journey (Paperback)
The Hundred Foot Journey reads like an autobiographical account of a young Indian chef's entry into the world of haute cuisine and his subsequent triumph in the field, the telling of which would be more impressive if it wasn't a work of fiction. The novel starts well describing young Hassan's turbulent life in Mumbai, through his brief time in London to the successful opening of his father's Indian restaurant in a remote French village but about half way through the novel the author seems to lose momentum and the remainder of the book felt superficial and uninteresting. I longed to know more about Hassan and the people in his life and was waiting for something deeper to happen.
The cover design is most attractive and the book is a light unaffecting read but I felt a bit let down and deflated by the end of the book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read. Beginning excellent and atmospheric feel of India, 2 Nov. 2014
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Good read. Beginning excellent and atmospheric feel of India. Story becomes fanciful in parts. Meanders and then skips, but on the whole keeps the attention going until the end. Some deep and dark areas of life along with funny and touching moments.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first course but by the time the I was three quarters through this 1st class meal of a book felt a little stodgy., 12 Feb. 2015
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The first part of the book sparkled alive with vivid descriptions of life in Mumbai. The descriptions of the food made me so hungry and the family relationships were brilliant funny and moving. Likewise on their move to London and then to France. The clash of cultures is funny and moving.
However his father, mother, sister , aunt and the wonderful sharply drawn characters of the French countryside largely disappear when he moves to Paris.
The struggles to succeed remain but the characters that gave this book such life warmth drama and humour pass into the background.
Nevertheless a good read and I now feel I understand why Haute Cuisine is so highly prized and why a Michelin Three Star Restaurant is so special.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Stunningly good read, 14 Nov. 2014
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Absolutely stunning, absorbing read.

This book gripped me from the moment I started the Kindle sample. I went to sleep mulling over the characters and couldn't wait to pick it up and start reading again. I eeked it out for several days, savouring every word like the amazing food portrayed. I laughed, I wept, I cheered on the characters. Simply I was gripped by the whole story, Richard Morais took me to all of these places in my head, I could almost smell and taste the food. I could see the amazing vistas of the places visited, feel the cool crisp air on my skin. Such a well written book I really hope to see more of this high caliber from this writer.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, dull plot., 19 Aug. 2010
By 
Peter R (Dorset, UK) - See all my reviews
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To begin with, vivid descriptions and colourful characters start to fill the pages of this book, this is good. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for plot. The book takes ages to get a move on and the author has spent far too many words on creating the setting. If only he had focused more on creating a tighter, faster storyline, the book would have gone from mediocre to excellent. I enjoy reading books on Bombay, the city of my birth, but this one in its description was tepid and lacked depth. The plot finally gets a move on after a tragedy befalls the protagonist and from then on chugs at a mundane pace, it picks up for while and then meanders through, to a rather dull ending.
The author mentions in the acknowledgements at the end that he hopes the book will be turned into a film - and that sentence alone explains why the book was written the way it was - it reads like a screenplay. Whoever does choose to turn print into celluloid will do well re-write portions of the plot to make it tighter, stronger and a bit more compelling. In its present avatar, it is no Slumdog Millionaire.
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The Hundred-Foot Journey
The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (Paperback - 16 May 2011)
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