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A Veritable Banquet Of A Book,
This review is from: The Hundred-Foot Journey (Paperback)
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Whatever you do it is advisable not to start reading Richard C Morais' hugely enjoyable debut novel on an empty stomach. To call it the ultimate in foodie literature does it an injustice even though food and the pleasure to be gained from preparing and eating it is a common theme throughout its two hundred and seventy plus pages. Morais succeeds in setting just the right stage for his characters to develop on - whether it be a restaurant on the border between the Hindus and the Muslims in Mumbai, a Shang-ri-las town in the Jura or the top eateries of Paris the Haji family and in particular Hassan, the story's narrator and central character become a larger than life advertisement for everything that is good and wholesome about Indian cuisine.
Morais has researched fairly exhaustively and his efforts are enough to make the reader actively salivate as he describes the multitude of meals that are cooked and consumed by the Haji's, their rival restaurants and their companions. This is definitely a book which activates most of the senses and leaves the reader hungry for more. My main gripe with this kind of fiction is that it doesn't quite cross that border into practical guidance - a few relatively easy recipes scattered throughout would have whetted the appetite a little and given the narrative a big shift above the sea of food inspired fiction which seems to keep more than one popular author permanently afloat these days. This, however is a minor criticism and Morais' understanding and, indeed, empathy with his subject matter makes this one of the warmest, light hearted and thoroughly enjoyable books I have read this year.