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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

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3.45  ·  Rating Details ·  8,308 Ratings  ·  1,337 Reviews
When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: 'Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.' His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published March 20th 2012 by Random House (first published January 1st 2004)
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Jean-Louis Berthoud Because of the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which was shot in 2011. Afterwards, the name of book which was originally named "These foolish…moreBecause of the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" which was shot in 2011. Afterwards, the name of book which was originally named "These foolish things" when it was released in 2004 was changed into the name of the movie.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Caren
Oct 14, 2012 Caren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult-fiction
After watching the film "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" recently, I noticed the title of this book in the credits. It has been re-titled with the name of the movie, but this is the original book, published in 2004. I enjoyed it just as much as I did the film, although, as others have noted, it differs in substantial ways. I suppose the changes made to the film version were done in order to streamline the story, but it did make for a very different tale than that told in the book. This all goes ...more
marissa
Nov 20, 2009 marissa rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: clueless people interested in an exoticized India through the eyes of white racists
This book caused me actual, literal pain.

The jacket describes it as the story of Dr. Ravi Kapoor, a Brit whose desire to oust his lecherous, disgusting father-in-law from his home leads to his concocting the idea of setting up a retirement home for expats in India. A "brilliant comedy of manners" is supposed to ensue.

Well, it never comes. Dr. Kapoor appears only to bookend the story. The rest of it follows the lives of a bunch of racist old white people, doggedly thinking their dreadful racist t
...more
Adam
May 16, 2012 Adam rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: india
This book disappointed me.

It was first published (in 2004) with the title “Those Foolish Things.” It was later renamed “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” following the release in 2011 of the film with that name, which is based on it.

I read the book because I had seen the film and enjoyed it, and also because unlike the film, which is mostly set in a small town in Rajasthan, the novel is set mostly in Bangalore, a city that I know quite well.

Had I not seen the film first, I might have abandoned the
...more
Suzanne
Jun 23, 2009 Suzanne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm going through my fave books and posting mini-reviews of those I think others would really like. And this is one of them, about British adult children who decide the best way to get their pesky elders out of the way is to start a retirement home in India. Very funny and an excellent statement on how no one should be underestimated because of age.
Jayne Charles
Aug 06, 2011 Jayne Charles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent examination of the business of growing old this highly original tale centres around a retirement home set up in Bangalore with the intention of attracting British pensioners.

We are introduced to a variety of characters, from the Indian operators of the home to the incoming residents and their offspring - ranging from the unscrupulous to the exasperated - who are prepared to export their ageing parents halfway across the globe. As the new arrivals touch down on Indian soil the plot
...more
Joanne
May 21, 2012 Joanne rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was actually quite disappointed with this book. I saw the film first, on a miserable rainy day, and came out totally wrapped up in the lives of the characters, and I really felt transported to India. Because I came away from the cinema with a warm glow, I was really excited to read the book, because, well books are always better than the films, right? Sadly, not in this case, and I wonder whether I would have stuck with it had I not enjoyed the film so much. It felt too messy, there were lots ...more
Ali
Jan 20, 2008 Ali rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Linda
I am glad that finally after a very long time on mnt toobie - I have got around to reading this novel. It is a real delight, and it I have discovered a writer I had not previously read. This is a funny and touching comedy of manners set in London and Bangalore, but it has many quite profound things to say really, about ageing, family, and lonliness, and about how important it is to feel a part of something, a family, a group, something to identify with. There is a wonderful cast of characters - ...more
Cass
A nice enough little story about about some elderly English living out their senility in India.

Gosh, even that sentence bores me. I don't want to be overly negative, it was an okay book. It was a fast read which helped, any longer/slower and I would have abandoned it.

The first three-quarters of the book were setting the scene for a plot that lasted barely a dozen pages. The characters were lovely, lots of unexplained behaviors. Was this book written with a movie in mind?

I wouldn't read it agai
...more
Ailish
Jun 16, 2012 Ailish rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
LindyLouMac
Oct 13, 2009 LindyLouMac rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel was just what I needed a good laugh, not because I was miserable but the last novel I finished although excellent had very serious undertones. I needed a complete change of pace which this certainly supplied.

Ravi Kapoor a doctor in London is fed up with his somewhat repulsive and difficult father-in-law whom is currently living with him and his wife Pauline. He is living with them as he keeps getting thrown out of old peoples homes! No one wants him and Ravi wishes he was somewhere fa
...more
Melki
The last book I read about Brits mixin' it up with the people of India was A Passage to India. That story involved false accusations, bad behavior, and a whole lot of characters I wanted to punch.

Everyone manages to mind their manners in this book, and many of the characters are genuinely likeable - even the ever-randy Norman Purse, who's been more than a wee bit frisky since his prostate operation.

Norman's the guy who basically gets the ball rolling in this book when he moves in with his daugh
...more
Angie Palau
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Danny
Oct 20, 2012 Danny rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kara-tbr-pile
Without a doubt, this novel is a member of my top 5 favourite read stories of this year. Where to even begin? Well, you can read the blurb to find out the plot, so i'll refrain from repeating it. This is perhaps one of the best examples since Roy's 'God of Small Things' of the complex Anglo-Indian relationship, post independence. The mix of characters, whilst completely over the top, are a refreshing bunch of fun, quirky, old-school (and inherently racist/ignorant) and Raj yearning individuals. ...more
Terry
Jul 08, 2016 Terry rated it really liked it
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - as usual, it went much more into each character's personality and back story than the movie did.

I have visited Bangalore on business, but even before that, I have had a foreigner's infatuation with all things Indian. I think the readers who were offended by this book did not realize that the author was trying to portray the events through her elderly characters sonewhat ignorant and bigoted perspectives, not her own, and certainly did not assume the reader woul
...more
Almeta
Nov 07, 2012 Almeta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: flick-lit
If you read this expecting it to be like the movie, you will find that it is not.

Although I enjoyed the film, it was not this book. Actually I prefer to think that I read These Foolish Things and watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel!

The names were not changed but the dynamics of the characters were all flopped around. I thought Norman, although disgusting, was an important focal point in the book. (view spoiler)
...more
Dale
Jun 10, 2012 Dale rated it really liked it
Having adored the movie, I was motivated to read the book. I was suspicious when I learned the book had been re-titled to match the movie and re-marketed. Perhaps this is a case of a movie promoting a book. The 2 are very different. While the storyline is the same--outsourcing old age, the stories within are quite different.
Being on the threshold of old-age, I understood the thoughts of the characters very well. Aged people from all walks of life, facing declining financial situations, wanderin
...more
Anna
Aug 09, 2012 Anna rated it really liked it
I don't usually write reviews, as I find that one either has enjoyed a book, or one hasn't, and the reasons for either are too difficult and subjective to describe properly, but this book spoke to me, and I've seen too much negativity surrounding it to not add my positive two pence worth.

What I found startling as I was reading the book was the fact that I could understand - and at times share - some of the fears and frustrations of the elderly characters. I could be their granddaughter. My grand
...more
Bettie☯


Judi Dench ... Evelyn Greenslade
Tom Wilkinson ... Graham Dashwood
Patrick Pearson ... Graham's Colleague
Hugh Dickson ... Judge
James Rawlings ... Estate Agent
Bill Nighy ... Douglas Ainslie
Penelope Wilton ... Jean Ainslie
Maggie Smith ... Muriel Donnelly
Liza Tarbuck* ... Staff Nurse
Paul Bhattacharjee ... Dr. Ghujarapartidar

* Is that Jimmy Tarbuck's daughter??

Jaipur
Kandice
Feb 07, 2015 Kandice rated it it was ok
I am left at a loss for words. I have no good words. I have no bad words. This book was very, very just so. Some of the characters showed promise, but none seemed to live up to that potential.

I've been thinking about what to write for two days and the fact that I came up with nothing says a lot. Doesn't say anything good, but a lot none the less.
Jacquelynn Luben
Aug 20, 2013 Jacquelynn Luben rated it liked it
Having seen the film a little while ago, I found that the book (originally entitled These Foolish Things) that it's based upon is somewhat different from the film, except that a group of elderly people decide to go to live in a retirement home in Bangalore, South India.

In the film, the main characters are played by very well-known actors and this helps to differentiate between them. With the book, I had to make notes when I was being introduced to this multitude of characters, so that when they
...more
Tracy Terry
Wonderfully vivid, it had me laughing in places, and feeling depressed in others but mostly it left me feeling strangely unsettled.

A story about a motley crew of English senior citizens who, for a variety of different reasons, decide to move to India to spend their twilight years in what turns out to be a somewhat dilapidated 'retirement hotel'.

Very depressing in places - the author pulls no punches in painting a bleak picture of what life is like for many of the UK's ageing population and India
...more
Aditi
Jun 10, 2012 Aditi rated it did not like it
Go directly to the movie. Do not stop to browse. Do not try a sample chapter. Do not even read the blurb on the back of the book. Go directly to the movie.



Asha
Sep 11, 2012 Asha rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started reading this before watching the film and finished it after. Apart from a few character names and a general mashing together of sub-plots, the book and film were quite separate entities.

There were deeply sad tales of the diminishing lives of the various characters.The story brings together disparate characters as their lives intersect in old age. Some of the intersections seemed a little too contrived, but there were no Hollywood endings to be seen.

While the film is funny, poignant and
...more
Martin Belcher
May 19, 2012 Martin Belcher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2012
I saw the trailer for the film version of this book at the cinema a couple of months ago and decided I would like to read the book first. It's not the sort of book I would normally read, so it's thanks to the film that I picked it up.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a story about an eclectic mix of British pensioners moving out to a retirement home in the Indian city of Bangalore. A disenchanted doctor in a busy London hospital, Ravi is encouraged by his brother Sonny to invest money in opening
...more
Jeff
Sep 15, 2012 Jeff rated it liked it
Enjoyed it and found it quite moving in places. I am partial to books about India, and also lived in England as a child, and this brought back some memories of both. There were some points made in the book that were rendered subtly and worth remembering.
Dawn
The adage is that the book is always better. Now I'm enough of a realist that I recognise that this isn't always true, but in this case I found the book because of the soon-to-be-released film, so hey, it's all good. "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" with the astounding cast list including Judy Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Penelope Wilton and Celia Imrie, is due for release in the UK next month, and the trailer sent me hunting.

Looks awesome, and I cant wait for worldwide release. But in the
...more
Book Concierge
Sep 21, 2014 Book Concierge rated it it was ok
2.5**

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 whin
...more
Melissa
Mar 03, 2016 Melissa rated it did not like it
Shelves: fiction
Ok. I loved the movie. Seriously it was the best movie I've seen in ages. I thought, well, maybe I'll read the book. I read an excerpt and it bore no relation to the movie I had seen. I should have stopped there. I purchased the e-book. The movie was wonderful. The book wasn't. Oh, it was well written, but the characters that I loved in the movie were barely present to totally absent in the book. The ones that did double up were 90-100% different. It was jarring. The story was about 25% the ...more
Georgiann Hennelly
Jan 18, 2012 Georgiann Hennelly rated it it was amazing
When Ravi Kapoors an overworked doctor in a London hospital. The health care system is going broke and they are understaffed. His Father in law once again comes to live with him and his wife after getting kicked out of another nursing home. He asks his wife can,t we just send him away far far away. His prayers are answered when his entrepreneurial cousin decides to set up a retirement home in India, hoping to re-create in Bangalore an Elegant lost corner of England. The Marigold was many things ...more
Whitney
Feb 04, 2013 Whitney rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I loved the movie and will see it again. The book however, is a very different tone than the movie. In the movie, most of the characters aren't on death's door, but are at that difficult stage as to what to do with your last years of good health, particularly if you've fallen on hard times. The book deals more with the loneliness of advanced aging, and what it's like to lose your health and watch those younger than you begin to treat you differently.

Whether you read the book or not, definitely d
...more
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Deborah Moggach is a British writer, born Deborah Hough on 28 June 1948. She has written fifteen novels to date, including The Ex-Wives, Tulip Fever, and, most recently, These Foolish Things. She has adapted many of her novels as TV dramas and has also written several film scripts, including the BAFTA-nominated screenplay for Pride & Prejudice. She has also written two collections of short ...more
More about Deborah Moggach...

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