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The Hundred-Foot Journey

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3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  21,443 Ratings  ·  3,298 Reviews
Slumdog Millionaire meets Ratatouille” (The New York Times Book Review) in this “delicious fairytale-like read” (NPR) about family, nationality, and the mysteries of good taste.

Born above his grandfather’s modest restaurant in Mumbai, Hassan Haji first experienced life through intoxicating whiffs of spicy fish curry, trips to the local markets, and gourmet outings with hi
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ebook, 256 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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Adil Tansykbayev Only thing I could think of after reading this book was food. I wanted to pick up a frying pan and treat myself with good omlette. Wonderful book,…moreOnly thing I could think of after reading this book was food. I wanted to pick up a frying pan and treat myself with good omlette. Wonderful book, brings joy and happiness. Also, easy to read!(less)
Groomer Sarah My feelings are that it has always been his focus. Thus causing the break up in Lumiere rather than being as a result of it. It is his passion. The…moreMy feelings are that it has always been his focus. Thus causing the break up in Lumiere rather than being as a result of it. It is his passion. The all consuming thing in his life.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Jonathan Eng
I wanted to love this book. After all, food and stories are two of my favorite things. Yet it seemed written by an amateur's hand. It's difficult to explain, but while the descriptions of Indian cuisine in the first few chapters were impressive, the Indian essence lacked authenticity. That is, it was somehow clear that the story was written by someone non-Indian. Perhaps this was because of the overdone broken English. Perhaps there were not enough cultural references. Halfway through the story, ...more
Maria
Jul 07, 2012 Maria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I giggled when I read a review that called this book a cross between "Ratatouille and Slumdog Millionaire", but after finishing this excellent summer read I must agree that's pretty spot on! This book is such a joy to read. It's one of those books where you keep flipping back to the author's bio because you can't imagine how someone wrote this book from their imagination. The scenes were so rich and full of life I wanted it to be a memoir, not a work of fiction!

The larger than life characters su
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Chris Coleman
Working on a book committee for our Library, I was encouraged to read this for our program this year. The colorful programming possibilities covering four cultures, a variety of foods, music and tastes was intriguing. Unfortunately the book falls short on several points and we probably will not be using it.

This is a very easy read, with good character development, easy to follow story and simple relationships. The author uses excellent descriptive language to draw you into the story, and it's n
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Margitte

The initial feeling, when starting out the book, was a lyrical ode to good writing and good food. All the elements were there. Imagine, being born with your first sensation of life being the smell of machli ka salan, a spicy fish curry, made in a homely restaurant in Mumbai, on the Napean Sea Road, to be exact - Hassan Haji's grandfather's humble food emporium. Not that it was one of the star-rated establishment of Mombai. His homeless grandfather started out as a street vendor and excelled to h
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Darcy
Jul 17, 2014 Darcy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the first part of this story. Morais deftly captured the colorful and spicy flavor that is India. There were some lovely descriptions of Italy and the alpine region in France, where the Haji family finally settles, but like a poorly prepared soufflé, the whole thing collapsed halfway through.

A book about food, especially French food, should make your mouth water. As I began reading I remembered my experience with Chocolat, and I expected culinary magic. Instead, I mostly encountered c
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Eve
Jul 07, 2014 Eve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
This book was such a delight to read, or rather listen to! If you're looking for a feel good book that makes you laugh and your tummy rumble, then this might be the book for you. I am by no means a gourmand, but I love reading about food adventures, and especially about how food unites peoples and cultures.

The strange events that lead Hassan Haji from his family owned restaurant on the Mumbai coast to the French Alps is the backdrop of this quaint novel. Tutored at a young age in the art of coo
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Connie
3.5-4 stars
The mouths of foodies will be watering as they read this novel about the fictional Hassan Haji's life. After his family's restaurant was destroyed in Mumbai, his father took the family to Europe to distance himself from the tragedy. A few years later, their car breaks down in the French village of Lumiere, a beautiful setting near the Alps, and they decide to stay.

Hassan's bearlike, boisterous father opens a casual Indian restaurant across the street from the award-winning Le Saule Pl
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Sara
What a disappointment! The book seemed like it would have so much promise. So much life and vigor and interest! Not the case. The book starts off in India and is depressing and sad. I can understand and respect that. What I did not care for was the graphic comparison of squid to a penis, the image of a girl defecating on the road side and "fingering" her excrement, etc.

When the family moves to London, the crass tone of the novel gets worse with intimate descriptions of foreplay and arousal and
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Kiran Afzal
I had heard a lot about this book, and considering its about food and focuses on an Indian boy's journey into French cuisine, I thought it would be interesting.
Unfortunately, I couldn't relate to it at all. The initial few chapters started off nicely, but after that the author just jumped from one point to another abruptly. Even though the title character was Indian belonging to a Muslim family, there was nothing that I felt I could relate - neither in terms of culture or food or traditions.
Had
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Mary
Jul 27, 2014 Mary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(WARNING: SPOILERS) I blame Helen Mirren. Her participation in the film (haven't seen it) made me think this would be something I'd want to read. I wasn't a huge fan of this book. After the main character goes to Paris, I found myself thinking, why am I still here? I had no idea what sort of character arc/conclusion/goal we were still reaching for, as I think the author set a few up (the can't commit to a girl thing) and then failed to deliver in a satisfying way (his romantic development being ...more
Julia
Mar 02, 2014 Julia rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: food-fiction
I really wanted to love this book but I just couldn't pull it off. For the first third, I was hooked but somewhere around the middle I just stopped caring about the characters - fatal!

There are some wonderful descriptive passages early in the story as the reader is introduced to chaotic Mumbai and its residents, the drab way-station of London and the calm respite of the French Jura. I built a clear picture in my mind of the narrator's father and of Madame Mallory, the quintessential French chef
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Robyn
Jul 23, 2014 Robyn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This novel is a prime example of a "Kevin White's Description of How A Five-Year-Old Writes" story.

This thing happened.
And then this next thing happened.
And then, and then! A thing happened.
Another thing happened.
Things things things.

I had to constantly remind myself that this was a work of fiction and not an autobiography written by someone who doesn't know how to write. A lot of tedious descriptions and little character development. I bet the movie will actually be better than the novel.
Stephanie Gillett
This book fell way short of my expectations. It started out a nice character story (though it did not grasp Indian life as I'd hoped), and it ended up a documentary of the Paris food community. The character of Mme Mallory seemed to be well thought through at the start, and then just dumped. Same with the father and the whole Indian family. This book could have been any number of great things but somehow chose not to be anything great at all when it was done. Major disappointment.
Denise
Aug 17, 2010 Denise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Hundred-Foot Journey is the story of Hassan Haji, a young Indian boy who grows up above his grandfather's restaurant in Mumbai. A tragic incident prompts his family to flee to France were Hassan shows an unexpected talent and taste for haute cuisine. The novel follows his ensuing career as a chef and the fate of his family in France.

The first part of the book centers on Hassan's family, his history and the importance of food in his life. The writing is lush, very descriptive of the tastes, s
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Diane Barnes
Jun 26, 2014 Diane Barnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was an absolute feast, no pun intended. Yes, I'm a foodie, and yes, I love wonderful books with great characters and story line. Put those two things together with charming dialogue, warmth, humor, lives well lived and lessons well learned, and you have this book. I added a star to this review simply because it was such a joy to read, from start to finish.
Book Concierge
Book on CD performed by Neil Shah

Hassan Haji was born into a restaurant family. Starting with his grandfather’s restaurant in Mumbai, the family has made food their passion and careers. But after a tragic fire, they pull up stakes and set out across continents, ultimately settling in the small mountain village of Lumiere France. The village has never seen anything like the noisy extended family with their exotic Indian cuisine. And across the street from their Maison Mumbai is the venerated Le S
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Andy Matuschak
Sep 22, 2010 Andy Matuschak rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mr. Morais's first novel follows a familiar, even Seussian, formula, but it paints the sights, smells, and tastes of its protagonist's adventure so vividly that I needed to stop for a snack. Its prose addresses the upper crust society of Paris without falling prey to pretension, though as a foodie, I might have had a bit of an advantage in comprehension. The characters are easy to love, and that attachment left me deeply moved by the final pages. It's a quick read; you have no excuse!
Barbara
Feb 19, 2015 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chapters 1 & 2. Curry practically wafts from the pages as this sensory exploration carries you though Hassan's childhood in Mumbai India. Feel the heat, hear the hum of mosquito wings, see the vibrantly colored saris worn by his mother. But most of all the delicious tastes and smells that are Hassan's first memories growing up in the apartment above his grandparent's restaurant on the Napean Sea Road.

"Never forget, a snob is a person utterly lacking in good taste."

Following a tragedy, Hassa
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Rebecca L. Snowe
The movie was better. I never really thought I'd say that, I used to be one of the firm and radical believers that the 'book is always better'. Only recently as I've started reading more books of movies I've seen or found out how most movies are based off books have I changed my mind on this subject and in the case of 'The Hundred Foot Journey' the movie was most definitely better.

What startled me the most about the book was how different the story was from the movie. While the movie was funny a
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May-Ling
Sep 07, 2010 May-Ling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this novel was truly magnificent. for some reason i've been on a food novels kick, so i expected another light book, but this one has it all. the setting starts in india where hassan haji grows up in a volatile area of india, in his parents' restaurant. as the book progresses, we follow hassan as he enters the cooking world himself. the title refers to this moment after the hajis have landed in france, when hassan walks a hundred yards to their neighbor to enter the world of french cooking.

the
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Didi
Oct 31, 2014 Didi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to love this book but it just wasn't possible for me. The first seventy-five pages were promising, however after that I just stopped caring. I read through to the end as the story became more and more cliché and the characters one dimensional. The author spent a lot of the time telling the reader lots of things while not showing us these things through his writing. Could this be because he is a journalist? Don't know. Another problem was the drastic shift in ambience from one par ...more
Teresa
Jun 14, 2011 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while since my taste buds have been tempted by a good foodie story but the starvation diet is officially over with the consumption of this delicious read.

Hassan Haji, the second of a a family of six from Mumbai, knows from an early age that his destiny lies in the realm of food. In this simultaneously comic and poignant tale, we trace Hasssan's culinary development from the tiffin business established by his grandparents, their roadside restaurant for servicemen to the present day
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Pam
Jan 29, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very delightful book. The main character however lacked depth and I was hoping for more development in his character. The other 'minor' characters were very good. I loved reading about the father, the aunt and the crazy woman chef from across the way in Marseille. Also I wished that the author wouldn't have introduced some characters so late in the book. One of Hassan's chef friends was introduced so late in the book that there really was no time to give him much depth and development and was ha ...more
Joe
Jan 03, 2017 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The production surrounding The Hundred-Foot Journey might cause you to think this is a novel of cultural significance. My edition includes not just the usual acknowledgments but also a fawning interview with the author (Sample question; 'Who do you think will love The Hundred-Foot Journey?' 'Anyone who loves a good yarn.'), recipes for meals that appear during the story, discussion questions and even an 'Enhance Your Book Club' section with little projects you can enjoy with your friends (Have e ...more
Sanda
A disappointment.
Oh, you shouldn't have done,
You couldn't have done,
You wouldn't have done the things you did then.


- The Cranberries

Yes, those lyrics were the first thing to pop in my mind when I finished reading the book. It was just one of those tragic cases of incompatibility. And it started off so promising. I got a copy of the book ages ago, way before all the buzz. I mean it's a book about food. (and I love food) And cooking. (also love cooking) And foreign cultures. (and I know so little
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Teresa
Aug 11, 2010 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It has been a while since my taste buds have been tempted by a good foodie story but the starvation diet is officially over with the consumption of this delicious read.

Hassan Haji, the second of a a family of six from Mumbai, knows from an early age that his destiny lies in the realm of food. In this simultaneously comic and poignant tale, we trace Hasssan's culinary development from the tiffin business established by his grandparents, their roadside restaurant for servicemen to the present day
...more
Anne
Jun 15, 2011 Anne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My passions in life are books and food, so foodie-lit is a great favourite of mine. I'm pleased to say that Richard C Morais' novel is a joy to read, a story to savour and lose yourself in.

The Haji family of Mumbai are a large, boisterous clan who come from a line of restauranteurs - back in the 1930s their grandparents started their business by delivering tiffin boxes (or lunchboxes here in the UK) to the office workers of Mumbai. Their business grew until they became well-respected members of
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Emily Crowe
If half-stars were allowed for ratings, this one would be 2.5 for me.

Isn't this book cover gorgeous? The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais is the story of a young Indian boy whose family emigrates first to England, then to France, after the matriarch dies in a riot in Mumbai. The boy has a knack in the kitchen and in fact grows up to be the first foreign-born chef in France to earn 3 Michelin stars. I wanted to love it--the very promising blurbs and the starred reviews, not to mention the
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Sharon
Mar 27, 2015 Sharon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm usually one who reads the book before seeing the movie. This time, I did it in the opposite order -- and I'm glad. Had I read this book, I would have been quite disappointed in the film. Don't get me wrong; I loved the movie ... but there is so much more in this book that the movie didn't even touch!

Hassan Haji and his family move from Mumbai to a tiny village in the Jura alps of France, and start a restaurant -- right across the street from the famous establishment of two-Michelin-star reci
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Elise
Jan 29, 2014 Elise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Hundred-Foot Journey" is a scrumptious book, a true adventure for the senses. If you love traveling to exotic places almost as much as you enjoy indulging in fine foods, you will love this one. Morais' exploration of Hassan Haji's ascent in the world of haute cuisine also engages the themes of longing, homesickness, family legacy, and the losses and sacrifices that come with success. It is definitely worth reading, although it was at times lacking in characterization, especially of the narr ...more
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“there are many points in life when we cannot see what awaits us around the corner, and it is precisely at such times, when our path forward is unclear, that we must bravely keep our nerve, resolutely putting one foot before the other as we march blindly into the dark.” 35 likes
“But even in hell there are moments when the light reaches you.” 21 likes
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