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The Hundred-Foot Journey

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3.53 of 5 stars 3.53  ·  rating details  ·  14,632 ratings  ·  2,591 reviews
“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 Richard Morais’s charming novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey. Lively and brimming with the colors, flavors, and scents o
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ebook, 256 pages
Published July 6th 2010 by Scribner (first published 2008)
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Justine According to the author, Lumière is supposed to be located in the Jura, which is one of the French departments that, indeed, make up the Franche-Comté…moreAccording to the author, Lumière is supposed to be located in the Jura, which is one of the French departments that, indeed, make up the Franche-Comté region. However, I'm not sure exactly where the village is supposed to be. The author mentions the Alps but to see the Alps from the Jura, you have to get pretty high on the Jura Mountains, which are north of the Alps. He also mentions the "Jura Alps" which might be his way to refer to the same Jura Mountains. The precise location of the village is a bit unclear but you were right in assuming it's in Franche-Comté.(less)
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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
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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Eve
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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Darcy
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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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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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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Julia
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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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.
Mary
(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
Diane Barnes
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.
Denise
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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Robyn
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.
Barbara
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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May-Ling
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 w
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Andy Matuschak
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!
Elise
"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
Didi
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
Pam
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
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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Anne
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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Teresa
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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Teresa
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
Judith
Absolutely delightful. The book is divided into 4 parts: Mumbai; London; Lumiere (which is in the Loire Valley); and Paris. Each part is an adventure in the life of Hassan Hadji, and his colorful family. If you like eating, and especially if you like eating Indian food, don't read this book hungry. It is a mouth-watering epic which traces Hadji's journey as he grows from boyhood into adulthood perfecting his culinary skills as a chef. What separates this book from other "foodie" novels is that t ...more
Anita
This book is surprising to say the least. There is almost no narrative development. The characters are rather flat and there are massive gaps in a plausible story line. In fact, outside of some scene of food preparation and attention to cultural specificity, the book really misses an opportunity to develop the real intrigue in this story, namely how Hassan and Madame Mallory come to be allies and how Hassan comes to love food in the way he does. I can see how this might be optioned into a film a ...more
Sriya
I was looking forward to reading this book. I'm afraid it lost me at "tink," though. According to the book, the Indian immigrants speak embarrassingly bad English (and no, the accent does not pronounce it "tink") but the French speak it impeccably well?

Could be a small hang up but can't say I was hungry for more after finishing the book. Instead, I desperately needed a palate cleanser.
Jill
I started this book with high hopes. Maybe a bit too high.

The descriptions of life in Mumbai and of Hassan's (the main character) heritage were gorgeous. I could picture myself in the country with his grandfather as he scrapped together a business in the 1930s. Afterward he introduces his other relatives - the grandmother, father, mother, and siblings - through stories highlighting the flaws and talents of each as he learns and follows them while they build the family business.

Beautiful words an
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Doris
Feb 09, 2012 Doris rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Doris by: Paula Warnken
Shelves: india
I enjoyed reading this book. It's amazing to me that the author
is not from India, didn't even spend much time there. For quite a while into the book I had to remind myself that this wasn't a memoir. I loved the descriptions of the dishes. I have to say that I liked the first half of the book better. It was more involved with what was happening in the narrator's personal life and his family life. And he wonderfully portrayed India, London, and the alpine region where his family settled in France
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Karen
This book is split inot a few sections, starting in India and moving to London and then France. The first half of the book reminded me a lot of Chocolat as you had the "outsiders" moving into a small French town, and a powerful figure trying to get them to leave. After that storyline resolved I found the book quite boring. It skips a few decades in just a few chapters and doesn't really find a new plot, but seems to just float along reaching a fairly unsatisfying ending.
2.5 stars
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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.” 24 likes
“But even in hell there are moments when the light reaches you.” 15 likes
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