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The Hundred-Foot Journey

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  26,687 ratings  ·  3,802 reviews
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, directed by Lasse Hallstrom, and produced by Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg, Juliet Blake, DreamWorks Studios, and Participant Media.

"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 beg
Hardcover, 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, bri…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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Average rating 3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  26,687 ratings  ·  3,802 reviews

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Jonathan Eng
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Chris Coleman
Mar 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 27, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lovely novel written by the novelist and journalist Richard C. Morais
delicious read concerning food and spices
a novel about passion and persistence which lead us to what we really love and appreciate in life
Hassan the indian narrator and his family from Mumbai to Paris ,and the hundred foot Journey that he had to take between the Indian kitchen and a traditional French one, to become a well known chef with distinctive talant
a journey between different cultures, traditions and cooking
May 25, 2015 rated it really liked it

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
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Jul 07, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Éimhear (A Little Haze)
Aug 05, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Éimhear (A Little Haze) by: Joyce
Read as part of the ABN Summer Reading Challenge recommended by Joyce

I remember sitting down to watch the film adaptation of this some time ago and getting distracted rather quickly and never completing the film... Perhaps that should have been an omen.

This book started off so well with its intoxicating descriptions of food and smells... But then it quickly grew tiresome and dissolved into a poorly plotted book about an Indian man who becomes a Parisian restaurateur and Michelin starred chef. C
Connie G
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
Jul 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
(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
Aug 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
Kiran Afzal
Mar 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
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
May 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
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. ...more
Diane Barnes
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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. ...more
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was ok
This was a poorly constructed and executed book. The author did not spend enough time developing characters, the story was patchwork, spread out over several decades of the protagonist's life, and the story lacked any emotional punch. Apart from (I assume) accurately describing haute French cuisine, there is very little to recommend this book.

It didn't start out this way though. I thought the opening chapters in India were pretty good, elaborating on the protagonist's family history and the trau
Rebecca L
Nov 25, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, 2016-reads
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
Mar 02, 2014 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
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Diane Wiesenborn
Now here is a case where the movie was waaaaayyy better than the book. Having loved the movie, I found the book quite disappointing. The time span covered in the book is too great to give the story depth. The leap ahead in time (20 years) in Paris is jarring. Hassan's father and the pivotal character of Madame Mallory both die before Hassan really reaches a mature understanding of his life's journey, which is unsatisfying. At around the same time in the book, the author introduces a new characte ...more
Sep 22, 2010 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! ...more
Renita D'Silva
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful! A fabulous book! A feast for all the senses! Loved it SO much.
(3.5) From the acknowledgments I learned that this was written specifically to be filmed by the author’s friend Ismail Merchant; though Merchant died in 2005, it’s no surprise that it went on to become a well-received 2014 movie. I think the story probably worked better on the big screen, what with the Indian and French settings, the swirls of color and the bustle of restaurant kitchens. Still, I’d forgotten enough about the story line to enjoy the book, too.

Hassan Haji, the narrator, is born in
Feb 19, 2015 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, Hassan's
If this book was PURELY about food, it would have been a solid 4 stars.

Unfortunately, the journey, which I anticipated as being delightful, was rather boorish. The pace was hit or miss, but mostly slow in between the restaurant and recipe scenes

I absolutely loved the ethnic cooking and interactions with food though. I love Indian food, and it was so fun to read the sections about changing and coming up with recipes. I wish there would have been more of that.

2.5 stars for me, rounded up to 3.
Nov 18, 2020 added it
I just read 252 pages of this book and not once did I care. Not even once. I could give it 2 stars but I think it's best to leave it unrated. Definitely one of the most underwhelming books I've read. ...more
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
Brown Girl Reading
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
Mél ☽
Jul 31, 2018 rated it liked it
To cook is to kill.
Jun 14, 2011 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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