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The Hundred-Foot Journey
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Archive: Other Books > The Hundred-Foot Journey / Richard C Morais - 3***

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message 1: by Book Concierge (last edited Jun 19, 2016 07:44PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6181 comments The Hundred Foot Journey – Richard C Morais
Book on CD performed by Neil Shah
3***

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 Saule Pleureur, a Michelin 2-star establishment run by the formidable Madame Mallory.

The book focuses on Hassan and his decades-long career as a chef. The clash of cultures is a major element in this novel that reminds me of and old-fashioned fable. I liked the way he and Madame Mallory slowly developed their relationship, and how he continues to grow as a chef when he moves to Paris. I would have liked a little more attention paid to the family relationships; they seemed to be an afterthought rather than an integral part of Hassan’s life.

I loved the food descriptions:
Champagne: It made me want to sing, dance, fall in love. Rather dangerous, I thought.

A memorable meal: …a teacup of Marseille fish soup, before moving on to a delicate dish of tiny clams, no bigger than babies’ fingernails,…”

A special dish created for a memorial to a fellow restaurateur: I stuffed the birds with glazed apricots…and then so blackened the fowl with black truffle slices inserted in their skin that they looked like birds dressed for a Victorian funeral.

Neil Shah does a reasonably good job of voicing the audio version. His pace is good and he was able to clearly differentiate the many characters. I loved his Madame Mallory! I don’t speak French but his pronunciation of various French phrases and names of various restaurant offerings seemed authentic; ditto for the Indian phrases.


message 2: by Susie (new)

Susie | 4488 comments I've seen the film and really enjoyed it.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6181 comments The book is significantly different from the movie (which I also saw and enjoyed ... but then, I would pay to watch Helen Mirren read a phone book).


message 4: by Karin (new)

Karin | 7301 comments I'm sorry it wasn't better; perhaps I ought to just go ahead and watch the movie.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6181 comments Karin wrote: "I'm sorry it wasn't better; perhaps I ought to just go ahead and watch the movie."

Well, Karin ... for me 3*** is an absolutely fine read.

I enjoyed it, but didn't L*O*V*E it, and I'm not button-holing total strangers on the street (**cough, cough - The Housekeeper and the Professor - cough, cough **) to tell them to read it.


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