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194 of 200 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The India effect
These Foolish Things

From every angle you discuss the matter, old age is a very un-sexy issue. Surprisingly, as you move along in your reading of "These Foolish things" sex is in fact quite a subject.

The book starts with a story that sounds familiar - wasn't it just last winter when I read this tale in the newspapers - an old lady lying in a...
Published on April 15, 2005 by Tsila Sofer Elguez

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169 of 175 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the movie.
I purchased this book after reading that it was the basis for the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". Having loved the movie I thought I would also enjoy a more in-depth exploration of the characters and the background. However, I was sadly disappointed as the book is really nothing like the movie. Some of the character's names are the same, but that is where any...
Published on April 24, 2012 by John Thompson


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194 of 200 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The India effect, April 15, 2005
This review is from: These Foolish Things (Paperback)
These Foolish Things

From every angle you discuss the matter, old age is a very un-sexy issue. Surprisingly, as you move along in your reading of "These Foolish things" sex is in fact quite a subject.

The book starts with a story that sounds familiar - wasn't it just last winter when I read this tale in the newspapers - an old lady lying in a hospital corridor does not get treated by the medical staff and the newspapers are out, once again, to blame the system ...

Ravi Kapoor, the over-worked Indian doctor in charge of the elderly woman gets a lot of bad publicity. He himself knows the truth, Muriel Donnelly, the old lady, did not want to get treatment from "those darkies". This whole affair comes at a very bad time for Ravi. His father-in-law, a typical "dirty old man" is staying at his house, after being thrown, again, from another retirement home. Here however comes the unexpected twist. Ravi's cousin comes out with a genius idea: move a group of British senior citizens, just like Ravi's father-in-law to India where labor is cheap and elders are treated with respect, and create a Little England in India. The old folks will never know the difference. The cousin is very convincing, he knows just the right place and the right people to manage the establishment...he is a man who dwells on "arranging". What if the ends are not loosely tied...Ravi is captured in his enthusiasm.

This is a story about old age but also about personal revelation and self discovery that sometimes need the mediation of a different place. This is what India manages to do in this book and its influences on the group of elderly people and one doctor is the essence of this lovely story.

Deborah Moggach is funny and gives you a very detailed and understandable description. You feel you have met, at least once in your life, most of the characters she talks about, although they are not stereotypes. Moggach presents a host of characters that is about to occupy the Indian retirement home and brings each personal story - then we read about them in their new home, far far away...or maybe not?

I give the story 4 out of 5 points as the story is interesting, even educational, and very entertaining. It does tend however to slip towards some very easy soap opera solutions. I have to say that the story is comforting in the sense it is filled with a lot of vivacity and life force and there is (almost) nothing of the despair of old age. On the other hand, this is also the reason why the story is not totally convincing. Nevertheless, quite lovely.
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169 of 175 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the movie., April 24, 2012
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I purchased this book after reading that it was the basis for the movie "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". Having loved the movie I thought I would also enjoy a more in-depth exploration of the characters and the background. However, I was sadly disappointed as the book is really nothing like the movie. Some of the character's names are the same, but that is where any similarity with the movie begins and ends. It is actually quite a depressing story of the suffering and neglect of the elderly in modern-day Britain, which forces the characters to seek a better life in India, in much the same way that the health care system for the elderly in the UK has been out-sourced to India. Don't read this book if you're looking for more of the sparkling wit of Maggie Smith, the stoicism of the magnificent Judy Dench and the dry humour of Bill Nighy.
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98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An affectionate view of the elderly, April 19, 2005
By 
Ralph Blumenau (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: These Foolish Things (Paperback)
There have been other novels set in old age homes - Muriel Spark's Memento Mori, Alan Isler's The Hamlet of Fifth Avenue - and there is a certain formula about them. But Deborah Moggach's is the most kindly of these novels and, unusually, envisages the possibility that the elderly might actually get a new lease of life under such circumstances. Not possible, it is suggested, in cash-strapped Britain; but why not outsource the care for the elderly to Bangalore in India, where a little money goes a long way, where the climate is better, and where, above all, a former British hotel converted into a somewhat run-down retirement home (called Dunroamin) can create a little island of Old England in the midst of a throbbing Indian city. One has to suspend one's disbelief that elderly folk would really be happy in such a setting, but, it is suggested, there is something about the atmosphere of India which makes possible some kind of renewal of the spirit which gives new insights and meaning to what had been lonely lives in England. For much of the book the stories of each of these elderly folk seems episodic and disconnected, and there seems to be no particular plot; but in due course a plot does emerge in which coincidences - somewhat forced in my view - connect many of these lives together in unexpected ways. It is a kindly book, both about the elderly and about India and Indians, and that makes it an attractive book.
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71 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful, April 2, 2012
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This review is from: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (Paperback)
A beautiful gift of a story. I bought this book recently because the movie reviews look so good. After reading this book I do not want to see the movie - nothing could top the magical tale the author spins. I did not want it to end. Funny, touching, beautifully written. Characters you do not want to leave.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars English retirees in India, March 29, 2012
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I saw the movie first and then was able to read t he digital version the movie was based on. Many of the characters were eliminated or merged in the movie version making it easier as a movie to grasp. The book operates on several levels not included in the movie but of the two I prefer the movie. Anyone who enjoyed the movie will also appreciate the lengthier book. This book is also a kind of isolated setting of ex-pat retirees in India. There is a level of characters who run the hotel and bring in the retirees. There are many more retirees in the book and several of them leave by end of the book. I was very happy to be able to download this novel as an e-book and hope to read more from this author.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars culture clash, March 28, 2012
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This review is from: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this story of elderly brits who have been failed by the british health system and who are looking for a better place to spend their last days - India!
author does a great job of presenting British customs and contemporary culture. i especially enjoyed her use of british colloquialisms, which provided humor and realism. Her descriptions of India, the sights, sounds, smells and the effect of the exotic culture upon the british transplants, are very effective.
She has created a diverse cast of characters both in age and social class. How they relate to one another as the plot unfolds is quite engaging. Not only is this novel witty, it is also poignant in the way it deals with the challenges of aging and the difficulties of intergenerational relationships.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book v Movie, April 30, 2012
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I saw the movie based on the novel " These Foolish Things" and wish I had read the book first. Book was great and more in depth than the movie. Movie was visually fantastic but book was more detailed and complete.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, March 13, 2012
By 
Baden Hagger (TRAVANCORE, VICTORIA, AU) - See all my reviews
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This very enjoyable story is highly recommended. Funny, sensitive, unsentimental - a wonderfully recognizable narrative of our aging society in two continents.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Exotic British Novel, May 25, 2012
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This review is from: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (Random House Movie Tie-In Books) (Paperback)
So, if you, like me, went to the movie version and just loved it, know this: this novel is equally as good except there are more differences than similarities. The movie cast is much smaller. And, unfortunately, the wonderful young Sonny in the movie is an older and far less interesting personality. And The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is not at all like the magnificent ruin in the movie. That said, the cast in this novel is just wonderful. Norman is similar, only ever older in the novel, constantly thinking he can lure young women into his bed. Evelyn is very much like the movie version, the Dame Judi Dench version, a sweet woman. And Muriel is similar, the one played so well by Maggie Smith in the movie.
Deborah Moggach has just the most delightful writing style--and so humorous.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, April 6, 2012
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I bought this book because the movie is currently showing. What wonderful characters! I felt as if I was in India with them. A very touching story about relationships. Now I MUST see the movie!
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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: A Novel (Random House Movie Tie-In Books)
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