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The Hundred-Foot Journey: A Novel Hardcover – July 6, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner; First Edition edition (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439165645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439165645
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (833 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #501,027 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

With his debut novel, longtime Forbes magazine correspondent Morais delves into a rich, imagery-filled culinary world that begins in Bombay and ends in Paris, tracing the career of Hassan Haji as he becomes a famed Parisian chef. Narrated by Hassan, the story begins with his grandfather starting a lowly restaurant in Bombay on the eve of WWII, which his father later inherits. But when tragedy strikes and Hassan's mother is killed, the Hajis leave India, and, after a brief and discontented sojourn in England, destiny leads them to the quaint French alpine village of Lumière. There, the family settles, bringing Indian cuisine to the unsuspecting town, provoking the ire of Madame Mallory, an unpleasant but extremely talented local chef. From vibrantly depicted French markets and restaurant kitchens to the lively and humorously portrayed Haji family, Morais engulfs the reader in Hassan's wondrous world of discovery. Regardless of one's relationship with food, this novel will spark the desire to wield a whisk or maybe just a knife and fork..
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Grandson of an entrepreneurial lunchbox deliveryman, Chef Hassan Haji tells of his rise to culinary success in Paris via Bombay, London, and a small town in the French Alps. With a fond, over-the-shoulder regard, he presents the lively family members, friends, and former foes who shaped him as a young chef, leading him to face his destiny and realize that cooking is not only in his heritage but also in his blood and bones. The novel floats along a bounty of vivid food imagery, a twisty-turny river of dishes Indian, French, and everything in between. With an obvious insider's knowledge of the restaurant milieu, journalist Morais delivers a world where Michelin stars determine not only the popular appeal of a restaurant but also the happiness of its executive chef. This novel, of mythic proportions yet told with truly heartfelt realism, is a stunning tribute to the devotion to family and food, in that order. Bound to please anyone who has ever been happily coaxed to eat beyond the point of fullness, overwhelmed by the magnetism of just one more bite. --Annie Bostrom

More About the Author

Mr. Morais's second novel, Buddhaland Brooklyn, is about a repressed Buddhist priest who, at the age of 40, is ordered to leave his idyllic mountain monastery in Japan and cross the ocean to build a temple in an Italian neighborhood of New York City. Once landed in Brooklyn, a cabal of eccentric American Buddhists force the repressed Japanese priest to change, mostly through cultural mishaps both hilarious and tragic in nature, until Reverend Oda unexpectedly finds his true place in the world. Buddhaland Brooklyn was published in North America on July, 17, 2012.

Mr. Morais's debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey, was picked by O (The Oprah Magazine), Amazon-Kindle, NPR, and the American Booksellers Association as one of the best summer reads of 2010. Both an "Editor's Choice" and on the prestigious "Paperback Row" of The New Times Book Review, Mr. Morais's debut novel has since become an international bestseller and has sold in 25 territories across the globe.

The Hundred-Foot Journey will also be released as a Dreamworks and Participant Media film in August, 2014. The film, shot on location in France and India, is produced by Steven Spielberg, Oprah Winfrey, and Juliet Blake; is directed by Lasse Hallstrom; and stars Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, and Charlotte LeBon.(For more, see:

Mr. Morais is the editor of Barron's Penta, a quarterly magazine and website offering insights and advice to wealthy families. He worked for Forbes magazine for 25 years, where he was allowed to write on any subject he chose and to travel the world. He joined Forbes in 1984 as a Reporter in New York.

An American born in Portugal and raised in Switzerland, Mr. Morais has lived most of his life overseas, returning to the U.S. in late 2003. He was stationed in London for 17 years as Forbes' European Correspondent (1986 to 198), Senior European Correspondent (1991 to 1998), and European Bureau Chief (1998 to 2003.) He wrote numerous cover stories for Forbes, from billionaire profiles to corporate dissections, but he was best known for unusual business stories on everything from the hashish entrepreneurs of Holland, to the ship breakers of India, to the human organ traders of China. Mr. Morais's news-making political interviews have been with the likes of British Prime Minister Tony Blair, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and the Czech Republic's Prime Minister Vaclav Klaus.

Mr. Morais has won an unprecedented six nominations and three awards from the London-based Business Journalist of the Year Awards, the industry standard for international business coverage.

Mr. Morais started his career in New York as a news intern for the PBS TV program, The MacNeil/Lehrer Newshour, and eventually rose to selling freelance film features to The New York Times. Mr. Morais is the author of the unauthorized biography, Pierre Cardin: The Man Who Became a Label (Bantam Press,) a book that grew out of a Forbes cover story and was published in 1991 to critical acclaim and has been recently reissued in e-book form: "This is not a hagiography; neither is it a hatchet job. He has caught the essence of the man." (Financial Times.) "There is extraordinary, often startling information throughout this book but the pleasure is in the writing. I hope Morais is working on a second book." (Sunday Telegraph.) "Thorough, excellently researched, racy and entertaining." (International Herald Tribune.)

While he was in the UK, Mr. Morais appeared regularly on Sky News, BBC News, ITV News, and various radio stations, including the influential "Today" show on the BBC's Radio 4. In the U.S., his work has led to an editorial credit on CBS' "60 Minutes," plus appearances on Ted Koppel's "Nightline," ABC, CNN, and various NPR radio stations.

He is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and lives in Philadelphia.

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Customer Reviews

Great story told very well with intriguing characters and many interesting settings.
Amazon Customer
It wasn't a book that I was sad to finish reading and none of the characters made an impression that stayed with me after I put the book down.
Judi Nicholes
Wonderful character development, layers upon layer of good stories...very well written.
Lisa M. Ludwig

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 76 people found the following review helpful By don riccardo on July 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Through the highly imaginative and captivating unfolding of the life story of the novel's main character, Hassan Haji, Richard Morais has given us a timeless, magical story that from the first page lovingly and romantically embraces the reader around the unfolding of a universal theme. That theme is Hassan's unrelenting, heroic pursuit of his destiny, overcoming some very heavy odds. Quite a journey - his roots were those of a pre-WW11 Indian family of poor Muslim subsistence farmers. His journey culminated many decades later when the restaurant he created in rural France achieved the recognition and honor of earning 3 Stars. We are given a front row seat to his process of both life-discovery, and of his personal self-discovery, emergence and crystalization as a very wise and compete person and a premier chef.

In telling Hassan's story, Morais weaves us through multiple continents, countries, fascinating cultures and characters and unforgettable cuisine. The authenticity, graphic description and feel of Hassan's experiences speaks to the many years of expat living of the author. As Hassan's life narrative unfolds, and because Marais excels at communicating experiences, we get to virtually smell and taste the emergence of his artistry as a chef. The author's obvious love of food is passionately sprinkled, chopped and poured throughout.

Among the many things Hassan's journey reveals, one that stands out to me is how he ultimately succeeds in achieving his destiny and simultaneously learns the importance of trusting and believing in himself and his craft. I highly recommend The Hundred-Foot Journey.
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59 of 62 people found the following review helpful By Margaret M. Paul on August 4, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My husband gave me a copy of The Hundred-Foot Journey for our first (paper) wedding anniversary, and from the moment I opened it, I was captivated. In my many (many!) years of reading about food and cooking, I have never been so entranced - I smelled every marvelous aroma, tasted every delicious mouthful, and heard every exclamation in every accent. I was transported around the world with the Haji family - from India, to London, to the French Jura, to Paris and the South of France - and I shared in their celebrations as well as their tears. This is a book to be savored, embraced, and cherished. Pick up this book and read the blurbs on the back cover - for once, they are not overblown raves, they are dead on. If you love food, do not miss this wonderful book!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By J. Huda on August 10, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Like other reviewers, I absolutely adore this book. It captivated me immediately and kept it's hold to the very end, and I still wanted more. My husband and his family are Indian, and I felt like this book gave me a secret insight into their family history by proxy, and inspired me to dive into their culinary history head on. It inspired me to really open a relationship with my mother in law and get down to the nitty gritty of learning their recipes to keep that tradition alive for our daughter. After one day of reading, my husband came home to biryani and ras malai. It's impossible not to be hungry, both spiritually and physically, while reading this book.

I laughed, cried, took breaks to cook, and kept reading. This book taught me that it is indeed possible to both devour and savor something you love, and will be on my regular list for years to come. For foodies, this is the penultimate read, and a triumph for a first novel.
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Barnaby Dorfman VINE VOICE on September 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is one of those books you know you are going to love after just a few pages. The author, Richard Morais, wrote for Forbes for years and combines a great fictional narrative, full of deep characters, with the detailed observations typical of magazine reporters. I was especially impressed with how the language could go from florid and beautiful to dirty and raw in a single sentence without losing balance. Morais' ability to capture the essence of places and peoples is absolutely transfixing with such visual and aural descriptions that I remember more of a movie than a book. This cinematic quality is not surprising since the intent was to have his friend, Ismail Merchant (of the Merchant-Ivory producing team), develop the narrative into a film. Unfortunately, the producer died unexpectedly before the manuscript was complete.

This exploration of family, personal development and professional relationships, all wrapped in the evolution of various food movements is a must read for anyone who likes to travel, cook, and explore new cuisines.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By cook1928 on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
A wonderful change of pace from all the food novels that are strictly about French or Italian food. The descriptions of Indian food and culture are vivid and enticing. The plot moves along smoothly, and the characters are well developed. Highly recommended for all who enjoy books entwined with the delights of cooking and eating.
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31 of 38 people found the following review helpful By J. Belle on July 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I loved this book. It's like 'Slumdog Millionaire' meets 'Ratatouille'. That's actually a gross over-generalization, but it shares some of the best elements of both: the ambition to rise above one's circumstances, a struggle for expression through fine cuisine, and a warmth and humor in the telling, all set against the back drop of Bombay, London and France.

The characters are rich and deeply drawn. The writing is beautiful and well-paced. The originality of the prose is startling. It is told in the first person by Hassan Haji - the voice is humble, confident, and utterly believable. The author's use of language to portray the aromas, textures and tastes of the many ingredients and dishes he describes is more than convincing - it's like reading with your taste buds.

It will make a great movie some day. But the director will have a challenge on his hands trying to replicate the beauty of Morais' prose.
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