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

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,104 customer reviews

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, July 6, 2010
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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

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Scribner (July 6, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439165645
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439165645
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,702,151 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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: www.richardcmorais.com)

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.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Paperback
It started out very well. As an older Indian American, some of the references were quite authentic in terms of the expressions, the songs, and the types of food. The trip to London, the ride through the Jura in France is interesting and creates great atmosphere. The competition between Hassan's family and Madame Mallory is fun to read. Once the tide turns and Madame Mallory takes an interest in Hassan's cooking education and for all intents and purposes, he leaves his Indian cooking behind, the perspective pulls out and the reader becomes more of a window viewer rather than being in the same room with Hassan. The sense of being removed while the action happens gets stronger as the book moves on. Transitions from the cooking lessons with Madame Mallory to his move to Paris and so on are abrupt and clumsy. The characters seem to appear from nowhere and were friends with our main character but we don't see how those friendships started. His relationship with Paul Verdun, the chef that he looks up to, seems to come out of nowhere. The problematic waiter Claude seems like an journalistic anecdote and doesn't really fit in with the plot in any way. At this point, the story is editorialized like an old man's hazy memoir and you feel like someone else finished the book. There is no more suspense or conflict, he just goes along talking about his cooking and his daily life. Near the end, it feels more like an epilogue and you are told what is to befall some of the main characters who are still alive.
The descriptions of food, cooking, gourmet recipes are incredibly well done, and even a bit gruesome. the detail of the advanced industrialized chicken slaughterhouse near the end of the book also is quite involved and didn't seem to help the flow of the story in any way.
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