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Showing 1-10 of 981 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 1,162 reviews
on June 29, 2017
I have had this book on my shelf for almost three years and I just got to it. It's a fantastic book -- loveable characters, beautifully detailed narrative, and a good, albeit predictable, storyline -- thou not a masterpiece. I can see why they would turn this into a movie. Definitely visual, even aromatic. In fact, if they could create a perfume out of its essence, I'd probably buy it. I picture the sophistication and elegance, combined with tradition and worldly culture, topped with a hint of humility. I have truly enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it.
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on July 11, 2017
I had to take a break midway through this book. Augh! So I will say this book was so rich in food detail it made me hungry every time I could make it through a page. I skipped several sections of food descriptions all together. I didn't feel like there was any real storyline or flow to this book and certainly no real climax. The characters were good but even some of them could have used more details maybe. I just did not really enjoy but a few small parts of the book. Even those parts it was because the characters did something crazy. I made it though. Only for book club but I made it.
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on September 25, 2014
This review is originally posted at www.CookandBooks.com

This was the first book I've read in this category, and it's also the first book I've read based so heavily upon food. Richard Morais's The Hundred-Foot Journey is a story greatly centralized around the burgeoning growth of Hassan Haji - a budding young chef in his family's clan. Morais focuses heavily for the first half of the novel upon the Haji family's relationship with that of Madame Mallory a Michelin star chef 100 feet across from their newly established Indian restaurant.

The three most prominent characters in this whole novel are Hassan, Abbas, and Madame Mallory. Hassan is by far the most centric character in The Hundred-Foot Journey as this book is largely taken from his first-person narrative, and we get to experience his journey as a young teen to an older man in the end. Abbas is the true old-fashioned patriarch, and he truly plays the part through every bit of his interactions. By far the one character that really led me to believe that hey were real was Madame Mallory. The insight that Morais gives us into Madame Mallory's life is insightful, and totally relatable for those of us that have lost out time and again on something we hold dear. It also highlights the nature of our own personal beasts that we tend to harbor and grow like a cancer when we are not at peace with our own selves.

Madame Mallory is also relatable in regards to how she is willing to admit wrongs done, and the capability of making amends in her own way. It is through her development as a character that we see Hassan develop from a fledgling chef in his own family's restaurant to Madame Mallory's student of traditional French cuisine. As Hassan grows more with his skill as a chef, it becomes more prominent that he has now outgrown the teachings of Madame Mallory and a new direction for him becomes clear. This change from Lumiere to Paris however is where I found The Hundred-Foot Journey to begin its lapse from engaging, to tepid.

The spice of The Hundred-Foot Journey was with characters back in Lumiere, from Madame Mallory, Abbas, and the rest of the Haji clan. Unfortunately Morais took Hassan and stopped developing him personally as a character - instead focusing on his development as a chef. Morais treated Hassan more like a kitchen instrument that cooks the food, as opposed to a character in his own right. Or that at least is how I felt. To be honest I felt so disappointed, like I had been in a spicy relationship, only to have it's flavor cooked out as opposed to honed.

The other thing that really killed this novel for me was Morais poor execution of narrative. The Hundred-Foot Journey starts out as a first-person narrative, but then becomes a third-person narrative when needed. Sadly the third-person narrative of Madame Mallory is truly the only real character development he was able to execute through the novel. To me it was a shame because I've read novels before based on first-person narrative in which the character is amazingly developed, as well as any other characters they interact with. I could just be biased, but character development for me is the number one thing that I find important in a novel.

At most an author could have poor grammar, some crappy clichés, and dead sections but as long as the character is engaging it covers up such basic errors. Instead Hassan's lack of character only accentuates Morais's constant run-on sentences, and poorly chosen sexual innuendos.
In the end, I still can't shut out how much I liked the first half of this novel. It was engaging, colorful, and vibrant. In the end though a strong start doesn't finish out a novel, it's really every aspect that makes or breaks you. Richard Morais is a talented writer I'm certain, but for me this novel really didn't do it for me. If you want a novel that is entertaining at parts, an easy read for those boring days, and something that makes you want to cook - then pick up a copy of The Hundred-Foot Journey. To me it's been shelved in my "Not to Read Again" list...

My rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars.

If any of you have read this book, I'd love your thoughts. Do you feel that I'm way off the mark in my review? Or did I touch upon some of the things that you may have found lacking as well?
I'd love anyone's thoughts and feelings on this book, as I love to see what other people caught that I didn't.

If any of you haven't read the book, and don't think you will then you can get some aspect of it in the movie's rendition of The Hundred-Foot Journey.
After I finished this novel, Ricky and I went to see the movie (come on it's Steven Spielberg!) Like most movie adaptations of books - it was different, but highly enjoyable all the same.
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on August 25, 2014
The movie trailers caught my attention, but often the book and the movie don't track. In preparation for a movie with an outstanding cast, I bought and read the Kindle book. It's a story that keeps your interest as it follows the intertwination of the young Indian chef and the famous French chef as the young chef matures and progresses. A look behind the scenes at the business of restaurant cooking and service, how the various people in the kitchen interact, and what makes the difference between good food and great food. The book chefs are the stars and heavy hitters of the restaurant world, with fresh ingredient selection and preparation into delicacies their forte'. Two cultures with restaurants across the street from each other in a small French village is the setting -- and the separation to be crossed. If I had the print version, I'd be lending it to friends to enjoy, too!
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on January 24, 2015
Buyer beware -- this is a story for foodies! If food is not your great interest, skip it. Hassan Haji, the main character, has an innate talent for cooking, recognised by the former enemy of his family, Chef Mallory, who has her own successful restaurant. But first there are fireworks when the large Indian family arrives in her town in the Jura, promptly buys a mansion, and then turn it into an Indian restaurant, just opposite hers. She did not take kindly to this "invasion"!

It is, however, never explained how an extended family from India can simply take up residence in Britain, and then decamp to France, tour the country, and when one of their cars break down in a small town, stay right there, buy a huge mansion and open a restaurant! I mean, France has immigration laws!! Never once is it suggested that the family has any problems simply taking up residence in a French town!

Hassan Haji, only a youth at the start of the book, becomes a highly successful chef (no spoilers, and anyway, too long to summarize here). The problem is, his run of luck is just too good to be true. No, the story is pure fiction, and it gripped me as it went on, but the author pulled rabbits out of hats for Hassan! The characterization is good in some instances, and as far as other characters go, not so good. There are some gaps in the story, and for me the book ended rather abruptly when not all problems had been sorted out yet. It's also never explained how the young Hassan managed to give up his Indian cooking heritage at the drop of a hat, and turn into a classic French cook.

I cannot deny that I enjoyed the book very much. I have not seen the film so cannot draw comparisons. But as a work of fiction it does have some flaws.
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on February 5, 2017
This book is certainly an interesting journey, there are many aspects of it that I loved and others that I thought could have been better. I give it 4 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed the food aspect, but sometimes I thought that the writer rushed through many things that I would have liked to have had more time to savour. The main character, Hassan, was so interesting at the beginning, with such life and curiosity, but I found that as the book progressed that life he had was muted, he seemed lost in this ambition of his, but I also thought that the writing didn't help me see his growth as a man, as a chef, as an immigrant. There are so many aspects of his story that were barely touched upon and which could have been further explored to make it an even richer story. I do recommend this book to food lovers, and to those curious about Indian and French cuisine.
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on August 2, 2014
I read this book because it was selected by my book club. When I ordered it I had no idea what it was about - I had only been told it had been made into a movie starring Helen Mirren which the book club will be seeing as a group, followed by a discussion of the book and movie. When I realized the major theme of the book is food, I had to force myself to read it anyway. Food is fuel and I've never understood the fuss so many people make over it. As it turned out, I enjoyed the book because of the characters and the full array of cultural references in the various locations in which the story takes place. It might even have given me some insight into those people who identify as "foodies".
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on March 21, 2017
This is a lovely book that became a lovely movie. If you like stories about food and cooking and people from different cultures who learn to get along, you will love this story. Oh, and watch the movie too.
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on September 16, 2015
Easy read, interesting, and not like the movie. All of which make it worthy of buying in my opinion. I like to buy the books that inspired the movies because, in most cases, they are not identical and often, except for the character names, very different. For me it's like being in a conversation group of familiar people all talking about a same event and all with a different perspective of the same historical news event, restaurant, tourist attraction, cellphones, politics, or even sporting events. I read this book in the airport and on the flight from France to the USA; finishing it shortly before landing.

The only thing I believe was wrong, which the publisher should change, is the cover. I nearly didn't buy this book because at first glance I thought it would be identical or nearly identical to the movie.
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on March 15, 2016
This book is filled with descriptions so vivid I felt as though each and every one of my senses was engaged as I read. The first half of the book is filled with a growing boy's impressions, but the second part of the book is filled with the voice of the dreams of a man.

Not surprisingly, The Hundred-Foot Journey is not just a book telling the story of one man, it is a story about life lessons - passion, dedication, opportunity, empathy, and gratitude to name a few - the journey that takes us through these lessons, and the manner in which the journey and the people on the way shapes the people we eventually become.

Definitely worth the read.
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