When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his disgusting and difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: "Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away."
His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful - and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.
©2004 Deborah Moggach (P)2005 W F Howes Ltd
When I went to look for this book I looked for These Foolish Things, but the title was changed to the movie's title. The publishers should have kept the first title as the movie was only LOOSLY based on the book, with the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel hardly getting a mention. I LOVED the movie, but I had difficulty staying focused with the book. Lots more characters with stories different from the movie. Maybe if I had read the book first, I would have it enjoyed it more as the reader got to know the background of the residents and their families. So, if you haven't seen the movie or can separate the two if you have, have a go and enjoy an interesting book about what it means to grown old in the 21st Century. And by the way, Nina Wadia did a fantastic job of reading the story, with lots of interesting voices.
Historical & SciFi Book Lover, especially Georgette Heyer, Lois McMaster Bujold, Connie Willis (& New Who). Also books for the kids.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I loved all the characters, and enjoyed the different points of view the book offered, from the exhausted Dr. Ravi Kapoor and his conflicted wife Pauline, to the sometimes scary and confidence crushing view of life and society and filial expectations from Norman, the obnoxious, farting & somewhat self deluding father/father in law. Each character has an interesting background story which is explored in the course of the book. I have not watched the film (but looking at the trailers this appears to be a much more detailed and satisfying novel, and seems quite different) .
The characters find plenty of adventure (these are septuagenarians, but as one said "70 is the new 40") against the backdrop of the modern bustling Hi Tech Bangalore, juxtaposed with legless beggars and rag pickers, and the dilapidated Dunroaming Hotel where the staff are older and more infirm than the residents.
I want to relate things that made me chuckle out loud (or whip the Ipod out of the Dock least young ears hear the graphic story of ... oh but that would give away an unexpected subplot). This novel has humour and colour in abundance, it has the unloved finding love, the unwanted finding respect, the meek finding confidence.
I did think one bit of the ending a tad contrived, and not sure why it was included, but on the whole this was an excellent fast paced novel. Definitely a keeper.
The narration is superb. Nina Wadia invokes the humour with a slight lift of tone, or the bewildering (like poor Evelyn's confusion about the call centre) with just the right deft touch.
This is an "easy read", but that doesn't mean it loses any points for a quality storyline, enjoyability & worthiness. It is a nice (almost but not quite) family style story, I can see why someone thought to make it into a film.
This is the book I'll recommend both to friends who prefer literary fiction & to others who prefer lighter fiction.
Very enjoyable, great characters, great narration. Marvellous story.
Enjoyable pleasant honest
None. It's different.
Yes it did.
I would have dinner with all the characters because that was the essence of the story. Can't single out one.
Yes, the characters were so rich, that I'm sure a second time around you'll find and hear even more interesting bits.
It was so much more than I expected and I laughed and cried with the characters. I was blown away by Nina's performance!
it would be near the top!
i like all the interlinked stories and i loved that it was about older people
couldnt pick one
-the hidden stories of your grandparents
The story was well written and descriptive , therefore lending itself to audio beautifully...
Norman's demise stands out! because his character was so well crafted I disliked him immensely ..
Just loved them all because they were well written... even Norman..
I saw the movie after listening to the audio.... loved the movie... charming....sanitised version loosely based on book.. great cast. worth seeing.. but will relisten once more ..
I haven't listened to an audio book for ages but a free download is an opportunity not to be missed. Great story and brilliant reading by Nina Wadia - maybe now I'll watch the film... but will it be able to be as good?
"Far superior to the film version!!"
The book far supasses the film version of this novel, which bears only a scant resemblance to this book. It is an easy read but has a depth regarding the dilemmas that old age brings to a family that make it a co mpelling read
"Better than the film"
So much better than the film. More depth to the story and more pathos. A really good listen.
"A must listen to......."
Absolutely fantastic listen, engaging & humourous story line, exceptionally well narrated by Nina Wadia, who brings each character to life. So good I'll listen to this again.
"It sneaks up on you and you can't let go!"
Entertaining, well read. We all know someone like these characters, who will surprise you and make you smile at times.
"Far, far, far, better than the film!"
I have listened to this book again, again and again and have loved it every time. Nadia was the perfect choice to narrate this book. I was reluctant to see the film after reading the book and but bit the bullet and watched it and to be honest it wasn't a patch on the book at all. It's just a very loose adaptation and not a very good adaptation either even with some very good British actors which is such a shame. Advice? stick to the book stay away from the film!!
"Time to check in"
Fabulous book, have just watched the film and must say the book is far superior. Nina Wadia does Deborah Moggach proud with her narration.
"A beautiful book"
Well written and characters with real appeal and soul. I couldn't get enough of this book and will enjoy it another time I'm sure. Fantastic writing almost brings you into the Indian city where the book is set. Fantastic!!
so much better than the film, and I love the film. It's like a totally new story
not sure really, I suppose Evelyn, although madge is more loveable in the book than the film.
laugh in parts, cry in others, and made me very, very reflective.
"A Lovely light hearted story"
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's true to life characters made me laugh and I found myself wanting to join them. I finished it weeks ago and still find myself thinking about it and wondering if hotels like that actually exist in India.
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