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Publisher: Scribner Book Company$11.70The Hundred-Foot Journey (Paperback)
Publisher: Scribner Book Company$10.20The Hundred-Foot Journey (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks$76.00
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 31.
- Review Date: 2010-05-03
- Reviewer: Staff
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.. (July)
An epic tale that is spicy and sweet
When Hassan Haji enters a dusky French restaurant in Mumbai, his mother soothes, “Never be afraid of trying something new, Hassan . . . . It is the spice of life.” With these words she provides her son with the mantra of a lifetime and the pair share an unforgettable feast, the first of many that novelist Richard Morais serves up in his warm and winning debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey.
Now a noted chef, Hassan recalls his path to acclaim, which took him from the gritty streets of Mumbai to the celebrated kitchens of Paris. After a chilling tragedy, Hassan’s father is forced to close the family restaurant and uproot his family from the pungent bustle of India for a frigid sojourn in London, only to finally settle in the remote and provincial French village of Lumière. As the family settles into its strange new life, they clash with their new neighbor, esteemed chef and innkeeper Madame Gertrude Mallory. Much to Mallory’s chagrin, an evening of epicurean espionage at the Hajis’ Indian bistro, Maison Mumbai, reveals that young Hassan has a rare talent for creating otherworldly culinary delights. With this discovery, Hassan’s life is forever changed and his journey in the wondrous world of food truly begins.
Brimming with mouthwatering description and endearing characters, The Hundred-Foot Journey is an appealing and ambitious first novel. With its publication, Morais (a longtime Forbes correspondent and editor) finally fulfills a promise to his good friend and fellow foodie, the late film producer Ismail Merchant. Morais has honored his friend’s memory well with this sumptuous story of a globe-trotting family and the means by which food nourishes both the body and the soul. The Hundred-Foot Journey is a buzzing banquet that will linger in your memory long after the last page is turned.