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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.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
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.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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?
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
So much better than the film. More depth to the story and more pathos. A really good listen.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful