These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach. Old flames burn in an Indian summer. By Barbara Trapido; Friday 20 February Editorial Reviews. Review. ‘Elegantly read by Nina Wadia’ INDEPENDENT. About the Author These Foolish Things – Kindle edition by Deborah Moggach. Actually I prefer to think that I read These Foolish Things and watched The Best .. Deborah Moggach’s The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (originally a different title) .

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Return to Book Page. Somewhere far, far away.

Several retirees are enticed by the promise of indulgent living at a bargain price, but upon arriving, they are dismayed to find that restoration of the once sophisiticated hotel has stalled, and that such amenities as water and electricity are.

PaperbackMedia Tie-Inpages. Published March 20th by Random House first published To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Why is it called the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel? The place has a different name in the book, and I never figured out the connection. Afterwards, the name of book which was tyings named “These foolish …more Because of the movie “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” reborah was shot in Afterwards, the name of book which was originally named “These foolish things” when it was released in was changed into the name of the movie.

Lists with This Book. Nov 20, marissa sammy rated it did not like it Recommends it for: This book caused me actual, literal pain.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The jacket describes it as the story of Dr. Ravi Kapoor, a Brit whose desire to oust his lecherous, disgusting father-in-law from his home leads to his concocting deborahh idea of setting up a retirement home for expats in India. A “brilliant comedy of manners” is supposed to ensue.

Well, it never comes. Kapoor appears only to bookend the story. The rest of it follows the lives of a bunch of racist old white people, doggedly thinking their dreadful racist t This book caused me actual, literal pain. The rest of it follows the lives of a bunch of racist old white people, doggedly thinking their dreadful racist thoughts without a smear of understanding or empathy. The worst of them sexually assaults an Indian girl because his head is full of ideas about the tantric wantonness of Indian women backed up by what Moggach banally refers to as the “Karma Sutra”, multiple times ; the supposedly best of them thinks fondly that this same Indian girl’s hair reminds her of her dog’s shiny black coat.

That sums up the functions of Indian characters in this book. They are either exotic sex objects or humble pets, unwitting and unwilling objects of desire or model minorities who submit to the white Britishers’ prejudices and whims. No aspect of India escapes Moggach’s derisive, Othering, patronizing pen: Moggach references Theae people in two ways — thugs who attack one of the old women, and multiple uses of the word “nigger” — and includes many casually scornful references to Jewish and gay people and of course uses “Muslim” as synonymous with “terrorist”.

This is supposed to be a fun, frothy read. I hunted down reviews when I was done and found that they all lauded Moggach for writing something so witty and insightful and touching. I find it hard to see any wit or insight or compassion in a book that refers to my Hindu god Ganesh as “the sort of thing you won at a fairground and then wished you didn’t have to take foolih.


And yes, I know that people who enjoyed this book would probably say, “Oh, but you’re supposed to think the old people are racist! That’s why the book is a black comedy, because it shows people with all their flaws! If your characters — your sympathetic characters, the ones that readers are supposed to relate to and feel affection for — are raging and unrepentant bigots who are exactly as racist at the end of the book as they were at the beginning, you are not writing a comedy of manners.

You are moggqch writing an acute observation of humanity unless to you, “humanity” refers only to white people, which I suspect it does. You are writing a hurtful piece of trash that promotes wretched and insidious stereotypes, and you are too mogbach in your own ignorant privilege to even see it.

This is quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. I have never before encountered something so blithely, smugly cruel that didn’t actually identify itself as hate literature up front. View all 36 comments.

It has been re-titled with the name of the movie, but this is the original book, published in I enjoyed it just as much as I did the film, although, as others have noted, it differs in substantial ways. I suppose the changes made to the film version were done in order to streamline the story, but it did make for a very different tale than that told in the book.

This all goes to say that you may enjoy the book in its own right; it has very little similarity to the film. As is typical for a book version, there is much more depth to the characters, and because you are able to fall more thoroughly into their lives, there is more to consider.

Beyond being just a good story, this book has some serious things to say about how the elderly are perceived and treated in Western cultures. The people in this book didn’t just decide to move far from their homes to a very different culture on a lark.

Most of them moved because they had so little money they needed to live in a place where their funds would stretch further.

They also had been neglected by their families and been made to feel themselves a burden to their children.

There is an interesting comment in the book, made by someone from the Indian culture into which they are thrust in Bangalore, to the effect that the elderly are valued in India and that families care for their older folk. One of the British women wryly says, sotto voce, that they don’t seem to value begging children to the same degree. More than once, a character says wistfully that, as one ages, one becomes more invisible.

It didn’t surprise me to find out that the author is in her 60s. As one of the book’s characters says, after her father dies, she is now an orphan, and further, she is next in the queue. This book brought to mind a wonderful quote I read recently from the British writer, Martin Amis from an article in Smithsonian magazine: And then it becomes a full-time job pretending you’re not going to die, and then you accept that you’ll die.

Then in your 50s everything is very thin. And then suddenly you’ve got this huge new territory inside you, which is the past, which wasn’t there before. A new source of strength. Then that may not be so gratifying to you as the 60s begin, but then I find that in your 60s, everything begins to look sort of slightly magical again.

Go east, old folks

And it’s imbued with a kind of leave-taking resonance, that it’s not going to be around very mmoggach, this world, so it begins to look poignant and fascinating. They cry out to be visible, to be valued for what they offer. They haven’t reached some artificial plateau when all growth ceases.


They are still changing and learning and loving and growing. They are not some faceless, gray-haired mass lingering in the wings, drifting off one by one.

These are vital human beings with a story to tell mgogach much still to offer. View all 7 comments. Dec 17, PorshaJo rated it really liked it Shelves: I watched the movie adaptation of this book and loved it. At the time, I had no idea it was based on a book. Browsing during my library book sale I thee across this book and snatched it up. Where it sat for months and months. So now, I’m trying to read the books I own and picked this up.

What a fun read. I love reading anything about India coolish Indian culture. Obviously a bit different from the movie version, but I enjoyed both.

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach | : Books

The story follows a number of elderly people who have it rough in the I watched the movie adaptation of this book and loved it. The story follows a number of elderly people who have it rough in the UK with health care and retirement home prices.

A doctor, from India, who wants to get rid of his annoying father in-law and the doctor’s cousin, who is always looking for a new business. Which comes, the Marigold Hotel, a retirement home where the elderly can leave the dreary weather and high costs in the UK to move to India.

I enjoyed reading this one and getting more detail on each of the guests at the hotel. Now, I feel I need to watch the movie again. Though, I’m most happy that I read a book that was on my shelves instead of buying new ones. View all 6 comments. This book disappointed me. I read the book because I had seen the film and enjoyed it, and also because unlike the film, which is mostly set in a small town in Rajasthan, the novel is set mostly in Bangalore, a city that I know quite well.

Had I not seen the film first, I might have abandoned the This book disappointed me. Had I not seen the film first, I might have abandoned the book before reading too far into it. The first section of the book provides a series of realistic portrayals of the fears of elderly retired people facing rejection by the younger generation and also anticipating their gradual decline towards death. However, I pressed on with reading this well-paced novel because I knew from the film that things were likely to start looking up as the people, who were being described, were about to take off to spend the rest of their retirement in a hotel in India.

Although the book is not exactly about India, I felt that the author did not transport me to India. She did not allow me to visualise a real place as I read her book. Some of the retired English people in the hotel in Bangalore used email. This suggests to me that the writer was writing about recent times. However, the Bangalore that she describes does not sound nearly as sophisticated as the city actually is. I thought as I read the book that she could have been describing almost anywhere, throwing in a few local terms to remind the reader that it was India rather than anywhere else.

Sevearal specific things particularly irritated me about this book.