[Epub] ❦ These Foolish Things By Deborah Moggach – Saudionline.co.uk



10 thoughts on “These Foolish Things

  1. says:

    This book caused me actual, literal pain.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 the idea of setting up a retirement home for expats in India A brilliant comedy of manners is supposed to ensue.Well, it never comes Dr 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 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 she insistently refers to hijra as eunuchs which they are not Indians are constantly, explicitly fetishized with lingering, uncomfortable descriptions of the brownness of their intimate skin there is a running list of Indian products that are inferior to Western ones plastic, sticky notes, plaster bandages Moggach references Black 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 home Just typing that out made me feel sick again.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 To that I say, twaddle 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 not 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 immersed 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.


  2. says:

    After watching the film The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel recently, I noticed the title of this book in the credits It has been re titled with the name of the movie, but this is the original book, published in 2004 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 depth to the characters, and because you are able to fall thoroughly into their lives, there is 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 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 Your youth evaporates in your early 40s when you look in the mirror 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 And it s imbued with a kind of leave taking resonance, that it s not going to be around very long, this world, so it begins to look poignant and fascinating What this book does that is very special is that it makes you see that aging does not take away the beauty and depth of each person s humanity 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 and much still to offer.


  3. says:

    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 came 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 and Indian culture Obviously a bit different from the movie version, but I enjoyed both.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 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 Progress


  4. says:

    This book disappointed me.It was first published in 2004 with the title Those Foolish Things It was later renamed The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel following the release in 2011 of the film with that name, which is based on it.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 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 I don t know whether the author has actually visited India, but I got the feeling from reading this book that she might not have done so 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 One occurred on page 169 of my edition Dorothy and Douglas are discussing something between themselves The proof reader and the editor failed to spot the subject of the sentence Donald paused is Donald rather than Douglas , which it was supposed to be This is careless in a best seller On page 186, another problem occurred Evelyn, one of the retired Brits, is given a business card, which reads Dr Gulvinder Gaya, BA Failed The reason that Dr Gaya included the sad outcome of his degree is, I believe, to tell the recipient of his business card that he managed to gain admission into a university, which in itself was an achievement to be proud of I hope that I am wrong, but I had the impression that the author chose to include this for reasons that may have had to do with making fun of the Indian, than for any other reason Another small gripe, if I am permitted to make any of them, is that twice Ms Moggach refers to visiting a temple at Halebib Was she inventing a new temple site or did she incorrectly spell the name Halebid, which is a real temple of some note a few hours drive from Bangalore Despite my reservations about Ms Moggach s portrayal of India and the Indians, this novel is a creditable effort to illustrate the fears and concerns of those in the twilight of their lives The best thing about Ms Moggach s book is that it inspired someone to make an excellent film, whose plot and sympathetic portrayal of India and the Indians is far better than the original story upon which it is loosely based.


  5. says:

    Better than the movie At times I felt it was so different too I love how it was interpreted, but I do love the flowof the story when reading it.I actually had to forget what I had seen The characters they chose for the film seemedquite different than the book While some I could connect the dots, others it was hard, so I just let it go and read I m glad I did too I found the book so much rich in Indian culture It made me want to go and stay at the Marigold Hotel myself, or even the Hotel Balmoral I just want to be there.The story, or rather one specific character, is racist than I remember in the movie Only a different color skin could get his mojo working Women like these knew how to satisfy a man, it was their culture Say what My mouth hung open for that one But I mglad it didn t put me off or stop me from reading Those shocking moments, or character flaws, kind of make the story real It s sad, but there is some really racist people outthere.All in all, if you haven t seen the films or read the book, I suggest starting with the story.So good So very good.


  6. says:

    I was actually quite disappointed with this book I saw the film first, on a miserable rainy day, and came out totally wrapped up in the lives of the characters, and I really felt transported to India Because I came away from the cinema with a warm glow, I was really excited to read the book, because, well books are always better than the films, right Sadly, not in this case, and I wonder whether I would have stuck with it had I not enjoyed the film so much It felt too messy, there were lots of unlikeable characters, most changed beyond recognition from those I had grown to love in the film It did get better towards the end, and I toyed with giving it a 3, but decided against it If you ve seen and loved the film, do yourself a favour and leave the book alone I do wonder if the book suffered as the film was so good a friend read it recently without having seen the film and really enjoyed it, maybe I was just expecting so much


  7. says:

    I m going through my fave books and posting mini reviews of those I think others would really like And this is one of them, about British adult children who decide the best way to get their pesky elders out of the way is to start a retirement home in India Very funny and an excellent statement on how no one should be underestimated because of age.


  8. says:

    I was disappointed with this book The premise was great, however the story failed to progress and the writing was very uneven, some of it being beautiful, while much of it was needlessly vulgar and tawdry.Ravi, a competent, sensitive doctor, is slowly being ground down by the decaying British NHS and his father in law Norman, a dirty old man straight out of Benny Hill who comes to stay with them after being thrown out of a nursing home for sexually assaulting a nurse, bringing his disgusting personal habits and taste for pornography with him Norman s presence is putting a serious strain on Ravi s marriage, and when Ravi meets up with an entrepreneurial Indian cousin, a new idea is hatched for a successful business and for dispatching the Aged P Just as so many other things are being outsourced to India, why not aged care A retirement home in India, with cheap, plentiful labour, low costs, and sunshine, to accommodate the elderly people for whom Britain no longer has a place.Gradually other lonely, elderly Britishers with limited budgets and sad stories sign on for the idea and make their way to Bangalore Once there, the residents of the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel begin to make new lives for themselves.The first three of four pages were really beautiful, but after that the author provides too much detail about Norman s habits to make for pleasant reading The introduction to Evelyn, Muriel and Dorothy was also beautifully presented After that, however, it was largely downhill.This book is billed as being comic, but, while it has flashes of humor, I didn t find it funny at all What really destroyed the book for me was the author s harshly explicit references to assorted sex acts and functions that littered the novel, particularly the last third, unaccompanied by any connection with love or self giving Evelyn s desperately lonely 49 year old daughter, Theresa, who has been wandering round India seeking spiritual solace and enlightenment finds happiness and a new self in a two week torrid fling with a dodgy English stranger Admitting that no love is involved on either side, she is affirmed by being sexually desirable, by the experience of rapture and by accepting that the best attitude is one of easy come easy go instead of trying to form relationships , an attitude which has previously hampered her in the past.Norman, whose motive for agreeing to the move to India is his belief that he will find voluptuous sensual women eager to meet his needs, spends much of the book attempting to find them, and gets his comeuppance when he has a heart attack and dies after a nasty shock in a brothel It seems that this is supposed to be funny I had hoped that having included him in the story the author would have him come to discover some sort of respect for women, or at least for himself, by the end, but he is just one continuous noxious presence that detracts from anything positive that could be said about the book.The attitude to marriage is almost entirely negative The marriage of Ravi and his wife teeters on the brink until the end of the book, and while it appears to be improving, there is no indication that it will last Ravi s brother in law is cowed and miserable before his wife and his mother The hotel manager is completely miserable in his marriage this again is supposed to be amusing , but his problems are resolved when his marriage breaks up Charles, Evelyn s son, is stuck in a miserable marriage and is despised by his spoilt children Towards the end of the novel he gathers up the resolve to escape, remaining in India to take up with an Indian hotel greeter, however within the month he is collected by his bossy wife and returns home Keith, Theresa s find, has managed to lose track of his fifth wife and her children in his sudden flight from the British police for shady business dealings, and isn t remotely interested in finding her Jean and Douglas Ainslie are envied as the only married couple at the Hotel and they seem to have the perfect marriage When Jean is prostrated by grief on discovering her son s homosexuality Douglas, after than 40 years of marriage suddenly discovers that he doesn t care whether she is happy or not, and in fact doesn t like her at all and has never really loved her At the end of the book Jean returns to England while Douglas gives Evelyn a happy ending by marrying her.Add to that a patronising and objectifying attitude towards Indian men and women, Indian products, Indian business and industry, and ridicule of the Hindu religion.Not a good read.What I did like about this book was the initial presentation of the gentle widow Evelyn, the cockney racist Muriel, and the retired Dorothy Evelyn is portrayed as a kind, thoughtful person with love to lavish on the desperately poor children outside the hotel Also enjoyable and amusing is the friendship she arranges between the young people who work at the call centre across the road with the residents of the Hotel although even that is spoilt by Norman s groping of the girls I admired Muriel s courage, as she faces a trip to India after a lifetime of fear, ignorance and resentment of people from other racial backgrounds who have come to London, a violent mugging, the ransacking of her home, near destitution and the loss of her son I also admired her love for her son and her faith that he would come to look for her, and I loved the fact that Keith, in all other respects a repellent individual, really does love Muriel, worries over her and is overjoyed to find her again.These elements, however, were just not enough to make me appreciate this book.


  9. says:

    An excellent examination of the business of growing old this highly original tale centres around a retirement home set up in Bangalore with the intention of attracting British pensioners We are introduced to a variety of characters, from the Indian operators of the home to the incoming residents and their offspring ranging from the unscrupulous to the exasperated who are prepared to export their ageing parents halfway across the globe As the new arrivals touch down on Indian soil the plot takes a breather At that point I fet there was no plot hook, nothing specific to force the reader to read on, beyond an interest in the characters and the way they are likely to react to eachother and their new environment Fortunately this is what Deborah Moggach does best the development of fascinating characters through sharp and witty observation Look at that Mrs Greenslade, a vision in beige, so well mannered she hardly existed any There are so many of them clamouring for our attention if anything the book was too short to accommodate them all expand it a bit and we would have had time to enjoy the individual stories branching off the main trunk of the story This said, everything was resolved with the help of some hectic head hopping as the book headed for its conclusion A jolly good read, as always from Deborah Moggach She writes the sort of lively character based fiction that Kate Atkinson writes with such commercial success, and she has been doing it for years and years.


  10. says:

    A nice enough little story about about some elderly English living out their senility in India Gosh, even that sentence bores me I don t want to be overly negative, it was an okay book It was a fast read which helped, any longer slower and I would have abandoned it The first three quarters of the book were setting the scene for a plot that lasted barely a dozen pages The characters were lovely, lots of unexplained behaviors Was this book written with a movie in mind I wouldn t read it again I wouldn t recommend it to anyone I wouldn t tell anyone not to read it either One of this kind of books.


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These Foolish Things download These Foolish Things, read online These Foolish Things, kindle ebook These Foolish Things, These Foolish Things cdd5cbb811db Alternate Cover Edition ISBNISBNNow A Major Motion Picture Starring Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson, Billy Nighy, And Dev PatelWhen Ravi Kapoor, An Overworked London Doctor, Reaches The Breaking Point With His Difficult Father In Law, He Asks His Wife Can T We Just Send Him Away Somewhere Somewhere Far, Far Away His Prayer Is Seemingly Answered When Ravi S Entrepreneurial Cousin Sets Up A Retirement Home In India, Hoping To Re Create In Bangalore An Elegant Lost Corner Of England 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 Infrequent But What Their New Life Lacks In Luxury, They Come To Find, It S Plentiful In Adventure, Stunning Beauty, And Unexpected Love Penguinrandomhouse