Friday, September 7, 2012

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel: The Book

I have a crush on Bill Nighy who plays Douglas in the movie The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
based on the book These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach
After waiting for three months, my name came up on the library reserve list for The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (which is really titled These Foolish Things) by Deborah Moggach. The movie (here) was such fun that I immediately put my name on the list for the book and now I have it and am enjoying it very much.

The story is about a group of retirees who leave England and relocate in Bangalore, India at The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, a somewhat faded residence left over from the days of the Raj. The individuals have come for various reasons but mostly because of reduced financial circumstances and the state of the health care system in Britain.

The book has pretty much the same characters but there is much more background given on each of them. We learn about grown children, husbands, and careers that weren't covered too much in the movie.  The story takes a clear look at the consequences of aging. Joints pop, hearing grows fuzzy, eyesight wavers, thoughts get confused, vulnerabilities appear. I laugh out loud while nodding my head in recognition of some of the symptoms.

But this is not a somber treatise on growing old. These folks have left the familiar for the very, very exotic and unfamiliar and most face the change with a very British stiff upper lip. Although some of them are not very likable - namely the coarse Norman Purse who is constantly on the lookout for a bit of romance (only that is not what he calls it) - they each have a way of dealing with the upheaval to their lives.

I don't often compare a movie to its book (one usually comes out on the short end of the stick), but there is enough of the book in the movie and the movie in the book to make it an enjoyable experience. Now I find I want to see the movie again.

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