Listen free for 30 days

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Narrated by: Nina Wadia
Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
4 out of 5 stars (643 ratings)

£7.99/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime

Summary

When Ravi Kapoor, an overworked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his disgusting and difficult father-in-law, he asks his wife: "Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away."

His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful - and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.

©2004 Deborah Moggach (P)2005 W F Howes Ltd

What members say

Average customer ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    226
  • 4 Stars
    219
  • 3 Stars
    133
  • 2 Stars
    45
  • 1 Stars
    20

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    184
  • 4 Stars
    141
  • 3 Stars
    52
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    9

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    147
  • 4 Stars
    130
  • 3 Stars
    77
  • 2 Stars
    26
  • 1 Stars
    18

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Dunroamin!

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?

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Better than the film

So much better than the film. More depth to the story and more pathos. A really good listen.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must listen to.......

Absolutely fantastic listen, engaging & humourous story line, exceptionally well narrated by Nina Wadia, who brings each character to life. So good I'll listen to this again.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Far superior to the film version!!

The book far supasses the film version of this novel, which bears only a scant resemblance to this book. It is an easy read but has a depth regarding the dilemmas that old age brings to a family that make it a co mpelling read

29 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • J
  • 22-10-12

It sneaks up on you and you can't let go!

Entertaining, well read. We all know someone like these characters, who will surprise you and make you smile at times.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Far, far, far, better than the film!

I have listened to this book again, again and again and have loved it every time. Nadia was the perfect choice to narrate this book. I was reluctant to see the film after reading the book and but bit the bullet and watched it and to be honest it wasn't a patch on the book at all. It's just a very loose adaptation and not a very good adaptation either even with some very good British actors which is such a shame. Advice? stick to the book stay away from the film!!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Time to check in

Fabulous book, have just watched the film and must say the book is far superior. Nina Wadia does Deborah Moggach proud with her narration.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A beautiful book

Well written and characters with real appeal and soul. I couldn't get enough of this book and will enjoy it another time I'm sure. Fantastic writing almost brings you into the Indian city where the book is set. Fantastic!!

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Lovely light hearted story

I thoroughly enjoyed this book, it's true to life characters made me laugh and I found myself wanting to join them. I finished it weeks ago and still find myself thinking about it and wondering if hotels like that actually exist in India.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Good Start

But after an hour it seemed to fizzle out, I lost Interest after that and I can't even remember finishing it.

3 people found this helpful

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Dona
  • Dona
  • 23-04-12

Don't expect the same story as the movie

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 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Clare
  • Clare
  • 05-05-12

Witty, Satisfying, Affectionate - Highly Enjoyable

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 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for MollyW
  • MollyW
  • 22-02-15

Very engrossing story

India as a location for such novelty and adventure unrivalled. Well done and a good read on this subject great.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Rochelle
  • Rochelle
  • 23-02-13

A delight

This is an "easy read", but that doesn't mean it loses any points for a quality storyline, enjoyability & worthiness. It is a nice (almost but not quite) family style story, I can see why someone thought to make it into a film.

This is the book I'll recommend both to friends who prefer literary fiction & to others who prefer lighter fiction.

Very enjoyable, great characters, great narration. Marvellous story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for ayesha
  • ayesha
  • 05-02-13

Good listen

If you could sum up The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel in three words, what would they be?

Enjoyable pleasant honest

What other book might you compare The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel to and why?

None. It's different.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Yes it did.

If you could take any character from The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I would have dinner with all the characters because that was the essence of the story. Can't single out one.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Renske
  • Renske
  • 16-11-12

Great story!

Would you listen to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel again? Why?

Yes, the characters were so rich, that I'm sure a second time around you'll find and hear even more interesting bits.

Have you listened to any of Nina Wadia’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

Any additional comments?

It was so much more than I expected and I laughed and cried with the characters. I was blown away by Nina's performance!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for C. Whigham
  • C. Whigham
  • 16-10-12

much better than the movie

Where does The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

it would be near the top!

What did you like best about this story?

i like all the interlinked stories and i loved that it was about older people

Which character – as performed by Nina Wadia – was your favorite?

couldnt pick one

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

-the hidden stories of your grandparents

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Faye
  • Faye
  • 06-05-12

My New Best Favourite Read [ listen} Again xx

What made the experience of listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel the most enjoyable?

The story was well written and descriptive , therefore lending itself to audio beautifully...

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel?

Norman's demise stands out! because his character was so well crafted I disliked him immensely ..

Who was the most memorable character of The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and why?

Just loved them all because they were well written... even Norman..

Any additional comments?

I saw the movie after listening to the audio.... loved the movie... charming....sanitised version loosely based on book.. great cast. worth seeing.. but will relisten once more ..