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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
 
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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel [Format Kindle]

Deborah Moggach
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (6 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

Part One

1


The Truth will set you free.
(Swami Purna)

Muriel Donnelly, an old girl in her seventies, was left in a hospital cubicle for forty-eight hours. She had taken a tumble in Peckham High Street and was admitted with cuts, bruises and suspected concussion. Two days she lay in A & E, untended, the blood stiffening on her clothes.

It made the headlines. TWO DAYS! screamed the tabloids. Two days on a trolley, old, neglected, alone. St Jude's was besieged by reporters, waylaying nurses and shouting into their mobiles, didn't they know the things were forbidden? Photos showed her lolling grey head and black eye. Plucky pensioner, she had survived the Blitz for this? Her image was beamed around the country: Muriel Donnelly, the latest victim of the collapsing NHS, the latest shocking statistic showing that the British health system, once the best in the world, was disintegrating in a welter of under-funding, staff shortages and collapsing morale.

A hand-wringing why-oh-why piece appeared in the Daily Mail, an internal investigation was ordered. Dr Ravi Kapoor was interviewed. He was weary but polite. He said Mrs Donnelly had received the appropriate care and that she was waiting for a bed. He didn't mention that he would kill for an hour's sleep. He didn't mention that since the closure of the Casualty department at the neighbouring hospital his own, St Jude's, had to cope with twice the number of drunks, drug overdoses and victims of pointless violence; that St Jude's would soon be closing because its site, in the centre of Lewisham, was deemed too valuable for sick people; that the private consortium that had taken it over had sold the land to Safeways who were planning to build a superstore.

Exhausted, Ravi drove home to Dulwich. Walking up his path, he paused to breathe deeply. It was seven in the evening; somewhere a bird sang. Beside the path, daffodil blooms had shrivelled into tissue paper. Spring had come and gone without his noticing.

In the kitchen Pauline was reading the Evening Standard. The story had gathered momentum; other cases were printed, outraged relatives told their tales.

Ravi opened a carton of apple juice. 'Thing is, I didn't mention the real reason the old bat wasn't treated.'

Pauline fetched him a glass. 'Why?'

'She wouldn't let any darkies touch her.'

Pauline burst out laughing. At another time — another lifetime, it seemed — Ravi would have laughed too. Nowadays that place was unreachable, a golden land where, refreshed and rested, he could have the energy to find things funny.

Upstairs the lavatory flushed.

'Who's that?' Ravi's head reared up.

There was a silence.

'I was going to tell you,' said Pauline.

'Who is it?'

Footsteps creaked overhead.

'He won't be here for long, honestly, not this time,' she babbled. 'I've told him he's got to behave himself -'

'Who is it?'

He knew, of course.

Pauline looked at him. 'It's my father.'

Ravi was a man of compassion. He was a doctor; he tended the sick, he mended the broken. Those who were felled by accident, violence or even self-mutilation found in him a grave and reassuring presence. He bandaged up the wounds of those who lay at the wayside, unloved and unlovable; he staunched the bleeding. Nobody was turned away, ever. To do the job, of course, required detachment. He had long ago learnt a sort of numbed empathy. Bodies were problems to be solved. To heal them he had to violate them by invading their privacy, delving into them with his skilled fingers. These people were frightened. They were utterly alone, for sickness is the loneliest place on earth.

Work sealed him from the world which delivered him its casualties, the doors sighing open and surrendering them up to him; he was suspended from the life to which he would return at the end of his shift. Once home, however, he showered off the hospital smell and became a normal person. Volatile, fastidious, a lover of choral music and computer games, sympathetic enough but somewhat drained. Of course he was compassionate, but no more or less than anybody else. After all, the Hippocratic Oath need not apply on home territory. And especially not to a disgusting old sod like Norman.

Barely a week had passed and already Ravi wanted to murder his father-in-law. Norman was a retired structural engineer, a monumental bore and a man of repulsive habits. He had been thrown out of his latest residential home for putting his hand up a nurse's skirt. 'Inappropriate sexual behaviour', they called it, though Ravi could not imagine what appropriate behaviour could possibly be, where Norman was concerned. His amorous anecdotes, like a loop of musak, reappeared with monotonous regularity. Already Ravi had heard, twice this week, the one about catching the clap in Bulawayo. Being a doctor, Ravi was treated to Norman's more risqué reminiscences in a hoarse whisper.

'Get me some Viagra, old pal,' he said, when Pauline was out of the room. 'Bet you've got some upstairs.'

The man cut his toenails in the lounge! Horrible yellowing shards of rock. Ravi had never liked him and age had deepened this into loathing of the old goat with his phoney regimental tie and stained trousers. Ruthlessly selfish, Norman had neglected his daughter all her life; ten years earlier, however, pancreatic cancer had put his long-suffering wife out of her misery and he had battened on to Pauline. Once, on safari in Kenya, Ravi had watched a warthog muscling its way to a water-hole, barging aside any animal that got in its way. He retained, for some reason, a vivid image of its mud-caked arse.

'I can't stand much more of this,' he hissed. Nowadays he and Pauline had to whisper like children. Despite his general dilapidation, Norman's hearing was surprisingly sharp.

'I'm doing my best, Ravi, I'm seeing another place tomorrow, but it's difficult to find anywhere else to take him. Word gets around, you know.'

'Can't we just send him away somewhere?'

'Yes, but where?' she asked.

'Somewhere far, far away?'

'Ravi, that's not nice. He is my father.'

Ravi looked at his wife. She changed when her father was around. She became more docile, in fact goody-goody, the dutiful daughter anxious that the two men in her life would get along. She laughed shrilly at her father's terrible jokes, willing Ravi to join in. There was a glazed artificiality to her.

Worse still, with her father in the house he noticed the similarity between them. Pauline had her father's square, heavy jaw and small eyes. On him they looked porcine, but one could still see the resemblance.

Norman had stayed with them several times during the past year — whenever he was kicked out of a Home, in fact. The stays were lengthening as establishments that hadn't heard of him became harder to find. The man's a menace,' said the manager of the last one, 'straight out of Benny Hill. We lost a lovely girl from Nova Scotia.'

'Thing is, he's frightened of women,' said Ravi. 'That's why he has to jump them all the time.'

Pauline looked at him. 'At least someone does.'

There was a silence. They were preparing Sunday lunch. Ravi yanked open the oven door and pulled out the roasting tin.

'I'm so tired,' he said.

It was true. He was always exhausted. He needed time to revive himself, to restore himself. He needed a good night's sleep. He needed to lie on the sofa and listen to Mozart's Requiem. Only then could he become a husband again — a human being, even. The house was so small, with her father in it. Ravi's body was in a permanent state of tension. Every room he went into, Norman was there. Just at the Lacrimosa he would blunder in, the transistor hanging on a string around his neck burbling the cricket commentary from Sri Lanka.

'He uses my computer.'

'Don't change the subject,' said Pauline.

The place stank of Norman's cigarettes. When they banished him outside, the patio became littered with butts like the Outpatients doorway at St Jude's.

'He downloads pornographic sites.' When Ravi entered his study the chair was skewed from the desk, the room felt violated. Fag-ends lay drowned in the saucer underneath his maidenhair fern.

Pauline slit open a packet of beans. They both knew what they were talking about.

'I'm sorry.' Ravi stroked her hair. 'I want to really. It's just, the walls are so thin.'

It was true. At night, when they lay in bed, Ravi could almost feel her father a few inches away, lying in the pigsty that had once been the spare bedroom.

'But he's asleep,' said Pauline.

'Yes, I can hear that, all too distinctly.'

'He is amazing,' she replied. 'I've never known anybody who can snore and fart at the same time.'

Ravi laughed. Suddenly they were conspirators. Pauline put the beans on the counter and turned to her husband. Ravi put his arms around her and kissed her — truly kissed her, the first time in weeks. Her mouth opened against his; her tongue, pressing against his own, gave him an electric jolt.

He pushed his wife against the kitchen unit. She was hot from cooking. He thrust his hand down her slippery cleavage, down beneath her blouse and her stiff butcher's apron. He felt her nipple; her legs buckled.

'Sweetheart,' he said. She moved her body against his. He slid his hand into the small of her back to cushion her from the cupboard knobs.

'Let's go upstairs,' she whispered.

There was a sound. They swung round. Norman came in, zipping up his trousers.

'Just had the most monumental dump. Must be those chick peas last night.' Norman rubbed his hands. 'Something smells good.'

Norman Purse was a vigorous man. Never any problem in that department. His work, building bridges, had taken him all over - Malaysia, Nigeria. He had sampled the fleshpots of Bangkok and Ibadan and was proud of his linguistic fluency; in ...

Revue de presse

“She writes beautifully, as always, and the phrase-making is as good as the characterization…brilliant.”
Sunday Telegraph

“…classic Moggach: funny, touching and so full of colours and visual details that you feel, after finishing it, as if you’ve already seen the movie.”
Daily Telegraph


From the Trade Paperback edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 466 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 304 pages
  • Editeur : Vintage Digital (16 février 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0099572028
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099572022
  • ASIN: B0077D8L1I
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (6 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°36.315 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Merveilleusement "British" ! 2 mai 2014
Par ANNABELLE
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Excellent livre, fourmille de développements inattendus, suit ses personnages et les emmêle, les transporte, et les traverse, les rendant transparents pour le lecteur. Le Dr Ravi travaille dans un hôpital britannique et est surmené. Son beau-père, Norman, vieil homme égrillard, a été renvoyé de toutes les maisons de retraite où il avait été placé et vit chez Ravi et sa feme. Le cousin indien de Ravi, Sonny, a une brillante idée : pourquoi ne pas créer une maison de retraites en Inde, où le climat est chaud, où le personnel est sous-payé, et donc la pension ne serait pas chère, comparée aux prix énormes des maisons de retraites anglaises. Une demi-douzaine de personnes âgées partent donc tenter l’expérience, et nous suivrons ce groupe pas à pas, dans leur découverte d’une autre culture, et par là même, d’eux-mêmes. Bien sûr, le contexte est British. Mais merveilleusement British. Les rebondissements sont parfois disproportionnés (le divorce de Douglas et son remariage avec Evelyn), mais on retombe toujours, comme un chat, sur ses 4 pattes, et on continue à suivre ses gens âgés, condamnés dans leur pays, aux mouroirs, dans leurs nouvelles découvertes d’eux-mêmes. Et le climat Hindou étant chaud, les gens du coins étant beaux, que n’arrive-t-il comme découvertes ? Certaines très inattendues. On a ici la comparaison de deux cultures, l’une, la British, fermée, l’autre, ouverte et généreuse. (un film a été tiré : « Marigold Hotel »)
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2.0 étoiles sur 5 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 19 mars 2014
Par chrissie
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Probably the film was better, but I didn't really like this very much. I did read it all through, but don't think I will read it again.
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3.0 étoiles sur 5 sympa, sans plus 26 novembre 2013
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
je voulais lire cet ouvrage car apparemment il a servi de point de départ au filùm "Indian Palace" (ou Berst Marigold Hotel), que j'ai adoré:
pour une fois le film est meilleur que le livre.....
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What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow: our life is the creation of the mind. &quote;
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And happiness will follow you As your shadow, unshakeable. &quote;
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They were utterly alone, for sickness is the loneliest place on earth. &quote;
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