From the internationally best-selling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the boldly imagined tale of a poor boy's quest for wealth and love.
His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world's pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation - and exceeds it. The astonishing and riveting tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over "rising Asia". It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.
©2013 Mohsin Hamid (P)2013 Penguin Audiobooks
This is an amazing book from an incredible writer. Beautiful imagery. Hamid captures in a subtle reference what other writers spend pages trying to say. I loved this book.
Blown away by where the author took me and all the while injecting the true grit of life in the most elegant way.
As its title suggests, this book works within the frame of a self help or "how to" book. Each chapter is headed with a rule (e.g., "Don't Fall in Love"), and the narrator uses imperatives, addressed to "you," as is typical of the genre. One of the effects of addressing the reader in this manner is to deliberately distance the speaker from the subject of his story, but this is clearly a very personal story of a man rising from abject poverty to wealth and of a woman (known only as "the pretty girl" well into her fifties) whose life intersects with his. So how does one become filthy rich in rising Asia? Through one form of corruption or another: hustling, stealing, prostituting, threatening, payback, demeaning, disloyalty, submission to those even more corrupt than oneself, etc. It's a life shadowed by sadness and anxiety, even when one's efforts succeed. Hamid gives us keen insights into life in "rising Asia" (no exact location or even a country is ever named), a view that contrasts with recent western paranoia about those nations supposedly poised to take over the world's economy. It's a story about the lengths to which desperation drives human beings in an increasingly materialistic world, and about the discovery, in the end, of what is most important to our lives.
The feeling I got after reading this book is one should live now. Feel the importance of living life to the fullest as we all grow old and die. The book reminded me of this.
Hamid's reading style reminded me of the opening sequence of Mission Impossible where he chooses or declines his mission. "Your Mission, If you choose to accept it." It's that choppy, matter of fact, emotionless way of speaking.
Didn't really care for the book expect it reminded me to live right now.
I listen mostly on my bike as it's how I commute. I like to listen to a lot of non-fiction but also autobiographic comedies and some novels.
Concentrated goodness. A uncommon and sublime combination of vagueness and clarity in a convenient morsel.
So good on so many levels! Entertaining, insightful, educational, realistic, and filled with complexity! Great listening!
This book made me feel the urgency of life quite palpably. If you want a good memento mori—or memento vivere—I recommend this book.
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