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
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.
Draining, entertaining, and mercurial as the story may be, I found the author's reading style distracting and choppy- making it hard to keep track. He frequently pauses in the middle of phrases; sometimes several times - which doesn't help to emphasize or create understanding, but to thwart it.
Great story about ambition and "success". Tells a lot about a China most of us know little about can also tell us a bit about ourselves. Short book but great reader and story.
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.
Told in a unique first/second-person point of view reminiscent of classic role-playing video games, this engaging story of one man's life takes you on a roller coaster from youth through old age. I really appreciate that it is read by the author. Simply a fantastic work of art that I didn't want to stop. You know it's a great book when you're sad that you've reached the end.
Definitely worth your time & money to listen to this audiobook!
Not sure what all the hype was about. But it is interesting to get perspectives of life in other parts of the world.
The book is in 3rd person which is a bit distracting. But it keeps your interest.
The book is a light parody of a self help book. It starts off following the main character as a young boy and follows him through his life up through his elderly years. There are branches of other people who effected his life in some way or other, and their perspectives as well.
I heard about this book on the Tim Ferriss Podcast. Myself and the 10 other ladies in my book club read it. I will find out in Sept whether or not they liked it as much as I did!
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