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Crazy Rich Asians [Hardcover]

Kevin Kwan
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 29.95
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Book Description

June 11 2013

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
 
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
 


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Review

“Crazy Rich Asians offers refreshing nouveau voyeurism to readers who long ago burned out on American and English aspirational fantasies. . . . Mr. Kwan knows how to deliver guilty pleasures. He keeps the repartee nicely outrageous, the excess wretched and the details wickedly delectable.”
The New York Times
 
“If you’re the sort who loves being swept away by jet-set stories of the fabulous life, complete with larger-than-life characters, fantastic fashion and plenty of intergenerational strife, Kevin Kwan’s satirical Crazy Rich Asians might deliver for you. It’s packed with the kind of outrageous, over-the-top imagery that’s bound to keep you on the edge of your beach blanket. Even the mighty Vogue magazine has deemed the debut novel ‘the summer’s splashiest read.’”
—Jeanne Beker, Toronto Star
 
“Both vivisection and valentine, it is the summer’s most sophisticated romp. . . . For full-stop fun, stop right here. . . . Everything about the book is big. . . . Crazy Rich Asians is an outrageous peephole into a world we mostly know from the pages of The Economist. . . . swimming in detail. . . . Crazy Rich Asians does succeed, indeed, as a snapshot of a culture and a time.”
National Post

 “Singapore native Kevin Kwan’s debut plays out like an extravagant romcom. Get swept into a culture of Rolls-Royces and ruthless high society in this lively page-turner. Based loosely on Kwan’s family, it shows what a mess money can make of things.”
Chatelaine 

  “Kwan's deliciously decadent debut, Crazy Rich Asians, works on two levels: It's about Asians who are crazy rich, and rich Asians who happen to be crazy. . . . This 48-karat beach read is crazy fun.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“The English Manor house novel gets flipped on its head in Kevin Kwan’s hilarious take on the lavish culture of Asia’s jet set. . . . It’s been compared to ‘Downton Abbey’ and Dynasty’, and called ‘Dallas’ meets Pride and Prejudice, but it stands on its own as a original and zany social satire.”
Zoomer

“Jane Austen, or maybe Edith Wharton, goes to Singapore, turning in this lively, entertaining novel of manners. You’ve got to like any novel set in Asia that includes, among many splendid one-liners, this amah’s admonition: ‘Don’t you know there are children starving in America?’ Of varying ethnicities but resolutely members of the 1 percent or aspiring, one way or another, to be so, Kwan’s characters are urban sophisticates par excellence, many of them familiar with the poshest districts of London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. Many of them are also adrift, with soulless consumerism replacing society: It’s Less Than Zero without all the coke. . . . A diverse set of characters and a light, unstrained touch move Kwan’s story along. . . . An elegant comedy and an auspicious debut.”
Kirkus (starred review)
 
“Merit[s] a place on the must-read list of every development exec in town . . . Aimed at Bridget Jones lovers and those who got the satire behind Psy’s Gangnam Style.”
—Andy Lewis, Hollywood Reporter
 
“High-quality first-time fiction . . . [An] instant favorite . . . Opulence and zaniness reign when one of Singapore’s richest bachelors invites his American-born girlfriend to travel from New York to vacation in his native country.”
O, The Oprah Magazine

"Crazy Rich Asians is an unputdownably funny, original, modern novel. An outrageous satire of the Asian squillionaire set, this book is like a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice. The combination of gold homewares, couture, private jets, absurd social rules and snobbery is utterly hilarious. I actually couldn't put this book down to eat or to watch Downton Abbey."
—Plum Sykes, bestselling author of Bergdorf Blondes

“As spicily adventurous and lusciously satisfying as the renowned Singaporean street food Kevin Kwan's characters argue over; hot and sizzling, like the best satay, and dreamily transporting, like everyone's favorite dessert—goreng pisang. Feast on this outrageously funny and insightful novel of modern manners, and enjoy!”
—Lisa See, bestselling author of Dreams of Joy and Shanghai Girls
 
"Crazy Rich Asians is a shrewd, funny, sexy look at the spoiled jet-setter children of the Asian super-rich. It is at once a love story and a potent combination of vintage Jackie Collins and early Evelyn Waugh, everything you wanted to know about young people who have more fun, style and money than is good for them, and don't care a bit. A stunning debut."
—Michael Korda, bestselling author of Charmed Lives and Queenie

“Original and fun, Crazy Rich Asians is quite a roller coaster trip. I loved it!”
—Jackie Collins, bestselling author of The Power Trip

“Kwan’s debut novel is a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set. . . . A witty tongue-in-cheek frolic about what it means to be from really old money and what it’s like to be crazy rich.”
Publishers Weekly

“Oh, the things you’ll learn about the super-rich and the even richer in Singapore from this delicious novel.”
New York Daily News

About the Author

Kevin Kwan was born and raised in Singapore. He currently lives in Manhattan. Crazy Rich Asians is his first novel.
Visit Kevin Kwan at www.kevinkwanbooks.com.


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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! June 20 2013
By matt
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sharp humor, a capturing storyline and delicate stereotypes make this a wonderful read. I want a sequel please! Right now!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read! July 8 2013
By Jilla Lonsdale TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Flat out hilarious, well written, easy reading -- great summer book! The characters shone and I liked the use of different voices
A romp through Singapore with some very real characters who display and wear their quirky human behaviors on their sleeves and make no bones about it!
This is not deep literature but it's a great way to spend a summer afternoon immersed in a very funny book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, not great. Oct. 28 2013
Format:Hardcover
Let me first start off by saying that I know this novel wasn't meant to be The Great American Masterpiece; it's a fun, fluffy story and it was definitely entertaining. You know the kind of book, you start it and then think to yourself "oh, just one more chapter" until you've gone through it in about three days? It's like that, and I did enjoy it.

That said, my major issue with the novel was that the characters felt very under-developed and borderline one-dimensional. In fact, there are so many of them - many with their own POV chapters - that I felt like it hurt the overall storyline. I would have preferred it if the author had cut out some of the superfluous people (I'm looking at you, Bernard and Kitty) and focused more on the growth of the main characters like Nick and Rachel and even Astrid.

My other problem with the book was all of the brand-name dropping. Yes, I understand that it tied it with how superficial and "crazy rich" the characters are but I just got annoyed at reading how so-and-so's outfit was from this designer or how the seats in the first class airplane were upholstered in Brand X leather. I mean, it's not exactly integral to the storyline to know what kind of marble Auntie has in her condo, is it? By the end of the book it was just getting on my nerves.

Basically, "Crazy Rich Asians" is like a beach read; it's not particularly challenging or innovative but it's good and I don't at all regret having bought it. I would have given it 3.5 stars if that had been an option, but I downgraded it to 3 because it doesn't deserve a 4.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great summer reading July 8 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Humorous, summer read. Fun characters.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Rich versus Rich March 16 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Unbelievable obscene wealth. Another good holiday read. Gives one a different perspective on the rich families of China....especially the old established rich families versus the newly rich and their attitudes towards wealth.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed March 11 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was really enjoying this book but the ending was way abrupt, it could have been expanded upon. Many questions, but maybe there will be a 2nd book in the series?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun. Nothing Serious. Feb. 9 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What I like about this book is that Kevin captures some of the deep rooting values of the Chinese. I can see my mom, aunt and myself showing up in different characters. I had a good laugh and started to question if Chinese are really that annoying.

A number of plots are familiar. I have seen them in black and white Chinese movies of the 50s/60s and some are strictly out of real life gossips of the rich and famous in Asian. A fun read to kill an afternoon. Nothing serious.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Beach Read Jan. 1 2014
By DangerL
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this compulsively over the summer, what a fun and entertaining read. Like an Asian version of a Jilly Cooper novel Crazy Rich Asians is whitty and sharp, Kwan has created a world of decadence and exclusivity that you can't help but lust after. The long list of characters each painted with a (very expensive) fine brush, the clothing and places described in delicious detail. Totally enjoyable read.
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