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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel Hardcover – Mar 5 2013


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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel + The Reluctant Fundamentalist + Moth Smoke
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover; 1 edition (March 5 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594487294
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594487293
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.2 x 21.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #140,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review



PRAISE FOR HOW TO GET FILTHY RICH IN RISING ASIA

“A showcase for its author’s audacious talents… both an affecting and highly specific tale of love and ambition, and a larger metaphorical look at the startling social and economic changes that are … changing the lives of millions” -- Michiko Kakutani, in her “10 Favorite Books of 2013,” The New York Times

A Foreign Policy Leading Global Thinker
Shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature
Named a Best or Notable Book of 2013 by The New York Times, National Public Radio, The Chicago Tribune, Vogue, Apple, The Observer (London), The Sunday Times (London),  Financial Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Huffington Post, Kansas City Star, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Book Page, Publishers Weekly, and Kirkus Reviews


“It is a measure of Mr. Hamid’s audacious talents that he manages to make his protagonist’s story work on so many levels. ‘You’ is, at once, a modern-day Horatio Alger, representing the desires and frustrations of millions in rising Asia; a bildungsroman hero, by turns knavish and recognizably human, who sallies forth from the provinces to find his destiny; and a nameless but intimately known soul, whose bittersweet romance with the pretty girl possesses a remarkable emotional power. With How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation’s most inventive and gifted writers.” –Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Thanks to Hamid's meticulous use of detail—and his sympathy for a man on the make in a society of endemic poverty—we engage deeply with a serious character whose essence remains his own yet who stands as a figure representative of his time and place, an effect only the best novelists can create… This tale of an unscrupulous striver may bring to mind a globalized version of The Great Gatsby. Given the unabashed gimmickry of Hamid's how-to design, it's a pleasant surprise to find that his book is nearly that good.” –Alan Cheuse, NPR

"A love story and bildungsroman disguised as a self-help book, and the result has all the inventiveness, exuberance and pathos that the writer's fans have come to expect… Marvelous and moving." –TIME Magazine

Extraordinarily clever… Hamid has taken the most American form of literature—the self-help book—and transformed it to tell… a surprisingly moving story.” –Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“The marriage of… two curiously compatible genres—self-help and the old-fashioned bildungroman—is just one of the pleasures of Mohsin Hamid’s shrewd and slippery new novel, a rags-to-rishes story that works on a head-splitting number of levels. It’s a love story and a study of seismic social change. It parodies a get-rich-quick book and gestures to a new direction for the novel, all in prose so pure and purposeful it pases straight through into the bloodstream. It intoxicates.” –Parul Sehgal, The New York Times Book Review

Wonderfully astringent… Hamid is a sly witness to a traditional culture’s dizzying trajectory—supermodels stalk city billboards; a drone hovers ominously in the sky—but his satiric impulse gives way to compassion for the intimacies that keep us tethered in a rapidly changing world.” –Vogue

“This is one of those original works that are also resonant as a record of human experience and geo-political shift, and a strong argument for Hamid as one of the most important writers working today. An enjoyable read no matter who ‘you’ are.” –The Daily Beast

"Relentlessly brilliant… Hamid is a master stylist, and his third novel is, I think, his best thus far… There is something so rich and so deeply authentic in [the protagonist’s] romance that its rendering alone hooks the reader… the novel ends with one of the most stunning final sentences I’ve read in contemporary fiction, a sentence that no review will ever quote, but an indelible sentence, which will live in your heart, mind, and soul long after you read it." –The Los Angeles Review of Books

"Dazzling an addictive, muscular piece of storytelling… [How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia] shows a writer at the height of his powers, with a hell of a story to tell… a tremendous novel: tender, sharp and formally daring, a portal into a fast-moving, vividly realised world." –The Guardian

"Mohsin Hamid’s latest novel boasts a startlingly distinctive voice as commanding and unadorned as its title." –Pico Iyer, The New York Times Book Review

"Hamid exercises perfect control as he spins the life story of one man's struggle with turbulent times and economics in his unnamed Asian city. It's an impressive feat that he reveals this life, infancy to death, in a little more than 200 pages. That he achieves this with humor and pathos, and creates a last line that evokes the sweep of Molly Bloom's soliloquy in Ulysses—well, it knocked the skepticism right out of me… Vivid, pungent and sweet, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is the kind of well-told literary novel that restores faith in the genre. More of this, please." –Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Hamid is as much an inventive stylist as he is a gifted storyteller… As a result, his novels are compulsively readable, and "Rising Asia" is no exception… Tremendously profound and entertaining." –Alex Gilvarry, Boston Globe

“Bracingly inventive… it might be the best book you read in 2013.” –V Magazine

"Astounding… An ambitious, moving story about love and loneliness [that] constantly surprises… by reinventing itself just as characters reinvent themselves… At the heart of the book is [the] consideration of what it means to succeed, to rise or to help oneself. How does one live and die? …The questions simmer below the surface of this tremendous, wise and surprisingly moral book." –The San Francisco Chronicle

An utter delight… How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is one of the most tender narratives you will ever read… Amazing.” –Counterpunch

“Hamid is one of the best writers working todayHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is filled with flashes of brilliance, deeply moving passages, and … beautifully clear prose.” –The Millions

“Mohsin Hamid’s hotly anticipated new book tells the story of young love between capitalism and the latest target of its cupid’s arrow: Asia… Political, romantic, exciting, and a page-turner throughout.” –Harper’s Bazaar

"Brilliant In its cleverness, its slightly cruel satire and its complex understanding of both Western and Eastern paradigms, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is pure Hamid… His storytelling style is both timeless and contemporary, a postmodern Scheherazade… This novel is smart about many things, including medicine and the processes of death, but is smartest of all about literature itself.” –Marion Winik, Newsday

"Isn’t this the definition of great fiction, that even when it begins with a character (tubercular, hiding on the dirt floor under his mother’s cot) who’s nothing like you, by the end you are convinced that it really is about you? That’s a kind of miracle, of the sort that self-help books can only dream of achieving." –Salon

"The protagonist, who Hamid also calls 'you,' is, despite the absence of a name or identified origin, a wonderfully particularized person… when, in the last stages of life, 'you' gains a measure of serenity and wisdom, you have tears in your eyes and know that Hamid’s novel has done that which few novels are capable of: It has deepened feeling and provoked questions about the meaning of your own world… gripping storytelling.” –Washington Independent Review of Books

The kind of game Leo Tolstoy might have written, clear-eyed in its dissection of human folly, ambition and love.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

“Although Hamid's fictional works vary in style and substance, a distinctive sensibility pervades all three: simultaneously warm and ironic, elegant and profane, urbane but equipped with a strong B.S. detector.” –The Los Angeles Times

"In just 12 crisp chapters, you go from a diseased rural nobody to the model of self-made success. It is quite a journey… [A] considerable literary talent [who] deploy[s] the second-person narrative with astonishing skill… Hamid depicts a land where getting rich is not so much a luxury as a survival tactic." –The Economist

My recommendation for book groups this month is Mohsin Hamid's wry third novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and it might just satisfy both reluctant and bold literary explorers. It is at once accessible and exotic, and most definitely filthy rich in fresh material for literary discussion… [that] offers a surprisingly heartfelt conclusion.” –Christian Science Monitor

"An astonishing and riveting tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon." –The Nation

Fiction fans should be grateful Mohsin Hamid left his New York corporate cubicle to pursue his grand ambitions of becoming a novelist.” –The Atlantic

Effervescent… a universal story, wrought in tightly minimal, evocative prose… Mr. Hamid has delivered a payload more nourishing than any self-help book.” ­–The New York Observer

"A powerful reverie on life in a time of soul-shaking change." –Businessweek

"Hamid’s choice to write a bildungsroman wrapped inside a self-help manual is an inspired one… Hamid has left us with no doubts about how state and market, law and crime, nation and corporation, and money and violence go together—in rising Asia as in the rest of the world." –Bookforum

“Mohsin Hamid is one of the most talented and formally audacious writers of his generation, and his electrifying new novel… is a vital and affecting portrait of a teeming and significant, but largely unrecorded culture. It is a bold formal experiment contained within an elegant novella. It is moving and charming and funny. When you reach the end, you want to go straight back to the beginning. And yes—that does mean you.” –The Telegraph

“Mohsin Hamid’s third novel… is many things—a love story; an interrogation of the purpose of literary fiction; a portrait of an Asian city… In its compassionate glimpse into another’s life, Hamid’s novel suggests that the routes to success prescribed by self-help books are less hopeful and compelling than the moments that a novel so treasures, the moments in which life is lived.” –The Sunday Telegraph

“An ultra-intelligent and knowing account of life in the developing world, as well as an increasingly moving love-story… Simply brilliant.” –The Daily Mail

Daringly originalpage-turning.” –The Independent

“Cast as a self-help book, about one man's rise from poverty to wealth… Hamid’s beautifully conceived and exquisitely executed novel demonstrates that, in the right hands, narratorial tricks can be a serious matter, affording slants on the big realities and myths of our time unavailable to meat-and-potato realism.” –Adam Lively, The Sunday Times

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia turns out to be as much moral fable as it is satire. Fortunately, Hamid makes each mode as fresh as the other.” –New Statesman

“The many selves of You, our hero, form a portrait gallery of a disconnected man in a discontinuous world. Self-help books that aren’t a novel try to make sense of all this. And fail.” –Bryan Appleyard, The Sunday Times

"At once a quietly moving story of an individual man and a sweeping epic chronicling the economic, social and cultural development of an entire region of the world." –Vox Magazine

"Hamid’s story is at once fable-like and existential… the novel is a parable about a new kid of loneliness, a homelessness quite different from the one characteristic of the protagonist’s impoverished and uncertain beginnings." –The Financial Times

"How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is dead short and narrated in a weird way that rarely gets done in novels… It’s a winning and surprisingly readable bash at some pretty wild experimentation. Hamid’s portrait of rising Asia makes bold use of a newfangled way of compressing a whole life into 200 zipalong ‘hit book’ pages." –Dazed and Confused

"Ambition rules in this playful third novel... subtle and rich." –Publishers Weekly

This brilliantly structured, deeply felt book is written with the confidence and bravura of a man born to write. Hamid is at the peak of his considerable powers here, and delivers a tightly paced, preternaturally wise book about a thoroughly likable, thoroughly troubled striver in the messiest, most chaotic ring of the global economy. Completely unforgettable.” –Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the King

"Mohsin Hamid is one of the best writers in the world, period. Only a master could have written this propulsive tale of a striver living on the knife's edge, a noir Horatio Alger story for our frenetic, violent times. The road to filthy riches is nasty, brutish, and long, yet Hamid's talent is such that we see the humanity in all this striving—indeed, on finishing this extraordinary book, one wonders if the striving might be the sincerest expression of our flawed, fragile humanity." –Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

“A dazzling stylistic tour de force; a love story disguised as a self-help guide, freighted with sly social satire. As timely and timeless a novel as I’ve read in years.” –Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and How It Ended

A marvelous book.” –Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass

About the Author

Mohsin Hamid's first novel, Moth Smoke, won the Betty Trask Award and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Prize. His second, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, a bestseller in the United States and abroad, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Hamid contributes to Time, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, among others. He lives in Lahore, Pakistan.

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAME on Sept. 26 2013
Format: Hardcover
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its success, in the digital information age, is due to a large, well-educated workforce being available to push product, run computers, and promote new ideas. This new influx of workers consists of young, energetic and hopeful individuals who believe they have left poverty behind for a future of wealth and prosperity. Hamid's novel is about this middle-class journey that involves an evolving story of one man's dreams as they emerge from the aridity of abject poverty, flourish for a time in the fertility of a growing marketplace, only to flounder in the cruel world of colliding interests and unintended circumstances. The world Hamid describes is fast-paced, full of opportunity and risk, with no guarantee of ultimate success. Paralleling the narrative is an ongoing reference to the self-help book industry that attempts to sell Indian youth on the prospects of becoming wealthy if they only learn to take charge of their own lives. As the main character buys into the mantra of believing leads to achieving, he quickly learns that he has moved into a very dangerously competitive world full of dreamers like himself prepared to push the envelope at all costs. While he builds his water purification company by encroaching on the competition, he is forever haunted by somebody in his past that got the whole dream started in the first place: a young, "beautiful" aspiring actress who is chasing her own dream. Though they have feelings for each other, there is no chance of love here because everything revolves around getting ahead. I would classify this novel as an important psychological statement about what is happening in the new India as it wrestles with economic success. There are no quick ways to success in this very ancient and complex society that is currently going through a major growth spurt of modernization.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Though I enjoyed the book, I would have liked some exposure to where the hero of the story goes. I would have preferred him to belong to a village or a city.
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By Len TOP 100 REVIEWER on Aug. 16 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
You probably won't read a more insightful portrait of the life of a poor Asian moving from a village to the slums of the city, all written in the second person. If you’ve visited India and one of its many slums or, even if you haven’t, you’ll be able to picture life as experienced by the hero of this novel. You can imagine pursuing entrepreneurial gains in a similarly nefarious way. In your country, rules barely exist on the surface and become ever more murky the deeper you go. Basically, you do whatever you can do to get ahead. Bribing a local official is all part of the game, and so too, killing. You realize at a young age that you must choose between love and wealth. You’ve witnessed the desperate existence of your mother and father and so, you follow a lonelier life. You watch from a distance as the love your life pursues a similar existence to your own. You escaped the desperate life of the slum or small village but at what cost. Is it a cost that must be paid by all aspiring Asians? If you’re interested in the new Asia, you should read “How to Get Filthy Rich in the New Asia.”
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By L. Brost TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 19 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Hamid is an exceptional young author who should be read by North Americans who, particularly since the Boston bombings, are trying to understand the cultural disconnect that is occurring between intelligent, well-educated young Asian males and North American society. It follows on the path begun by his previous works, "Moth Smoke", and the "Reluctant Fundamentalist." Taken as a group, they are a primer on the "Why" of the social disconnect. They are brilliantly written and brutally honest books by one of the brightest of the constellation of young writers emerging in Asia.
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Format: Hardcover
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is the novel I wish I had written. It's clever, it's poetic, it's memorable and--at the risk of overstating--it has weight, importance. It's a novel that seeped into my skin as soon as I started reading it and won't leave soon.

If it sounds like a self-help book, that's because it's meant to. Told like a series of self-help tips about how to become rich in Asia, it shows the stark contrast between the characters' aspirations and their impoverished reality. Think Slumdog Millionaire meets The Kite Runner. Plus, it's told in the notoriously tricky to pull off second-person. Any writer considering writing a novel in the second person should read this book first to see how to do it well.

I may wish that I had written this book, but I have a feeling that no one could have written this but Mohsin Hamid. I don't usually like to gush this much, but I was blown away by the talent of this writer. I can't wait to read more from him. I can't believe he was able to make me care so much about characters who were never given names, in a city that is never specified. Amazing and unforgettable.

I think the last time I was this moved by the beauty of prose was after I read Erick Setiawan's Of Bees and Mist. But at the same time this was a very personal reaction to the book, so I'm almost a little worried that if I say too much, I'll be setting the expectations impossibly high for anyone who hasn't read it yet. All I can say is that I personally loved it and would highly recommend it. It's not a book that is strictly dependent on its plot, setting or even form, as much is it is on the beauty of the language and the universality of the human condition.

Okay, I've definitely set the expectations too high with that statement.
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