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


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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: 20.8 x 14.7 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #96,500 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER 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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