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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A…
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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel

by Mohsin Hamid

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Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
So-so overall. The most interesting part as seeing into a culture I know little about. ( )
  cambernard90 | Apr 12, 2017 |
Hamid's new book is cleverly-written and perpetually engaging. The protagonist is identified as "you" by the narrator, since this is a self-help parody. Hamid exposes a kind of idealistic cynicism about financial success in 'rising Asia'. The book contains two parallel narratives: one is you, the reader. The other is 'the pretty girl', a female who you've known since childhood and with whom you've shared milestone achievements. Hamid draws a kind of inverse relationship between financial success and the moral depths to which you the protagonist must sink in order to gain this success. You have been corrupted, while the pretty girl has had a different kind of path to success, though readers do not get nearly as many details about this woman's success.

The book is a fairly quick and enjoyable read. It starts out with a much greater degree of wit, and Hamid scales back a bit as he goes. I don't think there is one proper noun in the entire book--every character is referred to by generic details. The book refers to itself as a self-help book, but it doesn't quite achieve the kind of format that most self-help books do. This is fine, though, because that would bore the pants off of most readers. The narrative as it is written is much more palatable than a self-help book. ( )
  jantz | Jan 1, 2017 |
I liked this and wish I could give it another half star. I think it has more impact than his previous novels but the fact that it is ultimately a love story was a bit of a disappointment. I was looking for more of a indictment of materialism, but hey, that's just me. But it does get inside your head and kind of re-orient the way you see things, which is a very good thing!

I love that one scene explores what is seen by a drone. Very timely.

I will say that I think this novel is going to stay with me for a while and I may creep back and add an extra star when nobody is paying attention. ( )
  laurenbufferd | Nov 14, 2016 |
I liked a lot of things about this book but didn't love it. The whole book is addressed to "you" and plays with the idea that it is a "self help" book. This is clever and different for awhile, but not completely non-annoying. The book nicely and sipmly makes it's points about the narrative arc of the characters, unapologetically skipping the occasional couple of decades. It said many interesting, if not novel, things in clever ways but did not terribly move me in the end. Here's a sampling of some quite nice passages though:

"SURELY IDEALS, TRANSCENDING AS THEY DO PUNY humans and repositing meaning in vast abstract concepts instead, are by their very nature anti-self? It follows therefore that any self-help book advocating allegiance to an ideal is likely to be a sham."

"WE’RE ALL INFORMATION, ALL OF US, WHETHER readers or writers, you or I. The DNA in our cells, the bioelectric currents in our nerves, the chemical emotions in our brains, the configurations of atoms within us and of subatomic particles within them, the galaxies and whirling constellations we perceive not only when looking outward but also when looking in, it’s all, every last bit and byte of it, information. Now, whether all this information seeks to comprehend itself, whether that is the ultimate goal to which our universe trends, we obviously don’t yet know for certain, though the fact that we humans have evolved, we forms of information capable of ever-increasing understandings of information, suggests it might be the case"

"For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create."

"You feel a love you know you will never be able to adequately explain or express to him, a love that flows one way, down the generations, not in reverse, and is understood and reciprocated only when time has made of a younger generation an older one." ( )
  bookGraph | Jul 24, 2016 |
s getting filthy rich...your be-all and end-all, the mist-shrouded high-altitude spawning pond to your inner salmon?"
By sally tarbox on 7 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
An incredibly well-written story, following a young man's ascent from lowly, rural beginnings, to city life, and his slow but steady climb to wealth.
Hamid writes, unusually, in the second person (a style he also employed to great effect in 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist'), addressing the man in question in the guise of a self-help manual. The titles of the chapters, each a useful hint - 'Don't fall in Love' etc- are reflections of events in the life of our nameless 'hero'. As he ages in an increasingly corrupt and polluted city, there are moments described in a sharp and witty manner, but parts are also very moving.
Very enjoyable. ( )
  starbox | Jul 10, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 84 (next | show all)
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 passes straight into the bloodstream. It intoxicates.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Parul Sehgal (Mar 29, 2013)
 
Novelist Mohsin Hamid lives in Lahore, Pakistan, quite some distance from the Long Island of Jay Gatsby. But his new novel — his third and, I think, best so far — reminded me of F. Scott Fitzgerald's quintessential American work. As I read this novel about the dark and light of success in a world of social instability, I kept asking myself how much I might be inflating the value of Hamid's novel by rating it so highly. After all, this story takes the form of a gimmick, and gimmicks usually work against real quality....

[T]his 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.
added by zhejw | editNPR, Alan Cheuse (Feb 27, 2013)
 
Mohsin Hamid’s audacious novels have changed the way we see Pakistan. His electrifying new work is his most impressive yet... But Mohsin Hamid is one of the most talented and formally audacious writers of his generation, and his electrifying new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, successfully (if satirically) follows, in its structure and in the voice of its narrator, the self-help format.
 
In this one he essays a touching love story between the protagonist and a beautiful village girl who uses her physical attributes to build her own wealth. But love is a luxury in conditions of economic struggle. The pair remain tantalisingly estranged for much of the book, only finding each other when – tellingly – they abandon their material ambitions.

If Hamid set out to write a satire on the globalised dream of consumer-driven economic development, he ends up being undermined by the strength of his characters. You can't help but root for them in their perilous climb out of the mire of penury, while all the time being relieved that you are not really "you".
 
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For Zahra
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Look, unless you're writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron.
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We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create
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"[A] tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, [stealing] its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over 'rising Asia'"--Dust jacket flap.

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