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How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia

by Mohsin Hamid

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9908917,077 (3.88)132
The tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it borrows from the business self-help books devoured by youths all over 'rising Asia.' It follows its nameless hero to the metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most scarce of goods: water. Yet his heart is set on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths re-crossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.… (more)
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» See also 132 mentions

English (87)  German (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
This is the third book by this author for me. I would not say he is a favorite author and this would be the least favorite. It is, however, an interesting book in that it is designed in the format of self help book and follows the life of a poor boy to corporate business man.The man is never named. I did not appreciate the sexual descriptions and often this is what I really disliked about many of these Asian works. ( )
  Kristelh | May 8, 2022 |
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is radically written. Despite being a novel, it bills itself as a how-to book. The main character is "you", which is quite rare, and actually has no resemblance to me.

The book was good and well written, and all that stuff, but it was a total downer. You are never really happy, not even (especially not) at the height of your fortune. So if for some reason you want to be sad, I would totally suggest you read it. It's a very good book, but I didn't really like it as much as I could, with it being such a downer. Feel free to make your own judgements, though. ( )
  astronomist | Oct 3, 2021 |
Brilliant, brilliant book. Formally daring, withering and pointed about the realities of contemporary life on the Indian subcontinent, deeply insightful, humane and touching. ( )
  wordloversf | Aug 14, 2021 |
Well written although for me I want to read a book to know a character. The anonymity of this character, his surroundings, and the people in his life made it hard for me to feel very engaged with him. He kept himself at an arms length from the reader and switched between talking about himself in second and third person narrative which made it hard to really empathize with him. ( )
  Sarah_NOVA | Jul 11, 2021 |
I can't recall having read any other second person books before, but I am curious to give more a try after this. I think part of what made the second person work for this novel was the fact that many details around setting especially were rather vague. I am a person who enjoys stories that are simply about a person(s) life, which, at face value, is what this book is about. Though, I think it also is making commentary about social systems and other things in the course of the novel in the way it shows how the protagonists life progresses and changes over the course of their life.

I definitely want to read more by this author in the future.

Content Warning: some short, somewhat graphic descriptions of bodily functions including one sex scene ( )
  Sara_Cat | May 31, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (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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The tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it borrows from the business self-help books devoured by youths all over 'rising Asia.' It follows its nameless hero to the metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most scarce of goods: water. Yet his heart is set on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths re-crossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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