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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asiaby Mohsin Hamid
Synopses & Reviews
From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the boldly imagined tale of a poor boys quest for wealth and love...
His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the worlds pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation — and exceeds it. The astonishing and riveting tale of a mans journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon, it steals its shape from the business self-help books devoured by ambitious youths all over rising Asia.” It follows its nameless hero to the sprawling metropolis where he begins to amass an empire built on that most fluid, and increasingly scarce, of goods: water. Yet his heart remains set on something else, on the pretty girl whose star rises along with his, their paths crossing and recrossing, a lifelong affair sparked and snuffed and sparked again by the forces that careen their fates along.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.
“A showcase for its authors 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
“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
“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 bildungsroman — is just one of the pleasures of Mohsin Hamid's shrewd and slippery new novel, a rags-to-riches 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 passes 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 cultures 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
"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 protagonists] 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
"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
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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