How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: Summary and book reviews of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid, plus links to an excerpt from How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and a biography of Mohsin Hamid.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia A Novel
by Mohsin Hamid
Hardcover: Mar 2013,
From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the boldly imagined tale of a poor boy's quest for wealth and love.
His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world's pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation, and exceeds it. the astonishing and riveting tale of a man's 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.
The second person “you” is hard to read, although talented writers like Junot Diaz have done wonders with it, and Hamid’s usage of “you” feels especially appropriate for this biting story. The “you,” Hamid seems to say, encompasses every individual in rising Asia. (Reviewed by Poornima Apte).
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.
The Washington Post
Working within the frame of a self-help book would seem constricting at best, annoying at worst, but Hamid tells a surprisingly moving story…His protagonist is never named, indeed, there aren't any named people or places in this novel…But the story manages to be both particular and broad at the same time.
The Daily Beast
Written in the most compelling second person since Jay McInerney's Bright Lights, Big City, with which it also shares a sharp take on our frenetic, urban lives, Hamid's novel proves that the most compelling fiction today is coming from South Asia.
An astonishing and riveting tale of a man's journey from impoverished rural boy to corporate tycoon.
The New York Times
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.
Hamid offers a subtle and rich look at the social realities of developing countries, including corruption, poverty, and how economic development affects daily life from top to bottom.
Starred Review. Another great success for Hamid and another illustration of how richly the colonial margins are feeding the core of literature in English.
The Guardian (UK)
A joyously barbed satire on entrepreneurialism and the juggernaut of globalisation… Will be one of the standout novels of the year.
Jay McInerney, author of Bright Lights, Big City and How It Ended
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.
Philip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass
A marvelous book.
In How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, the protagonist starts out in the water business by boiling tap water and selling it in plastic water bottles. Later on, he is approached by the country's Defense Department because it wants to build a reliable and safe water supply for the country. But the protagonist and the head honchos in the government know that the water tables around the world are shrinking and that their goal might yet be a pipe dream. As Filthy Rich's narrator says, "You hear reports that the water table continues to drop, the thirst of many millions driving bore after steel bore deeper and deeper into the aquifer, to fill countless leaky pipes and seepy, unlined channels, phenomena with which you are intimately familiar and from which you have profited, but which are now contributing in places to a noticeable desiccation of the soil, to a transformation of moist, fertile, hybrid mud into cracked, parched, pure land."
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