Five Star Billionaire: Book summary and reviews of Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw

Five Star Billionaire

A Novel

by Tash Aw

Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw X
Five Star Billionaire by Tash Aw
  • Readers' rating:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Published in USA  Jul 2013
    400 pages
    Genre: Novels

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this book

Book Summary

An expansive, eye-opening novel that captures the vibrancy of China today

Phoebe is a factory girl who has come to Shanghai with the promise of a job—but when she arrives she discovers that the job doesn't exist. Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. Justin is in Shanghai to expand his family's real estate empire, only to find that he might not be up to the task. He has long harbored a crush on Yinghui, a poetry-loving, left-wing activist who has reinvented herself as a successful Shanghai businesswoman. Yinghui is about to make a deal with the shadowy Walter Chao, the five star billionaire of the novel, who with his secrets and his schemes has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. All bring their dreams and hopes to Shanghai, the shining symbol of the New China, which, like the novel's characters, is constantly in flux and which plays its own fateful role in the lives of its inhabitants.

Five Star Billionaire is a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel that offers rare insight into the booming world of Shanghai, a city of elusive identities and ever-changing skylines, of grand ambitions and outsize dreams. Bursting with energy, contradictions, and the promise of possibility, Tash Aw's remarkable new book is both poignant and comic, exotic and familiar, cutting-edge and classic, suspenseful and yet beautifully unhurried.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Five Star Billionaire is hard to beat.... The ambition of the book perfectly reflects its subject. In one scene, we're introduced to a 'folk guitarist whose slangy lyrics spoke of urban migration and loneliness.' Aw might be describing himself, except that his threnodies are set to sophisticated modern jazz." - Pico Iyer, Time

"Tash Aw's brilliant new novel focuses on four Malaysian immigrants, all determinedly on the make.... The unputdownable story of how these lives interconnect and touch upon the billionaire of the title, a shadowy avenging angel, is played out against the noisy, glitzy backdrop of a society on the cusp between abandoning old values and embracing a lifestyle as flashy as its neon glow." - Daily Mail (UK)
 
"Aw is a master storyteller and Five Star Billionaire can be read as The Way We Live Now for our times.... [It is a story] of lives lost and found, of the transience of material success and the courage required to hope and to trust again, to forgive oneself and to believe in the possibility of love." - The Guardian (UK)
 
"An innovative novel of the twenty-first-century immigrant experience... a new kind of immigrant novel." - The Telegraph (UK)
 
"Engrossing... seductive." - The Observer (UK)
 
"A must-read... Exciting plot twists and page-turning drama are aplenty.... In the end, the novel has a hopeful tone - when everything appears bleak there's always a silver lining, and you are the only one who can take charge of your own fate." - The Star (Malaysia)
 
"Few people can write about a place with both the astute observation of an outsider and the deep understanding of an insider. When the place is Shanghai, and when that writer is Tash Aw, we get a novel that is as multifaceted as the city itself, in which stories of the old and the new, the rich and the poor, the dreaming and the disillusioned, are woven together by a master storyteller. Tash Aw is an essential voice for the global world we live in today." - Yiyun Li, author of Gold Boy, Emerald Girl

"Starred Review. A literary victory... Think of Aw's third novel as an ingenious game called 'How To Be a Billionaire.'... The playing board is Shanghai, that twenty-first-century city of limitless possibility; the power broker is the epyonymous Five Star Billionaire. A quartet of players... are revealed one by one.... Aw moves fluidly between past and present, creating a multilayered narrative about chasing, catching, and sometimes losing elusive opportunities." - Library Journal

This information about Five Star Billionaire shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Author Information

Tash Aw Author Biography

Tash Aw was born in Taipei to Malaysian parents. He grew up in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Britain to attend university. He is the author of three critically acclaimed novels – The Harmony Silk Factory (2005), which won the Whitbread First Novel Award and a regional Commonwealth Writers' Prize; Map of the Invisible World (2009) and Five Star Billionaire (2013) – and a work of non-fiction, The Face: Strangers on a Pier (2016), finalist for the LA Times Book Prize. His novels have twice been longlisted for the MAN Booker prize and been translated into 23 languages.

His work has won an O. Henry Prize and been published in The New Yorker, the London Review of Books, A Public Space and the landmark Granta 100, amongst others. He is also a contributing opinion writer for the ...

... Full Biography
Link to Tash Aw's Website

Other books by Tash Aw at BookBrowse
  • We, the Survivors jacket
  • Map of the Invisible World jacket
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

More Recommendations

Readers Also Browsed . . .

more novels...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $12 for 3 months or $39 for a year.
  • More about membership!

Join BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten.

Find out more

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Prophet
    by Michael Koryta
    Hot diggity! How can you lose by reading a gritty whodunit about football, even if you're not a ...
  • Book Jacket: Dog Flowers
    Dog Flowers
    by Danielle Geller
    In Dog Flowers, Danielle Geller tells us what is wrong with her family: heavy drinking, abandonment,...
  • Book Jacket: The Sea Gate
    The Sea Gate
    by Jane Johnson
    In Jane Johnson's novel, The Sea Gate, set in England, readers are introduced to Becky, a young ...
  • Book Jacket: Stories from Suffragette City
    Stories from Suffragette City
    by M.J. Rose, Fiona Davis
    Our First Impressions readers were fascinated by the historical fiction from a range of authors ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Narrowboat Summer
    by Anne Youngson

    From the author of Meet Me at the Museum, a charming novel of second chances.

    Reader Reviews
  • Book Jacket

    At the Edge of the Haight
    by Katherine Seligman

    Winner of the 2019 PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially Engaged Fiction.

    Reader Reviews
Book Club Discussion
Book Jacket
The Moment of Lift
by Melinda Gates
How can we summon a moment of lift for women? Because when you lift up women, you lift up humanity.
Who Said...

Second hand books are wild books...

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

T M T C, T M T Stay T S

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.