Cover image for How to get filthy rich in rising Asia
Title:
How to get filthy rich in rising Asia
ISBN:
9781594487293
Publication Information:
New York : Riverhead Books, 2013.
Physical Description:
228 p. ; 22 cm.
Geographic Term:
Summary:
"[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.
Holds:

Available:*

Library
Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Copies
Status
Searching...
Book FICTION HAM 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book FICTION HAM 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book FICTION HAM 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book FICTION HAM 1 1
Searching...
Searching...
Book FICTION HAM 1 1
Searching...

On Order

Summary

Summary

"Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation's most inventive and gifted writers." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

"A globalized version of The Great Gatsby . . . [Hamid's] book is nearly that good." - Alan Cheuse, NPR

"Marvelous and moving." - TIME Magazine

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.


Author Notes

Mohsin Hamid grew up in Lahore, attended Princeton University and Harvard Law School and worked for several years as a management consultant in New York. His first novel, Moth Smoke, was published in ten languages, won a Betty Trask Award, and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. His essays and journalism have appeared in Time, the New York Times and the Guardian, among others. His latest novel is The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2007) published by Penguin. He will be featured at the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival 2015 program. He is the author of Exit West, which in 2018, won the inaugural Aspen Words Literary Prize.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ambition rules in this playful third novel from PEN/Hemingway Award finalist Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist). The novel follows the unnamed narrator's journey from his village childhood to becoming a corporate superstar in the big city. The novel is told in the second person, the narrator ushering us through a life in an unidentified developing Asian country while elucidating the many conditions that must be met to become filthy rich. The hero seems to be on the right track; still, he must navigate the usual obstacles in life that could hinder the way to his final goal: family illness, bad luck, and most dangerously, love. The protagonist is merely a teenager when he meets his ideal woman, but this pretty girl's life has a similar arc as the hero's. Though readers may find it frustrating that they never overlap for long, the intermittent intersections provide them an anchor to the lives they left in desperation. The book takes its formal cues from the self-help genre, but the adopting of that form's unceasing optimism also nullifies any sense of depth or struggle. Fortunately, 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. Agent: Jay Mandel, William Morris Endeavor. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Guardian Review

Mohsin Hamid's dazzling third novel follows the rise and fall of one of the new wheeler-dealing lords of opportunity and profit. Set in Pakistan, in a "megalopolis" that mostly resembles Hamid's home town of Lahore, How to Get Filthy Rich aims to strip readers of their preconceptions and shows a writer at the height of his powers, with a hell of a story to tell. Like most good novels, it is in one sense archetypal - rags-to-riches, boy-meets-girl - while in another, it is highly specific to the society in which it is set: feudalism, the clan system, radical Islam and water shortages are all woven into the fabric of the story. It's rude and gaudy, loaded with sentences that bulge with their desire to bear witness, whether to the construction boom or to certain sharply drawn social types (the "cocaine-snorting man-child too chronically insecure to appear in his father's head office much earlier than 11 or to stay much later than three"). This is a tremendous novel: tender, sharp and formally daring, a portal into a fast-moving, vividly realised world. Theo Tait - Theo Tait Mohsin Hamid's dazzling third novel follows the rise and fall of one of the new wheeler-dealing lords of opportunity and profit. - Theo Tait.


Kirkus Review

An extravagantly good alternate-universe Horatio Alger story for the teeming billions, affirming all that's right--and wrong--with economic globalization. "The whites of your eyes are yellow," writes Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist, 2007, etc.), "a consequence of spiking bilirubin levels in your blood. The virus affecting you is called hepatitis E. Its typical mode of transmission is fecal-oral. Yum." The "you" in question is the unnamed protagonist, addressed throughout, unusually, in the second person through the fictive frame of a self-help book that is fairly drenched in irony. But, like Hamid's debut novel, Moth Smoke (2000), there's more than a little of the picaresque in this bildungsroman. As our anonymous hero comes of age and goes well beyond majority, he confronts the challenges not only of chasing out the hep E virus, but also of finding love, work and satisfaction in life--the stuff of everyday life everywhere. The younger subject's family lives in an overcrowded, urban slum in some unnamed South Asian nation--perhaps, to judge by a few internal clues, the author's native Pakistan, though he is careful not to specify--where his father's small salary as a cook ("he is not a man obsessed with the freshness or quality of his ingredients") is at least enough to fend off the starvation so many of their neighbors endure. The family, like many of the people our hero will meet, is displaced from the countryside, having followed an early lesson of the vade mecum: "Moving to the city is the first step to getting filthy rich in rising Asia." Indeed, he attains material success, but he's always just out of reach of the true love of his life--and if anything else, this exceptionally well-written novel is not about the Hobbesian grasping and clawing of first impression, but about the enduring power of family, love and dreams. Another great success for Hamid and another illustration of how richly the colonial margins are feeding the core of literature in English.]] Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

ILLUSIONS MAKING SENSE OF ILLUSIONS An essay by Mohsin Hamid In 2009, after two decades spent mostly in London and on the Atlantic coast of the United States, I moved back to Pakistan to write my third novel. I'd often visited my birth city of Lahore in the interim, sometimes for six months or even a year, but always with a fixed departure date in mind. This return, though, was different. I came with no plans to leave. Pakistan is frequently thought of as a place apart: unique, violent, troubled. And it is. But it also a piece of a whole: a world knitting itself together, an Asia being transformed. I re-entered life in Lahore to find pits being dug for office towers, a surfeit of cell-phone masts and shopping malls, proliferating traffic jams and commuter-hour radio shows. I visited Delhi, Bombay, Dubai, Bangkok and observed the same. I saw an East becoming more like the West, or rather a planet where such sweeping distinctions were dissolving. And much else seemed to be dissolving. Old ways of doing things. Neighborhoods. A stampede for wealth was underway, pulled along by televised lives of previously unimagined opulence, beaten from behind by the switch of crushing poverty. Money was becoming religion; religion was becoming politics. Spirituality, it seemed, could wait. But death does not wait. To be human is to know ever-present mortality. And so we ache. Our selves ache. Dashing forward together, we recognize we will be plucked away, alone. In the face of this, as Asia rises, as the pursuit of money becomes paramount, as past repositories of solace are drained of meaning, what, if anything, can a novel do? Modern science increasingly suggests that what we think of as the self is an illusion. "You" are in actuality a bundle of neural processes, most of them unconscious. Yet you need the illusion of a self. And you create it with stories. With stories about who you are, and stories about your surroundings. Some of these stories may be novels. And some of these novels may play, as the novel I was writing began to do, with notions of self-help, with notions of self-transcendence, which is to say with love and with death. For novels are illusions trying to make sense of illusions, stories trying to make sense of stories. Novels, in other words, are ourselves. Excerpted from How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.