Book Review: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

March 6, 2013
Article first published as Book Review: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia: A Novel by Mohsin Hamid on Blogcritics.

About:
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is a fictional book in guise of a self-help book (but with a story). Mr. Hamid has written two previous books which were very well received, however this is the first book I have read from his pen.

  • 240 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Hardcover
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594487294

Book Review How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Moshsin Hamid

My rat­ing for How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia5

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (Kin­dle enhanced with audio) format*

More Books by Mohsin Hamid

Thoughts:
At first I was a bit taken aback by the format of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid (website | Facebook | @mohsin_hamid), but I kept on reading as the novel expended into the universe of an unnamed protagonist and his rise in the business world of Asia. Once I got used to the format and the writing style, I found a delightful book with a simple, yet rapid story full of love and hope.

In between each chapter a decade or so passes, the reader is left to figure out the blanks (it’s not difficult). We meet our protagonist when he’s a young boy, next a teen, a man at the start of his career, soon we jump to meet him as a married businessman (without any mention of the wife previously), etc. – you get the idea. A life in chapters, each chapter starts with a supposed business lesson, but the author interweaves business with a full life filled with love, happiness and regrets.

The more I read How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, the more I realized how our own lives can be simply told in chapter headings. I’m sure many people think of their lives in such a way, divided into memorable and / or important events. For myself I found that life’s chapter headings are not always what you would imagine. For example I remember the moment I told my parents I’d be joining the Army much clearer then the whole experience itself.

The novel takes a cynical and sardonic look at a developing nation with all it’s quirks, positives and negatives aspects. The book helped me understand the reality in which people live, their struggles and provided a personal, despite the anonymity, story behind local economic forces. In Hamid’s world there is no “making do”, you either make it or you don’t using whatever means are at your disposal (rich parents, connections, bribes – all which are covered in the “manual”) while luxuries such as love and friendship are simply in the way.

Synopsis:
An unidentified protagonist works towards his dream of becoming filthy rich. His journey from a poor boy to a corporate leader is chronicled in this book shaped as a business self-help book.

However, this young man cannot help but think about a pretty girl he once encountered. The pretty girl’s path is crossing with his rise in the business world throughout their lives.

Buy this book in paper or in elec­tronic (Kin­dle enhanced with audio) format*

More Books by Mohsin Hamid

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer: I got this book for free from.
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account

 

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11 Comments

  • Jonathan @ I Read a Book Once March 6, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I’d heard about this book previously, and thought it an innovative way to tell a story. I’m glad you liked it, and now I’m going to have to add it to my never-ending “to read” list… Thanks. 🙂

    Jonathan
    http://www.ireadabookonce.com

    • Zohar - Man of la Book March 9, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Looking forward to hear what you thought about it. I have a feeling you’d like this one.

  • Michael @ Literary Exploration March 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Sounds fantastic, will have to add it to my TBR too

  • Sharon Henning March 6, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    I recently read a review on this book on the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ reviewer’s focus was more on the author’s sardonic attitude as he demonstrates all the different sleazy ways people in Asia can rich.
    Your review gives another side to the book that makes it more palatable and maybe worth my while reading. Thanks for the post.

    • Zohar - Man of la Book March 9, 2013 at 8:57 am

      I think getting rich by being sleazy is not an Asian invention. Heck, I ponder that issue everytime I look at my phone bill (do-nothing fees), cable bill (do-nothing fees), 401K (do-nothing fees) etc.

  • Andrew T. Kuligowski March 6, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Cool – I have an ARC of this book that I hope to get to in the next couple of weeks!

  • Ryan March 9, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    This book sounds interesting (and right up my alley since I live in Asia and have yet to become filthy rich). I’m going to pick this up and review it. Thanks!

  • Marie April 9, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    It was a pretty special book, wasn’t it? 🙂

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