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March 29, 2013 / Leslie

Review – Audiobook: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Filthy Rich In Rising Asia by Mohsin HamidHow to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
by Mohsin Hamid
Read by the author

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Penguin Audio
Publish Date: March 5, 2013
Format: Audio, 4 hours | 34 minutes
Audio Listening Level: Easy
Rating: 5 of 5

Publisher’s Synopsis:

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.

My Thoughts:

This rags to riches tale was brilliantly wrapped in the guise of a self-help manual. It is written in the second person about a nameless boy referred to as ‘You’. We are never told the name of the city or country the story is set in, only that you are in Asia. An entire life time passes, about 80 years, as we learn to live and do business in this unnamed foreign country.

It took me a few chapters to get oriented to the style of the book but it was well worth the effort. Each chapter is titled as if it were an instruction manual; for example: “One: Move to the City”, “Two: Get an Education”, Three: Don’t Fall in Love”. Second person narrative, nameless characters and an unknown setting serve to distance the reader and create an impersonal feeling, but as I delved into the story I became more and more interested in what happens to ‘You’ and I began to like him.

There is a lot more to the story than our character learning his way around the corruption and business world to become successful. We also learn about class and social structure and how difficult it is to rise beyond what is expected of you from your family. While ‘You’ fall in love with ‘the pretty girl’, you are expected to marry another, one that has been arranged for you. We learn about love, obligation, family, and choices as it relates to You’s life.

The audio was read by the author and while I am often critical of authors reading their own books, in this instance it worked well. The production was nicely paced and the author’s native accent gave the book an authentic feeling and the reminder that this was a foreign country.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this book and highly recommend this unique and original novel.

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Source: Review copy.
© 2013 Under My Apple Tree. All rights reserved.
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8 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Suko / Mar 29 2013 1:00 pm

    I think I’d also enjoy this audio book. It sounds like an interesting or unusual take on how to succeed in business. Excellent review, Leslie.

    Like

  2. BermudaOnion / Mar 29 2013 2:03 pm

    Having the author read doesn’t work for me very often. This sounds like a fantastic exception. I’ve got to get hold of this book!

    Like

  3. harvee / Mar 29 2013 2:25 pm

    This is on my TBR shelf and I see you gave it a 5, I hope to get to it soonest!

    Like

  4. Beth F / Mar 30 2013 6:06 am

    I too would have shied away from audio because it was read by the author. Loved the print version.

    Like

  5. Jennifer / Mar 30 2013 9:40 am

    I’ve been hearing quite a bit about this book recently. I’ll be keeping my eyes open for it 🙂

    Like

  6. Leeswammes / Mar 31 2013 8:02 am

    Sounds better than I thought it would be. Nice!

    Like

  7. Ifi / Nov 9 2013 10:34 am

    “The reluctant fundamentalist” by the same author is one of my favorite books . I am only now getting into audiobooks so I was thrilled to come across your blog and on top of it to find a five starred review of my next potential read.

    Like

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