Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Crazy Rich Asians - Kevin Kwan

A story about the rich and the famous - an entertaining read, a page turner .

Talk about rich and the famous and the Bold and the Beautiful and Beverley Hills TV series come to mind. In case of books about the uber rich, I remember reading Jackie Collins' Hollywood Wives and Barbara Taylor Bradford's characters as they dealt with tough situations, driving in their limousines and chartered flights...

Moreso, I read this book when the recent Ambani weddings were all over the paper. It seemed timely, it shows how the uber rich do it, a celebration with no limits.

The book was also made into a movie although it drew a lot of flak for various reasons. I am glad I missed it, the movie would have dented the reading experience.

Gist:

Rachel Chu decides to accompany her boyfriend Nick Young to the wedding of his best friend. An associate professor, she has no idea how rich Nick's family is, until she sees it for herself.

Will Rachel be able to put up with it or will it put her off.

What works:
  • Although the book so much like an Asianised version of a Jackie Collins Novel, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The world, the beliefs the way Chinese Singaporeans look at Mainlanders is is interesting. The tendency of Singaporeans to obsess over food, the use of phrases and Malay food adds such a delicious touch to the story.
  • I also enjoyed reading the footnotes and the humour with which it is explained to the foreign reader.
  • My favourite was the first chapter that is slap bang and packs a mean punch. A group of drenched chinese guest walk into a hotel and claim reservation. The uptight manager refuses to admit them in. Within minutes, he is shown his place in what seems like a practical, conventional way. Hooked me right in.
  • It shows up close how the rich live and their lifestyle. Very OTT but also Kwan has the skill to make it look entertaining and interesting.
What doesn't:

This is a feel good, light beach read. It is compelling and reads well. If you are looking for a literary, high brow booker prize type stuff then perhaps you should let this go.

A fun, frothy read. Read it for its novelty value - the rich Asians. 

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