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How To Get Filthy Rich In Rising Asia Paperback – 6 Feb 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (6 Feb 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0241144671
  • ISBN-13: 978-0241144671
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,609 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author


His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into more than thirty languages.

He was born in Lahore, Pakistan, and has spent about half his life there and much of the rest in London, New York, and California.

Product Description


Dazzling, addictive, tremendous. A writer at the height of his powers with a hell of a story to tell (Guardian)

Beautifully conceived and exquisitely executed (Sunday Times)

The new voice of a changing continent. A writer at the top of his game (Metro)

No story could be more of our time than this one. Conceptually brilliant and truly empathic (Nell Freudenberger Metro)

An ultra-intelligent and knowing account of life in the developing world. Simply brilliant (Daily Mail)

Isn't this the definition of great fiction, that even when it begins with a character . . . who's nothing like you, by the end you are convinced that it really is about you? That's a kind of miracle (Salon)

Even more intriguing, compelling and moving than The Reluctant Fundamentalist. A marvellous book (Philip Pullman)

A dazzling stylistic tour de force; a love story disguised as a self help parody freighted with sly social satire. As timely and timeless a novel as I've read in years (Jay McInerney)

About the Author

Mohsin Hamid is the author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Moth Smoke. His fiction has been translated into over 30 languages, received numerous awards, and been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. He has contributed essays and short stories to publications such as the Guardian, The New York Times, Financial Times, Granta, and Paris Review. Born and mostly raised in Lahore, he spent part of his childhood in California, studied at Princeton University and Harvard Law School, and has since lived between Lahore, London, and New York. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross TOP 500 REVIEWER on 16 May 2013
Format: Hardcover
I haven't read Pakistani author Hamid's first two novels (Moth Smoke and The Reluctant Fundamentalist), but after reading this, I'm very inclined to seek them out. Here, he makes three and a half interesting choices in the telling of a straightforward rags-to-riches story, all of which succeed in the service of the story he's telling about life in modern "Rising Asia."

The first and second choice are somewhat interrelated: the book is written in the framework of the self-help genre (which is a booming one in many parts of the world, not just the West), and as such, is written in the second person. The self-help framework lays out each chapter as a step up the ladder toward the penthouse of wealth, each accompanied by its own hardships, degradation, compromises, and deference/capitulation to the more powerful capitalists above one. When linked together, the chapter titles chart a twelve-step path to riches worthy of any self-help "system": Move to the City --> Get an Education --> Don't Fall in Love --> Avoid Idealists --> Learn From a Master --> Work For Yourself --> Be Prepared To Use Violence --> Befriend a Bureaucrat --> Patronize the Artists of War --> Dance With Debt --> Focus on the Fundamentals --> Have an Exit Strategy. Of course, despite the clear path -- not everything quite goes according to plan as messy things like feelings occasionally intrude.

The third choice is a much more daring one -- the story of the sixty-some years from rags to riches does not in any way correspond to linear time. For example, in the second and third chapters, the subject of the story is a teenager working for a DVD rental store.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By O. Nwokorie on 9 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lovely book. Fundamentally a love story. And actually a very uplifting book that for the longest time seems to be poking fun at the pursuit of wealth, but in the end is a generous, forgiving, considerate book that doesn't judge the paths we take in life.
As it approaches the end and the writer himself literally becomes a character, the book becomes one of the most emotional stories, making sense of life as it ends, and bringing redemption to every actor.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER on 30 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
How brave is Mohsin Hamid. Forget the self-help element of the book - as he himself dismisses it at the outset: "Look, unless you're writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron. You read a self-help book so someone who isn't yourself can help you, that someone being the author."

The really brave thing about this book is that it's written in the second person. I'm not sure I've ever come across this before and, to begin with, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. But Mohsin Hamid carries it off with brio, with sustained skill, with genuine insight and, above all, with tenderness.

Although it is indeed about a boy trying to lift himself up from squalor to success, the thread of the story that pulls at your heart-strings is the love story between "the pretty lady" and "the little boy" (as she calls him). We never get to know their names nor the names of the cities in which they live nor the name of the country in which the novel is set. It could be all cities, all countries, all couples. A wonderful, wonderful read.
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Format: Paperback
This book wasn't all that bad but I'm, afraid that it wasn't worth the time it took to read it (thankfully this was a quick read).

Pros: + there is some humour,
+ interesting reflections and perspectives on the human condition,

Cons: - the narrative is written in the smug style of a 'know it all' 2nd person narrative, very similar to that found in 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist' with the added perspective of a self help book, which is patronising and self aggrandising at the same time. Thankfully this is limited to the first few paragraphs of each chapter,
- The 'Self Help' style of the book is irrelevant and doesn't add to the story.
- the grammar is awful,
- the portrayal and depiction of the physical environment and characters is lazy, long winded, fails to add any real depth and is very superficial.
- A much better and funny book is 'A Case of Exploding Mangoes' by Mohammed Hanif or 'The End Of Innocence' by Moni Mohsin which are beautifully written, are full of well rounded and detailed characters against a vivid and rich background and environment.
- The sex and violence are unnecessary and gratuitous as well as being poorly written, they add little to the storyline.
- Unnecessarily slow pace in some parts of the book means that this could have been a lot shorter.
- The story and references within it wont make much sense to anyone without a significant understanding of Subcontinental Asian culture and history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Mar 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
Like his last novel, the excellent 'Reluctant Fundamentalist', Mohsin Hamid has written 'How to Get Filthy Rich...' in the second person. This unusual choice worked very well in the former, but is not as successful here. The novel is presented in the style of a self-help book, but is actually the fictional life story of a man in an unnamed Asian country - presumably India or Pakistan - who rises from poverty to eventual financial success. It charts his life from early childhood to death, presented in bite-sized chunks each of which presents some aspect of the narrator's philosophy of how a budding entrepreneur should go about amassing a fortune.

It's an interesting idea and scores points for originality. But the use of second-person lets the narrative down somewhat by leaving me feeling disengaged from the story. I found it much harder to sympathise with the protagonist than I may have done if it had been written in first person. None of the principal characters are named, even our hero, and his love interest is referred to throughout as 'the pretty girl'. So I found it hard to emotionally engage with their lives, as I felt I was always one step removed from them, and found it hardtop get to know them. It's not a story with a massively dramatic or surprising plot, and therefore a strong emotional attachment to the characters is important to keep the reader involved. Without that, it feels like a rather pedestrian biography of a small-time businessman.

The quality of writing is decent, and it moves at a reasonable pace. But it lacks the vibrancy and sparkle that you'd particularly expect from a novel all about life in some of the most dynamic and exciting economies in the world at present.
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