We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn among other things, to stories. To write a story, to read a story, is to be a refugee from the state of refugees.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
Oh I do love a book that you don't want to finish reading because reading it is so lovely! Those books don't come along very often, but with the help of a knowledgable sales woman at Malaprop's Bookstore in Asheville, NC this one made its way into my hands. Moshin Hamid is an author I discovered last year when I read The Reluctant Fundamentalist - which has lately been made into a movie! I loved the novel and look forward to seeing the movie.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is couched as a self-help book and written in second person. Chapter headings suggest earnest instructions for attaining wealth - Get an Education, Learn from a Master, Work for Yourself. In each chapter, the individual that the speaker is giving instructions to ages until the final section - Have an Exit Strategy - when the end is near. This nameless individual learns about life, love and business in a nameless Asia location, and ultimately realizes what is more important than riches.
I don't know whether I agree with the reviewers who make Gatsby comparisons. I do agree with the sales clerk who convinced me to buy the book that it is one you long to dip back into - reread sections - because the prose is as liquid as the cover image. Near the end, the narrator cautions,
If I were still teaching, this is a book I would love to discuss with students. A relative short read, it will be a good book club book. One that Dave Eggers calls "Completely unforgettable".