Moshin Hamid’s How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia has a title that rings like Crazy Rich Asians, but the similarities end there. Hamid drew me in with his unique second-person narration. The book is set up like a self-help book that addresses the readers as “you.” This “you” is a young boy born into poverty in an unnamed Asian country, which reminded me of Thailand or possibly Malaysia.
The structure and p.o.v. engaged me from start to finish as did the realism that to get “filthy rich” in some places you probably need to study hard, move away from your hometown, cheat, pay bribes and use the occasional thug. In addition to the protagonist “you” the other main character is the sexy girl from “you’s” hometown. She’s referred to as “pretty girl” and she also leaves her hometown and makes the most of her looks to make it big.
The book not only shows the characters’ successes, but also their fall as their opportunities dwindle and they reconnect in their not-so-golden years.
The story is engaging and feels real. Being “filthy rich” isn’t necessary spending your time buying designer goods. It includes worrying about your family, drifting apart from your spouse, facing legal battle, begging kingpins for their help and ending up distant from your son. The book is beautifully written and tells a unique story.