The title could come from one of those get-rich-quick books, and in fact Hamid imaginatively uses that genres format to shape his narrative. But this is very much a novel, by the author of the Betty Trask Award-winning Moth Smoke and the best-selling, Man Booker-short-listed The Reluctant Fundamentalist. Here, the nameless protagonist goes from rags to riches as he builds a corporate empire based on that increasingly scarce commodity, water. He also crosses paths repeatedly and passionately with a pretty young woman on the rise. Hamid always manages to nail the realities of the culturally seismic post-9/11 world.
"Mr. Hamid reaffirms his place as one of his generation's most inventive and gifted writers." - Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"A globalized version of The Great Gatsby . . . [Hamid's] book is nearly that good." - Alan Cheuse, NPR
"Marvelous and moving." - TIME Magazine
From the internationally bestselling author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, the boldly imagined tale of a poor boy's quest for wealth and love . . .
His first two novels established Mohsin Hamid as a radically inventive storyteller with his finger on the world's pulse. How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia meets that reputation - and exceeds it. 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.
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a striking slice of contemporary life at a time of crushing upheaval. Romantic without being sentimental, political without being didactic, and spiritual without being religious, it brings an unflinching gaze to the violence and hope it depicts. And it creates two unforgettable characters who find moments of transcendent intimacy in the midst of shattering change.