Monday, September 30, 2013

#BookReview: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

I really enjoyed this book once I got into it, but I feel like I should warn anyone that plans to listen to the audio version that it can be very confusing.  There are a lot of characters to keep up with and I've found that when that's the case, it's easier to actually read the book so you can refer back to previously read passages to figure out which character is which.  Since I listened to the audio version, I was confused for at least the first hour or so.  After that, it was smooth sailing.

Crazy Rich Asians revolves around three cousins, Nick, Astrid and Eddie.  Members of a family so wealthy that they own homes in places the average person doesn't even know exist, the Youngs are a force to be reckoned with, as Rachel Chu soon finds out.  The ABC (American Born Chinese) girlfriend of Nick, Rachel is a New York professor who thinks she's going home with her fellow professor boyfriend to visit his family for the summer.  Nick fails to tell her that she's about to walk into a lifestyle that looks like something straight out of Dynasty meets Dallas multiplied by 100, and will have to navigate an obstacle course only made more challenging by the fact that she's an American.

The beautiful Astrid seems to have it all, a new baby, a loving husband, and she reigns over Singapore society.   She's blissfully unaware of any problems in her world.  Though money has always bought her happiness in the past, this time it may prove to be a hindrance instead of a help.

Even as a child, Eddie was a bit of an ass.  Nothing has changed as he's gotten older.  Always concerned about having the best of everything and more money than anyone else, he's also obsessed with making sure his family is always photographed looking their best in the Hong Kong society pages.  Others live and learn from their mistakes, but Eddie has been making the same ones his whole life.

Though Astrid and Eddie's stories are touched on, Eddie's less than Astrid's, it's really Rachel and Nick that are the focus of Crazy Rich Asians.  The characters that Kevin Kwan has created are so over the top that one thinks he made them up, while secretly wishing people like this really exist.  Big screen rights have already been sold and I'm dying to see what becomes of this entertaining story in the hands of Hollywood.











416 pp
Listening time: 13 hours and 53 minutes
Published: June 2013

 
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