Monday, May 16, 2016

These people are richer than God

I really liked this book. I'd heard good things about it so even where the basic plot itself didn't excite me, other people's enthusiasm did. So when I was hanging out in the city and saw a copy, I decided I needed to have it. Good choice cos I plowed through it.

It's about a few Asian families, who are crazy rich. If the title didn't make that clear. Like really crazy rich.

Nick Young's family is one of those in the super ultra crazy rich category. He's also been taught all his life not to discuss money. Which isn't the worst advice, unless of course he's living abroad (educated in England, working in NYC) away from his family and their palaces and private jets, and he's been dating this girl who just thinks he's a fellow professor trying to get tenure. So when he invites this girl, Rachel Chu, back home to Singapore for a friend's wedding (also the wedding of the century for the creme de la creme of Singapore, though he fails to mention this to her) and to meet his family (who, again, live in palaces), she's not really prepared for what she's about to walk into. And Nick's family doesn't know anything about Rachel, since she's NOT part of the super ultra crazy rich circles they typically move in. And of course there's worry that Rachel's only interested in Nick for said palaces.

When you have that much money you're not really concerned with normal things like bill paying and affording that family vacation so you have to find something else to worry about. In this case, everyone is very concerned with social status. Particularly Nick's mom:
To Eleanor, every single person occupied a specific space in the elaborately constructed social universe in her mind. Like most of the women in her crowd, Eleanor could meet another Asian anywhere in the world...and within thirty seconds of learning their name and where they lived, she could implement her social algorithm and calculate precisely where they stood in her constellation based on who their family was, who else they were related to, what their approximate net worth might be, how the fortune was derived, and what family scandals might have occurred within the past fifty years.
One of the biggest problems, and it's sort of a common one so I can't even fault it that much, it's that the main characters are sort of boring. They're smart and kinda and unpretentious and while that is GREAT for actual friends, reading about them isn't the most entertaining. But that's fine because there are loads of other people. Some are shallow and conniving, some are cruel and manipulative, some are confused and vulnerable.

The plot is mostly predictable. The most fun part is watching the characters be super ultra rich. Not even necessarily Rachel's fish-out-of-water bit (which is also fun, don't get me wrong), but like I mentioned, Nick and Rachel seem like GREAT people but not all that entertaining compared to say Nick's family.

Quick fun and funny read. I will definitely be checking out the sequel China Rich Girlfriend.

Gif rating:
Title quote from page 159

Kwan, Kevin. Crazy Rich Asians. Anchor Books, 2013.