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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  16,093 ratings  ·  2,146 reviews
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 tal
Hardcover, 230 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Riverhead Books (first published 2013)
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Juanita De Vittorio I've taught Grade 9 students from Asian background. Even though I think this book is brilliant literature, I would not use it. Definitely adult…moreI've taught Grade 9 students from Asian background. Even though I think this book is brilliant literature, I would not use it. Definitely adult themes.(less)
Hijab Yes! It was a great way to attract the readers, plus it made me feel as if am the one he is talking about. I could totally relate through out

Community Reviews

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3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  16,093 ratings  ·  2,146 reviews

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Jan 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As soon as I started this book, I knew I was going to hate it. The second-person was constantly grating, the "self-help" introductions to each chapter flippant and vaguely insulting. What shoddy gimmicks! Not to mention, I'd seen this story before: Kid grows up in a poor village, pulls himself out of the gutter, falls in love, ends up with all the trophies. That's a staple storyline I'd read ten times since last Tuesday. But, alas: I was trapped on an airplane, the book was short, and I couldn't ...more
”…when you read a book, what you see are black squiggles on pulped wood or, increasingly, dark pixels on a pale screen. To transform these icons into characters and events, you must imagine. And when you imagine, you create. It’s in being read that a book becomes a book…”

One feels a part of this story, the way Mohsin Hamid tells it. There is an immediacy and directness to his second-person narrative that entirely works in involving the reader. This book began to get widespread attention before i
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
You are considering buying a work by Mohsin Hamid. Something about the length and odd construction of the title puts you off. And then there on the cover is that goldfish -- what is up with the goldfish? So you are no doubt thinking to yourself, should I buy this novel, "How To Get Filthy Rich In Asia"? Is it a novel for you?

Such decisions can be difficult. On the plus side, the work isn't very long and the page on Amazon does just ooze positive reviews. And on the negative side? Well the idea o
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is the best book I’ve read this year because it made me think and then it made me cry. For a book with such a coarsely straightforward title, it’s remarkably beautiful; a love story (in a book whose third chapter title instructs: “Don’t Fall in Love”) about the power of connections between people.

That sounds rather trite, non? Yet this book made it seem like the most novel idea in the world. Mohsin Hamid chooses to write his simple story under the guise of
Richard Derus
Oct 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Rating: 3.5* of five

The Publisher Says: 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 metropol
Sep 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia has a lot going on. There are two books in this novel--one that is eminently successful and one that is not.

The narrative frame here is that of a self help book on getting filthy rich in rising asia. The entire novel is told in the second person with a narrator telling the you, or the novel's protagonist how to achieve such wealth. The problem is that the first 300 words or so of each chapter are completely different in tone from the rest of each chapter. Th
Review to come.
I just need to get this speck out if my eye first.
Paquita Maria Sanchez
Even as I rate it, I sorta feel like a dick. As far as prose is concerned, I'm really into the concise yet rich thing Hamid is doing, hills fulla gold, and it was nice learning a little something about Pakistan beyond the things I've gathered up from Homeland episodes. I also know that when the president says "Pakistan", it sounds like he's making fart noises, or maybe attempting to inflate a balloon. So. Now I know more than that.

Not into: Hamid's use of second person. The conceit of the book i
Apr 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a rare, curious bird of a book! I don't think I have ever read anything like this before. A book so unique in its structure, its style and meaning that it shimmers like a lone star somewhere on the horizon. The arc of a life in Rising Asia, the fate of one man, an Everyman, in a developing megalopolis. An impressive tour de force of story-telling which manages to pack so much in so few pages. The power of the book rests mainly in the beauty and grit of its main character but mostly in its w ...more
Apr 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
On the surface, this is the archetypal rags to riches, boy meets girl story, but it is also a vividly honest morality tale and social satire. Written in the second person and historical present, the author draws 'you', the reader, into the unfolding drama, with its pretence of being a motivational 'get-rich' guide. It has the effect of being totally involving, cleverly undermining any preconceptions about the 'otherness' of a foreign culture.
The film is great, too!

Reviewed on
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: asian-literature
So how DO you get filthy rich in rising Asia? Mohsin Hamid’s latest book – masquerades as a how-to manual for success, with chapter headings such as Move to the City, Learn from a Master, and Dance With Debt. Each chapter lasers in on a different socioeconomic level in stratified Pakistan: dirt-poor urchin, up-and-coming entrepreneur, wealthy business owner, and so on.

None of the characters have names. There is “you” (as in “You are a smart kid who grows up in a poor South Asian country, workin
Even the presentation of the British edition is brilliant, with its big brash lettering like real financial self-help books: The Richest Man in Babylon, The Millionaire Next Door, and especially, right down to the colours and the italic typeface, Rich Dad, Poor Dad . The font inside is familiar from this sort of thing too; I don't know its name but it's definitely not one I associate with literary novels for grown-ups. The only thing obviously missing in satirical design terms is a contents pag ...more
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well hey now Mohsin Hamid. You've got one sexy voice. Thank you for performing your audiobook.

This book lends itself to being read out loud. I'm not a poetry person, but the prose sounded like poetry. Not flowery poetry: more evocative, new age stuff.

Some might find Hamid's writing style gimmicky, but I was on board from the very opening: "Look, unless you're writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron. You read a self-help book so someone who isn't yourself can help you, that someone being the
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-owned, fiction
Now this was interesting: it is the story of a man told in the form of a self-help book, complete with the second-person present-tense conceit. I'm very fond of books that entangles with the themes of poverty and wealth inequality, and How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is no exception. We begin with the unnamed protagonist (who is, of course, referred throughout as "you") in his impoverished childhood, and we see him rise through the ranks chapter by chapter, falling in love, losing love, ha ...more
Aug 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Meh. It's a cool idea -- write a novel framed as a self-help book -- but the execution is strange. The book is written to "you," as in "you are reading this book about how to get filthy rich and I will tell you how to do it," but then "you" is also one the main characters in the novel, so unless you (the reader) are actually a young Indian (? or maybe Asian?) boy, this causes a bit of dissonance. Also the langage and pacing and tone don't really fit a self-help book -- not that you'd want them t ...more
Reem Ghabbany
3.5* stars

I immensely enjoyed this book. it was such a unique read for me. I'm not really into self-improvement books since I think they're used for commercial purposes but this one was different I guess. at first, the book was highly motivational and I needed that but towards the end, it derailed off the track I guess and became more of a novel than a self-help book? the book was enlightening though or at least it was to me.
yes, I recommend this book :)
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
A short review - as I'm behind - but this book surprised me with its power. Laugh out loud funny in parts, it also ends up being strikingly moving as we follow the hero from childhood to extreme old age. I thought the conceit of the "self-help book" and using the 2nd person voice(!) to narrate the novel would grow tiresome, but Hamid handles it deftly and only occasionally does the structure feel overly contrived.

A quick and very worthwhile read.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Mohsin Hamid definitely has a unique masterful writing style. His ability to succeed in not naming any of his characters is amazing. Yes, you read right – his characters are nameless, but yet you know them…How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is set in a nameless country in Asia. The book is a so-called self-help book – helping the protagonist “improve” as he climbs the ladder of life, hits its peak and descends into the waning years of his life. We get to know him as a young boy in an unnamed ...more
Mar 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult-fiction
I had read a bit of buzz about this book and, inexplicably, there was no waiting list at the library, so I picked it up, not really knowing what to expect. I absolutely couldn't put it down and read through it in one day. It begins as what appears to be a parody of a self-help book, in an unnamed country (but probably the author's native Pakistan), about an unnamed village boy addressed in the second-person as "you". As the story unfolds, little by little, the book is not as specific as the begi ...more
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book from an author who is confident in his prowess to make you, the reader, empathise. The second person narrative is a welcome change to live the birth to death of a life which could be anyone in Asia - no city, no names, no time. Passed off as a self-help book where at the beginning of each section, he takes a dig at the genre, the book is surely a novel attempt.

Each chapter a decade (except the last 2) with the theme to become filthy rich in rising Asia, the book is at it's co
Chad Sayban
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Follow the journey of a nameless, impoverished rural boy who climbs to the top of the Asian business boom. But beware, because not everything in his life is going well and not all of his methods are necessarily ethical or legal. Haunted by the pretty girl he has known his whole life from afar and unable to reconcile his desires with his reality, his entire empire stands to crush him with its collapse.

“We are all refugees from our childhoods. And so we turn, among other things, to stories. To wri
Mar 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Rusalka, Beth
Shelves: 2013-reads, asia, fiction
This book is a self-help book. Its objective, as it says on the cover, is to show you how to get filthy rich in rising Asia. And to do that it has to find you, huddled, shivering, on the packed earth under your mother's cot one cold, dewy morning...

So begins How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. I wasn't sure I would like reading this conversational-type writing, but it proved to be no problem. Even in the beginning before I found myself integrated into the story the promise of the title kept m
Jon Boorstin
Feb 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
So vivid, yet so economical. And so funny! When I got off the subway (yes, in Los Angeles) holding this book, I was stopped by an Asian woman, who wanted to see it. When I told her it was a novel, and not an actual self-help book, she lost interest. But in fact it's both. It skewers our secret desires.

Remarkable that it can be so vague about the big stuff (what country we're in, people's names), but so specific on the small stuff. It has tremendous vitality, and credibility, because it speaks th
Mar 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ultimately this book was a disappointment for me. The last chapter was by far the best, really a wonderful piece of writing save the use of the word "creepy" in the last sentence which was DISASTEROUS, shame on his editor! (I'm not usually so meticulous that word choice was SO incongruous I STILL find it jarring). The conceit of writing it as a self Help book was clever but did not ultimately serve any particular purpose and the story was too familiar. The characters, the city, the struggle, the ...more
Haider Hussain
Dec 05, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
Perhaps some readers may find such painstakingly dull, monotonic and bureaucratic writing beautiful, I certainly did not. After dragging myself till page 88, I gave up reading "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia" because all the book offered was long, twisted sentences that could have been written rather more efficiently in less space.

With all due respect, I think for some Pakistani/Indian writers, writing fiction is all about showing off their command over English language (or perhaps their
Nov 10, 2015 marked it as dnf-lost-interest
The writing style in this book is very unique and original. But in my opinion, it is so reminiscent of the children's series style: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. I don't know what happened. Something sparked that thought and then I couldn't get it out of my head while reading. The author is talking to "you" and telling "you" how each event leads to another, and what "you" will see and smell and experience during your slow and painful rise to wealth. I'm sure this is a great book but that lingeri ...more
Rajat Ubhaykar
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
A rather successful experiment with second person narration. Succinct and ambitiously universal. I think you will like this.

I finally completed reading all of the three Mohsin Hamid's books and I think I see now what his pattern is. He simply picks up a stereotype and turns it into an enigma. Though I would like to add that the settings might not be cliché for Western audience but being a Pakistani, I can tell that all his characters are those that we already have in our minds. All the things about his characters are what we say when we talk about those class of people in general and we even have commonly used maxims
Nancy Oakes
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
for a longer discussion, click here; otherwise, continue on with the quick version.

As always, my many thanks to the publisher and to LibraryThing early reviewers for my copy.

How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia is a story about growth, love and loss, although you might not guess that based on the title. Nor would you believe it when you open the first page and find yourself reading about the nature of self-help books. In fact, you might be wondering just what the author is doing as you get m
Aban (Aby)
May 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Without encouragement, I would never have picked up a book called "How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia", so I am grateful to Jordan for his enthusiastic review of the book which made me decide to read it. What an amazing book. It's format is unique: written as a self-help book, with each chapter title focusing on some aspect of self improvement, it is none-the-less a riveting novel (set in South Asia) about the rise from poverty to riches of a man whose name we don't know. (He is addressed sim ...more
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Mohsin Hamid is the author of four novels, Moth Smoke , The Reluctant Fundamentalist , How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia , and Exit West , and a book of essays, Discontent and Its Civilizations .

His writing has been featured on bestseller lists, adapted for the cinema, shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, selected as winner or finalist of twenty awards, and translated into thirty-five la
“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. Writers and readers seek a solution to the problem that time passes, that those who have gone are gone and those who will go, which is to say every one of us, will go. For there was a moment when anything was possible. And there will be a moment when nothing is possible. But in between we can create.” 131 likes
“It's in being read that a book becomes a book, and in each of a million different readings a book become one of a million different books . . .” 34 likes
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