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When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.
- ISBN-13: 9780385536974
- ISBN-10: 0385536976
- Publisher: Doubleday Books
- Publish Date: June 2013
- Page Count: 403
- Dimensions: 9.49 x 6.37 x 1.27 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.58 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2013-04-15
- Reviewer: Staff
Kwan’s debut novel is a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set, where anything from this season is already passé and one’s pedigree is everything. When Rachel Chu’s boyfriend, Nick Young, invites her home to Singapore for the summer, she doesn’t realize how much gossip she’s generated among Asian socialites around the world. To Rachel, Nick is a sweet, intelligent history professor—and the first man she’s imagined marrying. To the Asian billionaire set, he’s the gorgeous heir apparent to one of China’s most “staggeringly rich” and well-established families who virtually control the country’s commerce with their ancient fortunes. As soon as she steps off the plane, Rachel is ushered into the opulent world of castle-like estates and mind-boggling luxury. As if the shock of realizing the scale of Nick’s wealth is not enough, she must also contend with a troupe of cruel socialites who would absolutely die before they let Singapore’s most eligible bachelor get snapped up by a no-name “ABC” (American-born Chinese). There is also Nick’s family—his imposing mother, Eleanor, who has exact ideas about who Nick should be dating; his beautiful cousin Astrid, who the younger girls dub “the Goddess” for her stunning fashion sense (she was “the first to pair a vintage Saint Laurent Le Smoking jacket with three-dollar batik shorts”); and Nick’s cousin, the flamboyant Oliver, who helps Rachel navigate this strange new world. A witty tongue-in-cheek frolic about what it means to be from really old money and what it’s like to be crazy rich. (June)
Crazy Rich Asians
A shockingly hilarious debut, Crazy Rich Asians will carry the reader to a civilization comparable to Lilliput, Wonderland or Narnia. Except that the inhabitants are faithful Methodists and the setting is only a plane ride away.
The characters here aren’t just “crazy rich”; they’re grotesquely, monstrously rich. These offshore Chinese, the high society of Singapore, are so moneyed that clans live in a separate world replete with their own memes, dreams and extremes. Their expectations, their shopping habits—the most spectacular excess since 18th-century France—create a backdrop that boots this novel into must-read territory.
Rachel Chu’s dating relationship with Nicholas Young takes a serious turn when he invites her to accompany him to Singapore, where he is to be best man in a friend’s wedding. Though he wants her to meet his family, Nick doesn’t think to enlighten Rachel about the extraordinary qualities of Singapore’s ultra-wealthy. She is thrown into a lions’ den of ingrown gossip and intrigue, which takes a vicious twist when Nick’s mother Eleanor decides Rachel is unworthy of the family.
A native of Singapore now living in New York, Kevin Kwan knows this relatively hidden culture inside and out, yet he is distant enough to appreciate its uniqueness and hubristic appeal to American readers. For we are all suckers for legendary troves of jewels and 70-carat earrings that brush majestically against our shoulders.