Scootsa1000’s #CBR5 Review 43: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

UnknownThis book has a glittery gold cover with hot pink font. And the insides are just as fabulous.

Is Crazy Rich Asians a great piece of literature? Good god, no. But I had a terrific time reading it and have been gleefully recommending it to friends. And I felt super-cool when I saw that one of my best friends from High School was thanked in the acknowledgements section — like I was just one degree of separation away from all of this madness.

Crazy Rich Asians is the single most batshit crazy book I’ve ever come across. Its about the uber-wealthy, .1% Southeast Asian population — in this case, mostly based in Singapore. Its a world of private jets, couture wardrobes, overseas educations, and $40 million weddings. Oh, and also backstabbing snobs who love to gossip. Awesome.

Nick Young (born in Singapore) and Rachel Chu (ABC – American Born Chinese) have been dating for two years in New York. They are both professors at NYU and are so alike in so many ways. Rachel’s family loves Nick, but Nick’s family doesn’t even know that Rachel exists. Until…Nick brings Rachel home to Singapore for the “wedding of the year”. Nick is the best man for his friend Colin, a billionaire playboy, who is marrying the most famous, most glamourous Asian supermodel ever. Rachel has no idea what she’s in for.

The descriptions of sheer excess are absolutely insane. The shopping excursions, real estate portfolios, and bachelor/bachelorette parties made me laugh out loud, because I really didn’t know how else to react. But underneath the ridiculousness, there was an interesting commentary on wealth, excess, and prejudice particularly in Singapore and Southeast Asia.

This isn’t Shakespeare, but Kevin Kwan can write. Its been dubbed as “the ultimate beach read”. Well, Summer is over, but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I haven’t been this entertained by a book in quite a while. I’ll keep an eye out for Kwan’s future works, for sure.

Lady Cordelia #CBR5 Review #75: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

UnknownThis book has the most embarrassing cover – shiny gold with raised pink letters.  I could feel the librarian judging me as she silently slid it across the counter.  That said, it is insane how much I enjoyed reading this.

Talk about escapist fiction – this is the story of Singapore’s richest and most patrician Chinese family – with all the trimmings.  Yes, there are loads of descriptions of couture, private jets, and amazing real estate. The story?  Not that it really matters, but it follows Rachel Chu going on holiday to Singapore with her boyfriend, Nick Young.  Though they have been dating for two years in the US, she has never realised that Nick is one of the most eligible bachelors in Asia.  Of course, his family and the moneyed upper crust are absolutely horrified at the thought of this ABC (“American Born Chinese”) gold digger making off with the prize.  There’s general bitchery, a weird threat made with a fish, and masses of backstabbing.  What more could you want in an escapist read?

I would suggest this as an awesome holiday book, but it would probably be monumentally depressing to be reading about luxurious private planes while sitting in cramped economy.  But it is genuinely funny, with footnote explanations for all the insider info.  Okay sure, you won’t feel like your best self when you’re seen with this book in public, but I would suggest just staying home and relishing it.