How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid
Look, unless you’re writing one, a review is pointless. You read a review so someone who isn’t yourself can tell you what to think. None of the foregoing means reviews are useless. They can be useful indeed. This is a review. Its objective is to show you you should read How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.
You’re reading How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia and it strikes you that this second person narrative is both disconcerting and engaging. You hate you’re reading the story of your life but, all the facts are wrong. Still, you like yourself enough that you stick with it. The narrative is specific enough that it feels unique and real, but vague enough with characters like “the pretty girl” to keep “you” in the story.
You enjoy the journey you take in the book. From a poor kid, working at a DVD store, to a teenager with a broken heart over the pretty girl. You start a criminal business, and go legit. You travel the world and take a wife. You don’t love her until it’s too late. Your business is big, your wife leaves you, despite how much you love her and your child. Your heart breaks, litterally and figuratively as your health suffers with age. You reunite with the pretty girl, who has lived a life all her own. Your business falls apart and you become poor. You’re happy to spend time with the pretty girl. You die.
And you cry when you die. You say fuck this, I gotta stop crying when I read books. But, you let that go and you’re happy you cried. You hug someone. You cry some more. You admit to yourself you cried when you learned to love your ex wife even though she had moved on. You cried when you read your mom passed. You cried thinking of your son.
And though this book is about How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, a country you know nothing about, about a life you know nothing about. A life with traditions and culture and a way of doing business and a way of loving all of which you know nothing. You still cry.
You still believe this story. Because it’s not a story of you or me. This story contains you, and you contain her, and this review, and me writing it, and I too contain you, who may not even be born, you inside me, though not in a creepy way, and so may you, may I, may we, so may all of us confront the end.