“How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid


Y’all know it’s that most wonderful time of the year, right? No, it’s not national dairy month. Or Christmas. It _is_ almost my birthday. But what I mean is, The Tournament of Books. Yayyyyy!


How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid is a fascinating little book. Written in the second person, in a self-help-y style but really telling a boy and girl love story, but one set in the slums of India, so the course of true love doesn’t exactly run true.

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 author. This is true of the whole self-help genre.

The book’s brevity means that its strange conceit doesn’t wear thin, and the passage of time in the nameless hero’s life move along at a fast clip. This was a weird fictional take on some of the realities from Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers. Smart, intriguing, different.

4 Responses to ““How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia” by Mohsin Hamid”

  1. Buried In Print Says:

    I hadn’t heard anything about this, and read it only on the basis on its inclusion on the list (although I did enjoy The Reluctant Fundamentalist some years ago) but wow, what a book. I was surprisingly swept away by it and agree that it is the perfect length.

  2. Sherry Says:

    This reminds me of my encounter last year with Walker Percy and his Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book. Have you read it?

    I posted about it here: http://www.semicolonblog.com/?p=21432

  3. girldetective Says:

    Sherry, I haven’t but I’ve been meaning to check out Percy’s Moviegoer for a while. This book is great because it’s not only a parody of self help, but also tells a boy-girl crossed-love in poverty stricken India story–think Slumdog Millionaire–so it’s grounded in story, which it sounds like the Percy was not.

  4. Amy Says:

    This one didn’t really work for me. I liked parts of it, but I have a tough time with second person POVs.