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Book Report: Crazy Rich Asians


Crazy-Rich-AsiansWhat’s The Buzz?:Kevin Kwan’s fiction debut, Crazy Rich Asians, was initially released a year ago, in June 2013. A vague roman a clef, Kwan himself actually grew up in the glittering, extravagant world depicted within, giving it an incredibly realistic if unbelievable feel. It skyrocketed up the charts as a delicious, dishy novel for the summer months and is now in beach bag and carry-on friendly paperback. Notably, Kwan himself has whetted appetites for the incredible world shown here; he’s talked about turning it into a trilogy.

What’s The Plot?: Crazy Rich Asians is essentially a stream of interconnected narratives, all surrounding an extremely wealthy family based in Singapore. It kicks off with Nicholas Young, a Singaporean golden boy that was educated in Britain and has been living a modest (by the standards outlined in the story) life in New York City, as a professor that’s dating a fellow scholar, Rachel Chu, who was essentially raised as a typical middle class American girl. When Nicholas invites Rachel to his homeland for the summer – he’s attending his close friend Colin Khoo’s wedding as the Best Man – Rachel is surprised. Does this mean what she thinks it means? The ‘crazy rich’ here is a double entendre – as it turns out, Nick’s family is incredibly wealthy, incredibly well-known, and to be honest, a little bit cuckoo. Immediately suspicious of Rachel’s motives, both sides of Nick’s life – his family and his girlfriend – are taken aback and shocked by the other. Will Rachel and Nick be able to survive the summer?

Beach Read Potential?:A few pages into Crazy Rich Asians, I felt a burble of excitement. Simply put, I thought to myself – this book is going to be fun. And it was. Everyone loves reading about the lifestyles of the rich & famous, but the wealth within this particular world was unlike anything I’ve ever read before. It not only exposed me to an entirely new cachet of wealth (drawn from author Kwan’s real life experiences), it also gave me tons of insight into Singaporean culture (thank you footnotes). It’s a seriously fun and frothy read that would be perfectly suited to an afternoon on a hammock for us mere peons, or a jetsetting trip on a private plane, if you were to call yourself so lucky 🙂

Singapore? Footnotes? Am I Going To Be Disoriented?: No way! Although Crazy Rich Asians is great at introducing this unique culture, the main plot points surround the ‘wedding of the year’, lavish parties, couture shopping trips, private yachts, sprawling estates and more. If you’ve enjoyed dipping into stories that chronicle extreme wealth – from Gossip Girl to Gatsby – this book is a total treat. For me personally, it was very refreshing to read a story set abroad that both felt familiar to a Westerner but also poked fun at American and Canadian culture.

Who Should Read This Book?: Crazy Rich Asians is actually a sneaky piece of chick lit; surprising given it’s written by a man, but the central crux of the story is about whether or not this couple can withstand the wild world that Nick was raised in (as well as a secondary plot line about another rich / average coupling that is tested over the course of the novel). Between the lavish descriptions of shopping, the extremely gossipy nature of the characters, and the romantic overtures by various characters, it’s definitely oriented to the ladies – pick it up for your best friend, your mom, or your sister. They’ll love it!

Crazy Rich Asians is in bookstores now, for $19.95 in trade paperback. Naturally I’ve got a copy of this super fun novel to get you through the next few scorching weeks of summer. Want to win? Here’s how to enter:

1) Tell me in the comments below by August 8, 2014 – What intrigues you about Crazy Rich Asians?

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around August 9, 2014 to select the winner(s), who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible for this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Follow Random House of Canada on Twitter, tag them and me (@cdngiftguide) in a Tweet about why you’re interested into diving into this crazy rich world! Post a link to your Tweet below to earn yourself an extra entry into the draw.

5) Bonus Entry #2: Add this book to your to-read list on GoodReads, and leave a link back to the page it’s on below to earn yourself another bonus entry.

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Comments
40 Responses to “Book Report: Crazy Rich Asians”
  1. Joan G. says:

    I’m intrigued by the life and customs of the far eastern culture.

  2. Kimberley says:

    I am intrigued by the culture, coupled with the eccentric, wealthy family.

  3. Julie G. says:

    I’m intrigued because of your description. I love a fun book that I can get lost in. This one sounds perfect to waste away some time on the beach or on a plane.

  4. Grace says:

    I’m intrigued because I keep seeing this book in stores and I’ve been meaning to pick it up!

  5. Holly says:

    I’ve been wanting to read this for a while. It looks very intriguing!

  6. Susan says:

    I’ve already read this book. A great glimpse into extreme wealth and privilege and the difference between “us and them”.

  7. diane says:

    Your description has caught my attention.

  8. Miss my business trips to Asia, but now that I have retired, I have time to read and understand the things I saw!

  9. Cairine says:

    I want to know how crazy they really are.

  10. Anne Derkat says:

    It’s so interesting to read about the super rich who are very different from those of us lower on the totem pole.

  11. Audrey Skinner says:

    The story line intrigues me and I want to read about the rich in Singapore.

  12. Evan says:

    The plot mention of the interconnected narratives sounds very intriguing reading-wise. Thank you.

  13. Taps says:

    If you say its funny,, I really want to try it.. love reading good laughs.

  14. cookie3 says:

    I love a good, fun, funny read in the summer. I usually keep the deep, introspective stuff for the winter months.

  15. Susan T. says:

    This sounds really funny and I love to read about the super rich and laugh since I will never be one of them! Lol!

  16. Pam says:

    I love reading about Asian culture

  17. bswilkins80 says:

    This book is super popular at the library I work at!

  18. Narinder Chana says:

    Are they really crazy or just rich? I want to know.

  19. janicour says:

    I love to read about different cultures, and I find Eastern culture facinating.

  20. janicour says:

  21. intensev5 says:

    I like the plot it is intriguing and I want to know more… It’s definitely a book I want to pick up and read.

  22. leah says:

    The first thing that intrigued me was the title. As I read into the synopsis, I realized how much I wanted to read about the conflict between the girlfriend and family. There’s nothing like a good story of dysfunction.

  23. leah says:

  24. mousecat says:

    I have wanted to read this book for quite a while and it intrigues me because it would be so fun to read about the shock and thoughts the girlfriend and the family have for each other. I think it would be a great read!

  25. mousecat says:

    Crazy Rich Asians s non my to-read list at goodreads (# 33) https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/5383191-evelyn?shelf=to-read&utf8=%E2%9C%93

  26. truckerofbc says:

    Having grown up as a white person with the Vietnamese Culture for 12 years of my life and then having associated myself with Filipinos for the last 18 being married to one and having a child to another, I am very interested in Asian life and this book would just be a great read for me.

  27. linnett says:

    review was very interesting into the lives of the rich

  28. Erica says:

    Growing up in Vancouver, I was no stranger to witnessing extreme wealth (including extremely wealthy Asian people). This book seems ultra intriguing and funny! Everyone is interested in the lifestyles of the rich and I would love to read!

    My tweet: https://twitter.com/EricaAn64765877/status/495061724148801536

    Link to goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23393917-ericam3

  29. ericam3 says:

    Tweet: https://twitter.com/EricaAn64765877/status/495061724148801536

    Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/23393917-ericam3

    Growing up in Vancouver, I witnessed some extreme wealth (not by me or my family unfortunately). This included the very visible Asian population within the city. Would love to read more about it. Seems very interesting and funny!

  30. Peyton says:

    I love reading about the rich & famous so this sounds like a perfect read for me.

  31. Suzie M says:

    It sounds like a fun read
    It`s always great to read things about other cultures & incomes

  32. Suzie M says:

  33. Colleen Rose says:

    I like the premise if this book

  34. Lori P says:

    Been hearing about this book for awhile and each time have been drawn to it. Need to read it to allay this curiosity!

  35. Maegan Morin says:

    I have always been intrigued by Asian culture and I LOVE reading about the lifestyles of the rich and famous so to combine the two is actually quite exciting for me! Definitely adding this one to my to be read list.

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  1. […] of books, I’m giving you another chance to earn a bonus entry into my Crazy Rich Asians giveaway. Just tell me in the comments below – would you buy this cool book box set? For […]

  2. […] The Buzz?: I actually reviewed Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians last summer as an ideal Beach Read, when it was out in paperback for the first time. Why? Because […]



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