There’s a couple reasons I picked up this book and most of them are quite shallow. Number one: the cover is gold glitter with neon pink lettering, which obviously caught my eye. Number two: the title is hilarious, and I knew that I could get on board with this author’s humor right away. So…I read it.
I’m not going to make any grandiose statements here, the book was good. Was it great? Not really, but it was good, and exactly what you would expect from a book called Crazy Rich Asians, so I’m going to get behind it nonetheless. It’s not your typical chick-lit because it has a lot of cultural references and back story, and romance isn’t the be all and end all of the plot, in fact it ends without resolving much in the way of relationships. It’s real strength is the picture it paints of the super elite referred to in the title. The characters are SUPER rich, not just wealthy millionaires, but so rich that they can afford to put a yoga studio in their private jet (this is a real example). Imagine the richest person you know (probably a celebrity in most people’s cases), then realize that the person you’re thinking of most likely owns a fraction of the fortune of that these crazy rich asians posesses.
Because I spoke about this book on the CBC, I did a bit of digging to find out more on Kevin Kwan. Not surprisingly, he’s had experience with this type of wealth, and has readily admitted to interviewers that he comes from a wealthy family himself. How rich? Who knows, but I’m guessing he can splurge on a fancy car or two if he’s seen this kind of wealth up-close, and feels comfortable enough to write a book about it. In his author photo, he looks quite well-dressed so he must have a strong grasp of the latest fashion trends because he name drops designers like it’s going out of style (which it’s not, in case you were wondering).
One of the reasons I’m not going over-the-top on this book is the fact that it was too long. Maybe it got to this length because he was so busy describing people’s expensive clothes, decadent jewellery and fancy homes, but being a debut novelist, I’m not sure his editor should have given him this much free reign. It could have been shorter, and as we all know the sign of a good writer is tight use of language, which this novel could have benefiited from.
Regardless of this complaint, I still enjoyed the book, and it’s getting enormous amounts of attention, so I’m obviously not the only one to pick it up. If you’re looking for something that’s quick, this isn’t the book for you, but if you’re looking for a bit of fanciful escapism, Crazy Rich Asians will be perfect.