Singapore: Crazy Rick Asians, Kevin Kwan
Did you know that when you enter a book store in Malaysia, they actually have a sign over a section that says “Chick-Lit?” No, I’m not joking. This would be totally unacceptable and sexist in the states but if you had to pick a section that best defines Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians it would most definitely be in the “Chick-lit” section.
Crazy Rich Asians is probably one of the least serious books that sits on my Reading Around the Globe shelf. Having said that, it is also probably one of my favorites. I devoured this book on my first bus ride down to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur. I literally could not put it down and read it for 4 hours straight, including while I stood in the horrible line at the immigration office. It’s just that hilarious.
Kwan, a Singaporean writer, tells the story of an American born Chinese girl, Rachel, falling for a Singaporean boy, Nick. When Rachel goes home with him to meet Nick’s family, she is shocked by his family’s enormous wealth and their never ending disapproval of her. The book details the outrageous lengths Nick’s family goes to keep Rachel away as Rachel tries to navigate this completely foreign world while introducing the crazy characters of Nick’s family. Kwan hooks the reader even in the prologue while telling the story of how Nick’s mother bought an entire hotel because one staff member was being rude. Kwan states that the book is somewhat based on his childhood, which makes one wonder how much of the story is pulled from real life events. The book is an eye opening read into how the other 1% lives. The book also pulls in some aspects of Singaporean culture including references to foods and places found in the country as well as some of the Malay terms Singaporeans and Malaysians often use. It is the perfect read to prepare you for your trip to Singapore.
Selections from the Book: But if you invite her to come home with you, it will change things between you, whether you like it or not.
Just because some people actually work for their money doesn’t mean they are beneath you.
I haven’t gotten around to reading China Rich Girlfriend a squeal to Crazy Rich Asians, but I’m sure I’ll pick it up soon, maybe on my next trip to Singapore. There’s also a rumor going around that the book will be turned into a movie featuring Constance Wu, from Fresh off the Boat.
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