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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

Mohsin Hamid's wry novel is accessible as well as exotic.

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How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia
By Mohsin Hamid
Penguin
240 pp.

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Reviewed by Heller McAlpin for Barnes & Noble Review

One of the reasons we read is to escape the cabin fever of our own little worlds. But just as some of us are more adventurous travelers than others, some are more adventurous readers. "I'm tired of reading books about people I might run into at Whole Foods," a friend complained, while another groused with startling insularity about having to absorb a cultural history lesson with each new far-flung book.

My recommendation for book groups this month is Mohsin Hamid's wry third novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia, and it might just satisfy both reluctant and bold literary explorers. It is at once accessible and exotic, and most definitely filthy rich in fresh material for literary discussion. Hamid, born in 1971, was reared in both America and Pakistan and educated at Princeton and Harvard Law. He currently lives in Lahore yet writes in English, and has described himself as "geographically transgendered." Straddling multiple cultures has enabled him to speak to a wider, more diverse audience.

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