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Crazy Rich Asians

by Kevin Kwan

140 Reviews

Crazy Rich Asians
Launch Sample
A hilarious and heartwarming New York Times bestselling novelnow a major motion picture!
 
“This 48-karat beach read is crazy fun.” —Entertainment Weekly

When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.
 
On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
A hilarious and heartwarming New York Times bestselling novel—now a major motion picture!   “This 48-karat beach read is crazy fun.” —Entertainment WeeklyWhen New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; two, that he grew up riding in more private planes than cars; and three, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor.   On Nick’s arm, Rachel may as well have a target on her back the second she steps off the plane, and soon, her relaxed vacation turns into an obstacle course of old money, new money, nosy relatives, and scheming social climbers.
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Product Details
Edition Description:
Reprint
Sales Rank:
25
Pages:
544
Publication Date:
05/20/2014
Series:
Crazy Rich Asians Series , #1
ISBN13:
9780345803788
Product Dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x1.10(d)
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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About the Author
Kevin Kwan is the author of the international bestsellers Crazy Rich Asians, soon to be a major motion picture, and China Rich Girlfriend. Born in Singapore, he has called New York’s West Village home since 1995. For the latest news and information, please visit:

www.kevinkwanbooks.com
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Read an Excerpt

Part Two 
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Crazy Rich Asians"
by .
Copyright © 2014 Kevin Kwan.
Excerpted by permission of Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Reading Group Guide
The discussion questions and other material that follow are intended to enhance your group’s conversation about Crazy Rich Asians, Kevin Kwan’s over-the-top, modern-day romance comedy of manners.

1. Compare how Nick’s mother (p. 21–28, p. 56) and Rachel’s mother (p. 31–34, p. 68) react to hearing about their trip to Singapore. What do their reactions reveal about each of them as mothers? What qualities, if any, do they share? What is the significance of the “Chinese Way” (p. 68) in the mothers’ approach to courtship and marriage? Compare this with Rachel and Sophie’s conversation about marriage later in the book (pp. 278–79).

2. Does Nick’s description—“It’s like any big family. I have loudmouthed uncles, eccentric aunts, obnoxious cousins, the whole nine yards” (p. 67)—match the way most of us view our own families? Why doesn’t he tell Rachel more about the background and status of his family before their trip?

3. What does Rachel’s view of Asian men reveal about the complications of growing up Asian in America (p. 90)? How does Kwan use humor to make a serious point here and in other parts of the novel?

4. Discuss the role of gossip in the novel. What kinds of rumors do Nick’s friends and family spread about Rachel, and why?  How do misunderstandings and misinformation (intentional or not) propel the plot and help define the characters? Consider, for example, the conversations at the Bible study class Eleanor attends (p. 108–109) and the chatter of the guests at Araminta’s bachelorette party (pp. 262–70).

5. Do you see the events surround Colin’s wedding and the ceremony itself as brazen, even crude displays of wealth or are there aspects of the celebrations that are appealing (pp. 393–416)? How do they compare to society or celebrity weddings you have read about?

6. What sort of future do you imagine for Nick and Rachel? Is it possible for Rachel to fit into a world “so different from anything [she’s] used to” (p. 431)?  Does Nick fully understand the reasons for her doubts and unhappiness? What supports your point of view?

7. Why does the author devote different sections of the novel to specific characters? What effect does this have on your impressions of and sympathies for the problems and prejudices that motivate each of them?

8. What do the marriages of Eleanor and Philip, Astrid and Michael, and Eddie and Fiona show about what makes a marriage work and what can undermine even the best-intentioned husbands and wives?

9. F. Scott Fitzgerald famously said, "The rich are different from you and me." In what ways are the characters in Crazy Rich Asians different from you and the people you know? Do they reflect the values of the particular communities Kwan explores or do they represent the ways of rich people everywhere? How do the divisions between economic and social status manifest themselves in American society?

10. The novel makes a clear distinction between old money (the Youngs and their extended family) and new money (Peik Lin’s family, for example), as well as between Mainland and Overseas Chinese. What differences do you see between these groups and the way they deal with their wealth?  How does this shape their perceptions of themselves and one another?

11. Crazy Rich Asians is a story of the extremes of conspicuous wealth and consumption. Which scenes and settings in the novel best capture this excess?  What do the many references to well-known luxury brands and exotic, expensive settings contribute to your sense of the time, place, and worldview of the characters?

12. Nick’s family has enjoyed wealth and privilege over several generations. Discuss the impact of their position on each generation, from the imperious Eleanor to the status-consumed Eddie to Astrid, the It girl of Asian society, to Nick. Despite their very different approaches to life, what rules or traditions influence their behavior and interactions? What elements from his past does Nick retain, despite his new life in America?

13. What role does the legacy of European imperialism play in the older generation’s tastes and style? How is the younger generation affected by their travels abroad and exposure to modern-day Western society? What insights does Rachel and Nick’s conversation with Su Yi give into the melding and clashing of European and Chinese cultures over the course of time (pp. 335–38)?

14. In addition to straightforward explanations of Chinese words, what function do the footnotes serve? In what ways do they help the author to fill out the narrative or comment on the context and content of his story?  Look, for instance, at the notes on pages 141, 180, 219, and 263.

15. Behind its satirical tone and intent, what does the novel suggest about the ethical and emotional implications of the behavior that the characters indulge in?  Does it make you think about some of your own actions or decisions?

16. What did you know about the financial boom in contemporary Asia before you read the novel? Were you surprised by manifestations of wealth depicted in the book? Peik Lin’s father says, “[T]his so-called ‘prosperity’ is going to be the downfall of Asia. Each new generation becomes lazier than the next.... Nothing lasts forever, and when this boom ends, these youngsters won’t know what hit them” (p. 303).  To what extent are his insights accurate, not only in regard to the situation in Asia today but also to economic patterns across history?

17. Kevin Kwan has said that his novel follows an age-old literary tradition (Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2013).  He points to Jane Austen writing about the “manor-house set,” Edith Wharton’s tales of America’s gilded age at the turn of the century, and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s chronicles of New York in the roaring ’20s. If you have read these books—or other novels about the manners and mores of the past—discuss the echoes and parallels you find in Crazy Rich Asians.

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Editorial Reviews
“A dizzily shopaholic comedy. . . . Wickedly delectable. . . . Offers refreshing nouveau voyeurism to readers who long ago burned out on American and English aspirational fantasies. . . . Hilarious.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
 
“It’s impossible not to get sucked into this satirical novel about the jet-setting lives of an enormous busybody family and its infinite Louboutin collection.”
—Glamour
 
“There’s rich, there’s filthy rich, and then there’s crazy rich. . . . A Pride and Prejudice-like send-up.”
—People 
 
“If this isn’t the funniest book so far this year, it’s up there. . . . Kwan, who grew up in Singapore, skewers his subjects deftly, stylishly, and completely—but with heart.”
—The Denver Post
 
“Deliciously decadent. . . . This 48-karat beach read is crazy fun. . . . [Read] Crazy Rich Asians, on an exotic beach in super-expensive sunglasses.”
—Entertainment Weekly

“An unputdownably funny, original, modern novel. . . . I actually couldn't put this book down to eat or to watch Downton Abbey.”
—Plum Sykes, author of Bergdorf Blondes
 
“Rachel’s squeaky-clean naiveté is a clever foil to the intricate workings of the high-glamour Asian set around her. Chinese on the outside but all-American on the inside, she allows us to see the myriad nuances of intra-Asian culture that the novel goes to great lengths to show.”
—Tash Aw, NPR
 
“Rollicking. . . . A lively, generous story of shallow extravagance and human devotion.”
—The Boston Globe
 
“Original and fun, Crazy Rich Asians is quite a roller coaster trip. I loved it!”
—Jackie Collins, author of The Power Trip
 
“Delightfully soapy. . . . [Crazy Rich Asians] eats its chiffon cake and has it too, simultaneously tut-tutting many of its characters for their vapid materialism while reveling in the milieu’s sybaritic excess.”
—The Wall Street Journal
 
“As spicily adventurous and lusciously satisfying as the renowned Singaporean street food Kevin Kwan’s characters argue over; hot and sizzling, like the best satay, and dreamily transporting, like everyone's favorite dessert—goreng pisang. Feast on this outrageously funny and insightful novel of modern manners, and enjoy!”
—Lisa See, author of Dreams of Joy and Shanghai Girls
 
“[An] instant favorite. . . . Opulence and zaniness reign.”
—O, The Oprah Magazine

“Like Dynasty on steroids with more private jets, bigger houses, and a lot more money.”
—VanityFair.com 
 

 Kwan’s debut novel is a fun, over-the-top romp through the unbelievable world of the Asian jet set, where anything from this season is already passé and one’s pedigree is everything. When Rachel Chu’s boyfriend, Nick Young, invites her home to Singapore for the summer, she doesn’t realize how much gossip she’s generated among Asian socialites around the world. To Rachel, Nick is a sweet, intelligent history professor—and the first man she’s imagined marrying. To the Asian billionaire set, he’s the gorgeous heir apparent to one of China’s most “staggeringly rich” and well-established families who virtually control the country’s commerce with their ancient fortunes. As soon as she steps off the plane, Rachel is ushered into the opulent world of castle-like estates and mind-boggling luxury. As if the shock of realizing the scale of Nick’s wealth is not enough, she must also contend with a troupe of cruel socialites who would absolutely die before they let Singapore’s most eligible bachelor get snapped up by a no-name “ABC” (American-born Chinese). There is also Nick’s family—his imposing mother, Eleanor, who has exact ideas about who Nick should be dating; his beautiful cousin Astrid, who the younger girls dub “the Goddess” for her stunning fashion sense (she was “the first to pair a vintage Saint Laurent Le Smoking jacket with three-dollar batik shorts”); and Nick’s cousin, the flamboyant Oliver, who helps Rachel navigate this strange new world. A witty tongue-in-cheek frolic about what it means to be from really old money and what it’s like to be crazy rich. (June)When Nicholas Young asks American-born Rachel Chu to summer with him at his home in Singapore, she doesn't realize that he is in fact heir to one of Asia's wealthiest families. Juicy stuffy that's culturally interesting for clarifying the difference between mainland and overseas Chinese; billed as Jackie Collins meets Amy Tan.Jane Austen, or maybe Edith Wharton, goes to Singapore, turning in this lively, entertaining novel of manners. You've got to like any novel set in Asia that includes, among many splendid one-liners, this amah's admonition: "Don't you know there are children starving in America?" Of varying ethnicities but resolutely members of the 1 percent or aspiring, one way or another, to be so, Kwan's characters are urban sophisticates par excellence, many of them familiar with the poshest districts of London, Paris, New York and Hong Kong. Many of them are also adrift, with soulless consumerism replacing society: It's Less Than Zero without all the coke. When socialite Astrid, for instance, is in a mood, as she so often is, she goes shopping in boutiques haunted by "the wives of Persian Gulf sheikhs, Malay sultans, and the Indonesian Chinese oligarchs." Not half-bad company, but then Astrid moves in a rarefied circle around the richest of the rich. At its center is 32-year-old Nicholas Young, whose ABC girlfriend--American-born Chinese, that is--Rachel Chu, has come to Singapore to meet the family. To Nick's credit, she is taken aback by just how phenomenally wealthy they are. "It's like any big family," Nick assures her. "I have loudmouth uncles, eccentric aunts, obnoxious cousins, the whole nine yards." Well, and then some. Rachel discovers that the position of being Nick's intended isn't an easy one--not only are there other would-be plutocrats gunning for the spot, but the family also doesn't make things easy, either. A diverse set of characters and a light, unstrained touch move Kwan's story along. Yet, even though one feels for Rachel, there's a point--right about at the spot where one of her new girlfriends is showing off the yoga studio inside daddy's new jet--that one gets the feeling that Ho Chi Minh might have had a point after all. An elegant comedy and an auspicious debut.
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Customer Reviews (140)
- Anonymous
August 25, 2013
- Anonymous
June 17, 2013
Captivating
Get ready to fall in love with the most luxurious lifestyles and scandalously rich asians to ever grace the world of fiction. I was hooked from the start.
- Anonymous
October 18, 2014
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Crazy Rich Asians
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Crazy Rich Asians
Pub. Date: 06/11/2013
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
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Pub. Date: 06/11/2013
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