Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians

by Kevin Kwan

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Overview

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780345803788
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 05/20/2014
Series: Crazy Rich Asians Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 544
Sales rank: 14
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

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

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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Crazy Rich Asians 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 141 reviews.
Bobby_Tenison More than 1 year ago
For a debut novel you can't get much better than this. I picked it up because I thought the title was funny and was very pleasantly surprised to discover a really great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an over the top funny book. I loved every page. Two thumbs up.
ToniSimpkins More than 1 year ago
I found Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan to be a delightful read. The characters were well developed. The plot was interesting to watch unfold. I truly enjoyed this book and would recommend it as a great summer read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting read about asian culture and cultural clashes among the many types of chinese-based upbringings. But in reality, this book should have been called the real housewives (and husbands) of Singapore, except that their wealth surpasses anybody's imagination. These are some filthy rich, spoiled and abnouxious individuals that pick and choose what they like about chinese tradition and the capitalism of the Western world. The story is enjoyable, though I did not find it as funny as some reviews say. There are a lot (a lot!) of characters involved here, so it helps to have plenty of time when you sit to read it. My main disappointment with the book is that it was rushed in the end. It contrasted with the level of detail and easy pace that characterized most of the book. It wrapped up so fast that I continued looking for additional chapters. As a result, it left many things unresolved. A pity.
miss_helia 3 months ago
This is a delightful read, but if you're an ebook reader, fair warning: there are a lot of footnotes for translations and it was difficult to manage going back and forth on my nook. It got so frustrating that I bought the paperback version as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A fun read and an illuminating look at what it's like to be a member of a rarefied group of people who have more financial resources and privileges than most could imagine (though many are just as tacky and ridiculous in their choices and behaviors as the Kardashians) A hilarious and intriguing visit to another world!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pride and Prejudice meets Downton Abbey's Real Housewives... in Singapore. (some minor spoilers ahead!) What a fun, great read! At times the sheer amount of characters got confusing, but overall Kwan did a great job wrangling such a large cast. While sometimes the dialogue felt a bit flat, the narration (including the footnotes) felt so easy and comfortable I could easily overlook it. It kept a brisk pace with only a few hiccups (for example, I lost some interest in Astrid's arc after she confronted Michael the first time, since I wasn't totally clear where it was going and if it was going to be worth following.) I was pleasantly surprised with how much richness there was to this novel: the commentary and observations on society, the surprising moment when a dislikable character has a moment of humanity-- or when the one you thought was okay turns into a jag. I would've liked more depth to Rachel's character, a little more oomph, but she was nonetheless a fun heroine. Highly recommend, looking forward to more from this author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was nothing more than a chick lit book set in Asia. This story has been done over and over and over in different settings and in different eras. The ending seems thrown together as if the author needed to quickly end the book. If you want to read well-written stories with an Asian perspective, read The Joy Luck Club or Snow Flower and the Secret Fan or even Memoirs of a Geisha. Granted, they are not all set in modern times, but they are all well-written with compelling narratives. I really wanted to like this book and wish that I had.
B-2 More than 1 year ago
So-so. It’s not like this book is bad. It’s just that its title pretty much contains its entire plot, characters and style. The rest of the book is just a junkyard of luxury restaurants, spoiled brats, Chinese billionaires, jewelry, mansions, snobs, and clubs. Monotone and predictable. I lost interest and couldn’t finish it. I grade books as Buy and Keep ( BK), Read a Library Copy (RLC) and Once-I-Put-It-Down-I-Couldn’t-Pick-It-Up (OIPD-ICPU). This one was .OIPD-ICPU for sure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Can't wait to see what else he writes! I felt like a fly on the wall most pages. Great sense of comedy in conversations and the right touch of seriousness in other areas. Highly recommend for a fun, can't wait to get back to read.
bookchickdi More than 1 year ago
A friend of mine told me that Kevin Kwan's novel, Crazy Rich Asians, was a very funny book and pressed into my hands telling me to read it. So I did. From the very beginning, a family tree page, I was laughing out loud. The main characters are Nick and Rachel. Nick comes from a very wealthy family in Singapore, and Rachel was born in China, but as a baby moved to America with her mother, a real estate agent. They both live in New York and work at a university. Nick's childhood best friend is getting married back home, and Nick wants Rachel to accompany him and spend the summer in Singapore. That is where the fun begins. The wedding is over-the-top Kardashian style, but I'm not sure even that clan could imagine how opulent and over-indulgent this wedding will be. We meet Nick's family, including his grandmother who lives in a Buckingham Castle-type home that is so secluded it isn't even on a map. Nick's mother Eleanor is a controlling woman, who frightens everyone including her posse of friends and family who both fear her and want her approval. His father hides out in Australia to avoid the two women in his life. (And who can blame him?) Eleanor fears Nick will marry Rachel, a woman whose family is not only not wealthy, but has skeletons in the closet, so she conspires with others to break them up. (That includes a mean girl gang whose vicious bridal shower "prank" is truly awful.) There are many characters here, but Kwan does a wonderful job giving each of them fair time and creating interesting people you want to read more about. (And we will get more- Kwan's sequel China Rich Girlfriend publishes in July- hooray!) The descriptions of the houses, clothes (one character regularly shops for couture in Paris) and even food is stunning and so vivid, I can easily see a movie or TV series of this. One of my favorite food passages takes place at a popular food stall: "A few minutes later, the four of them were seated just outside the main hall under a huge tree strung with yellow lights, every inch of their table covered with colorful plastic plates piled high with the greatest hits of Singaporean street cuisine. There was the famous char kuay teow, a fried omelet with oysters called orb luak, Malay rojak salad bursting with chunks of pineapple and cucumber, Hokkien-style noodles in a thick garlicky gravy, a fish cake smoked in coconut leaves called otay otay, and a hundred sticks of chicken and beef satay." Crazy Rich Asians drops the reader into a world unlike one most of us can even conceive of, and man is it a blast spending a few hours there.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bought this based on a professional review I heard on NPR, if I recall correctly. Definitely not a guy book, might appeal to some ladies. Have always been curious about this subject, but this is not that interesting.
Anonymous 6 hours ago
The characters were two dimensional, the majority of the word count was just a long string of high end brand names, and the story felt weak and underdeveloped. And the rushed ending left me feeling unsatisfied and a little annoyed. I'm a person who has to finish the story no matter what, and I felt my time was wasted.
Anonymous 3 days ago
Anonymous 7 days ago
I could not stop once I started this series. I was hungry for more of this foreign but tantalizing world. The food descriptions alone were amazing and the locations were like characters, along with the fashion. Enjoy this series and learn about a different culture!
Anonymous 9 days ago
Extremely entertaining! Can't wait to read the others in the trilogy!
Anonymous 10 days ago
The beginning is rather slow and there does seem to be a cultural barrier if you are not an affluent Asian. Ending was great and tied together nicely. Can’t wait for the next one!
Anonymous 10 days ago
I enjoyed the read but I don't feel it lived up to the hype.
Anonymous 12 days ago
I haven’t read a pleasure book in so long and this what exactly what I needed. I purchased the book to compare to the movie and was pleased by the surprises. This book kept me turning page after page, never wanting to stop. So many twists and turns.
Anonymous 13 days ago
Crazy Rich Asians spends more time and detail describing extravagant material wealth and high end product/designer name dropping than character or story building. It would make a better ad-filled magazine than a novel. The weak characters were selfish and vulgar, with the only decent human beings mentioned as a side note. Crazy Rich Disappointment
Anonymous 15 days ago
Many laughs and an education in merchandise that make our iconic luxury brands seem like bargain rubbish. I could relate the mothers to garrulous women who squabbled and picked over their childrens would be suitors pedigrees. Highly recomend for humorous reading.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Oh boy was I ready for a reckoning for Eleanor Young and Francesca. But I loved the whole book despite the fact that I felt like Rachel should have been stood up for more but that’s the type of girl I am. But this was a great read, entertaining and extravagant with awesome characters and relationships that intertwined.
Anonymous 16 days ago
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I loved how each chapter was written in a different point of view and gave lots of insights into the wealthy Asian lifestyle.
Anonymous 16 days ago
Good read couldn’t put it down.
Anonymous 18 days ago
Started off like a lightweight- ended up quite differently.