Friday, October 6, 2017

Friday Feature Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan クレイジーリッチアジア人 著者ケビン・クワン

The Ultra High Net Worth class are now revealed. Author Kevin Kwan, has found his perfect subject, the new super rich Asian jet set generation. He has caught fire after getting on Oprah's famous book list, and I can understand why. Different people can enjoy the story from a lot of different angles. If you have any interest in Asia, you will be surprised by some of the amazing details, and reassured by others. In a way, it seems like a special entry into a very private club that you know little about but want to be a part of. Alternatively, you want to see at least a little about what is inside.I liked right away was the detail, the author has obviously been to Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore. There are details that stand out by a writer who has really been there, the flavor in his descriptions is authentic. The appeal is the cultural discovery of what you think you know, what you suspect, and what could be missing in your views. After reading this book you clearly wonder, "how many people are just like those described in the book?" The personality details are all spot on. Anybody living in Asia will recognize a trait from a friend or relative in many of the characters.

Many of the Asian characters are smart, lucky, insecure, driven, arrogant, and any number of other combinations, like all people. The great thing to enjoy is how you read about them in such fun loving detail. The author does a great job in explaining these people in a very natural way. You can tell he enjoys what he sees and enjoys telling it to you, the reader, in wonderful words. He is a kind of gossip, and cannot stop himself. It is almost a guilty pleasure reading about how the secret parties and knock-off brands are really purchased even by the super rich.

The humanity of the people in the story is what keeps you interested. There is a major wedding for a wealthy Singapore family, and its members from around Asia show great insight. It all uncovers so many layers of the same family with its conflicts and rivalries that exist in families from many parts of the world. The story is not only about Asia, but also its families spread all over. Paris, London, San Francisco and New York, are all part of the background fun. You sometimes wonder where are the limits of wealth? You may even wonder are there any in a modern world like today?

The Top 3 Takeaways from this book that really impact any reader are:

1) This is the story of very special people in Asia with hard wired talent that fits the times they live in. The pattern shows how drive and perseverance often wins the way to immense wealth.

2) The ability to work with family and friends, even frenemies, needs to be learned in life. Only once you start to proceed do you find out all of the new skills you need to succeed. 

3) This is never about somebody happy to be average. The common pattern shows that there is always a deep driver to push any rich person to a level few others ever reach. There may be lucky events, but the total result of wealth is often about hard work, not pure luck.

Some of the lifestyles described for billionaire blue bloods in Asia, do make you wonder. Can you really have royal court maids given to you by the King of Thailand? Can you really have a camera built into your closet mirror with a pop up display telling you what date you last wore any part of your wardrobe? Can you have a home so large in Singapore that it predates the botanical gardens? Could it really be blocked by Google maps due to high level connections? The Asian flavour in its detail is what is so delightful. The near fights over where to find of the best kinds of food at street stalls between experts really hits home. It is all fun especially the old China vs new China culture clashes unwrap with so much local flavor, it was all delicious! Highly recommended.

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