Wednesday, April 23, 2014

How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia

... when you read a book, what you see are black squiggles on pulped wood or, increasingly, dark pixels on a pale screen. To transform these characters and events, you must imagine. And when you imagine, you create. It's in being read that a book becomes a book, and in each of a million different readings a book becomes one of a million different books, just as an egg becomes one of potentially a million different people when it's approached by a hard-swimming and frisky school of sperm...
- Moshin Hamid

Several million versions of the story must now be living in people's heads, with copies sold across North America, the UK, and likely, 'Rising Asia' itself.

I'm compiling my shortlist for the upcoming Book Babes AGM, and this title is definitely on it!

The novel is the story of a man's life, told with a peculiar mix of intimacy and detachment. Spoken to the reader in the second person. You become the old man, newly born and dieing. A quick read, with chapter headings doling out self-help advice, such as Move To the City, Avoid Idealists, and Focus on the Fundamentals. Early on advice is given, but not heeded: Don't Fall In Love. Satisfyingly consummated in old age, this is a wonderful love story, with a happy ending.

Not just the story of one man, the telling has many layers of meaning.
...and you contain ... this book, and me writing it, and I too contain you, you who may not even be born, you inside me inside you, though not in a creepy way, and so may you, may I, may we, so may all of us confront the end...
- Moshin Hamid
A bit irreverent and a touch subversive, touches of humour, and still managing to be profound without coming across as trite. This is one of the best books I've read in a while.

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