I almost fell off the treadmill repeatedly from uncontrolled laughter listening to this book. Light and easy, nothing really profound, but you cannot put this down. I looked up Kevin Kwan and discovered this is his first novel which is really disappointing since I wanted to get everything he has ever written to read it.
Crazy Rich Asians is rich. It has the backbiting and melodrama of a soap opera, romance (and heartbreak), intrigue, intercontinental travel, and money, money, money. Descriptions are vivid. Characters are well developed. The twists and turns are almost endless. Most of all, it is a peek into the culture of the millionaires in Singapore of which I was previously unaware. It is fun and enlightening and horrifying and entertaining in all respects. Lynn Chen does an amazing job as narrator, navigating through various accents and giving each character - of which there are many - a distinct tone and personality. I highly recommend this book. #Clever #Malaysia #Singpore #Asian Culture #Great Narrator #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes
I was completely captivated by this gossipy novel about Singapore’s most rich and famous. Rachel and Nick, both young academics in New York, take a romantic trip to Singapore where Nick will be the best man in his friend’s wedding. Oh, and P.S.: Nick will also introduce Rachel to his family, no pressure. What’s more, Rachel has no idea that her humble, mild-mannered boyfriend is actually from one of Singapore’s richest families and is the most eligible bachelor in the country. Surprise! Shenanigans, schemes, and gossip ensue.
I don't know why I didn’t read this book instantly. Maybe I was worried that it would be formulaic with half-hearted chuckles? Think again, self: it's more like Edith Wharton meets Gossip Girl set in Singapore with a dash of Emily Gilmore. It’s completely funny and original, and it has what I’ve come to think of as a strong narrative voice — a quality that I love about audiobooks like Where'd You Go, Bernadette, City of Thieves, and anything by Nora Ephron. It’s almost like these stories were meant to be read out loud.
As narrator, Lynn Chen hits it out of the park with breezy humor, backstabbing relatives, and effortless accents from New York, Singapore, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Australia, England, and more. I loved everything about this audiobook and am psyched that the saga continues with two more books.
I had originally attempted to read this book when it first came out, but couldn't even get past chapter one. Then a few weeks ago, a colleague came to talk to me about this book. She mentioned how she was really enjoying the audiobook, and asked me whether I'd read it (since I'm from Singapore). I sheepishly told her how I'd tried, but given up. Her talk reignited my interest in the novel, and also made me feel compelled to read it in order to live up to my Singaporean name.
I must say that the audiobook was certainly much more enjoyable than its printed counterpart. Listening to it during my commutes to and from work kept me entertained for weeks on end, and I felt a tinge of sadness when the recording finally came to an end. I then tried the next book in the series, China Rich Girlfriend, and was dismayed to find out that they had switched the narrator.
In all honesty, I'm not sure why Lynn Chen is being criticized so harshly. For someone who (I assume) was brought up in America, I feel she does a darn good job with all the other accents. While it is true that there were things being pronounced "incorrectly," I found the mistakes sort of cute, which added to the entertainment value and made me laugh. I liked how Lynn Chen created distinctive speaking styles for each character, making it easy to differentiate between them.
Although this book gets a little close to being Chick-lit I found it a lot of fun and had a difficult time putting it down. I have spent a fair amount of time traveling in Singapore and Malaysia and very much enjoyed the author's descriptions of different areas, food and the over all sense of place.
I have had no experience with the variety of "crazy rich" Asians described in the book, the "regular" people who live in Singapore and Malaysia are indeed delightful.