Five stars are granted to exceptional books only and this is one. This is a deep, often emotionally-moving and beautifully-crafted and -written novel about how to make a fortune in rising Asia. It is written as a parody of self help books. Each highly amusing and instructive chapter deals with another challenge and its solution for anyone living with this burning ambition. But attentive readers know, like the author, that Pakistan is not part of the new, rising Asia.... Pakistan is divided into tribes and clans and ruled by politicians paid by landowners who pay no taxes. Therefore, everything stays as before, except for alarming population growth and depletion of ground water, rising crime, instability and religious intolerance. Doing business means bribing one's way towards the ultimate grantor of a permit, license, exemption, or whatever. This is also a family history of an underprivileged, but highly intelligent son of a migrated peasant, trying his luck in the megacity of Lahore (pop: 6.3 million, more than e.g. Norway). It is also a biography of the same nameless, tough, but also compassionate man about how he almost became stinking rich, but stumbled. And a record of a life-long infatuation with a girl with whom he will spend his final years. Stinking rich by what means? Ultimately, his industrial company of extracting, treating and marketing drinking water ran into political problems... What darker prospect for private enterprise can be painted? Scary novel about Pakistani governance. Brilliantly plotted and written. Read this book.
This book took me by surprise, and in a good way. I was expecting an entertaining, possibly ironic, report about modern life in Asia. What I got was a deeply moving, yet at times very funny and always touching story, spanning the complete lifetime of a man of modest means from childhood to old age and his way from modest means to filthy richness and back again, to find that there might be more to richness than money and status. In case you're wondering: Mohsin Hamid manages to tell his story in perfectly shaped prose with just enough sprinkles of plain language to prevent this soulful story to make it sound cheesy or artificial. So: no kitsch in this book. 5 stars and a clear recommendation to all the actors and directors out there: Turn this into a movie.
I was sitting in a cap traveling in Asia when I came across this book. I downloaded it from the Kindle store while still in the cap and started reading right away. A train trip and two nights later, I finished this books with plenty of loughs and tears. Perfect!
Das Buch ist mit Sicherheit kein GetRich Guide. Vielmehr werden eine Vielzahl von Lektionen und Anregungen in eine wunderschöne Geschichte verpackt. Wer Asien bereits bereist hat, wird bei vielen Aspekten schmunzeln.
und so gar nicht, was man erwartet. Im Prinzip ist dies die Geschichte zweier Menschen, die sich immer wieder treffen, Erfolg haben, manchmal auch nicht, und was es braucht, um erfolgreich zu sein, auch wenn das manchmal dann halt trotzdem nicht klappen will. Wunderschön, politisch, satirisch, ein wirklich gelungenes Buch mit mehr als nur einem Körnchen Wahrheit.
Das Buch beschreibt grundsätzlich nicht Neues. Aber wo gibt es feudale Schichten nicht? Meinen Sie, dass die Menschen in Europa ehrlicher sind as in Asien? Es gibt es doch auch 1000 Steuerbetrüger allein in Deutschland. Es gibt auch legale Steuerlöcher. Dumm wäre, wer diese legale Steuerlöcher nicht benutzen würden. Schon bei den Preußen gab es solche Sache. Der Mensch ist nun man ein korruptes Wesen und es wird auf der Welt so bleiben. Vorsicht: Das Buch ist schwer.
I enjoyed reading about the way how to get filthy rich in rising Asia. The story is structured into single steps which are partly very entertaining and overall it is a gread read I thought so I would like to recommend this book to you as well.