Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How To Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid

The author of How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia proclaims his book to be a self-help book, although, in his own opinion, “…unless you’re writing one, a self-help book is an oxymoron. You read a self-help book so someone who isn't yourself can help you…”  And indeed, this pull-yourself-up-by- your-own-bootstraps book is of no help to anyone but the writer who is “you.” In a country that resembles Pakistan, “you” should (among other things) move to the city, get an education, avoid idealists, work for yourself, befriend a bureaucrat and have an exit strategy. In actual fact, “you” should be smart, lucky and corrupt. “You” should be male and the third child in your family. “You” should take many low-skilled jobs as a way of working “your” way up the economic ladder. Going from a job as a “non-expired-labeled expired-goods” salesman to having your own “bottled hydration” business, in which “you” sell boiled tap water in recycled bottles, enables “you” to make your fortune. To achieve success, “you” must withstand poverty, mistreatment, poor schools, rejections, extortion, threats, embezzlement, abandonment and illness. The book takes “you” from early childhood to frail old age and, despite its subject matter, is very funny and “you” are a very likeable character. 

Check out How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid!