Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians

Details: More information can be found at the official site for the author which can be found here: http://www.kevinkwanbooks.com/

Score: 6.6/10

Crazy Rich Asians is the book upon which the movie was based upon. It’s the first book in a trilogy of books about a fantastically rich Singaporean family and the drama associated with Singaporean high society.

The core plot of the first book is basically the same as the plot of the movie. Rachel Chu is an American born Chinese woman who is dating Nick Young, a Singaporean ethnically Chinese person. Little does Rachel know that Nick is a member of one of the richest families in Singapore, if not the world. Nick invites Rachel to go meet his family and Rachel must now deal with the culture shock of dealing with Nick’s family as well as Singaporean high society and all the drama that entailed.

While the movie is mostly similar to the book, there are many differences. The movie was mostly designed to be a self-contained story with a satisfying resolution at the end. The book differs in that it does not resolve major issues as neatly and is seemingly designed to set up a sequel. Furthermore, the movie obviously skims over or completely removes details and plot points to tell a story that could fit into an hour and a half run time.

The book is filled with details. This is a story drowning in Singaporean Chinese glamour and cultural details. Singaporean, Cantonese, and Mandarin slang are often used and conveniently translated for the unknowing reader.

Though this book seemingly gives a glimpse into the distinctive world of Singaporean high society, it is essentially your classic romantic comedy tale. Major conflicts are the stereotypical conflicts between the in-laws, infidelity, troubled marriages, childhood romances, etc. The only unique thing about the story is that it is told with a wealthy Singaporean twist, often times sounding like an article out of a gossip rag rather than a novel.

Overall, if you like gossip rags, lifestyle porn, family drama and a generic romance story, then this is the book for you, especially if you have a vague interest into a highly fictionalized Singaporean or Chinese culture.

Score: 6.6/10

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