book review: Crazy Rich Asians

I found this book by mistake.  Well, not exactly, but it requires an explanation.  I haven’t posted any reviews for a while because I had eye surgery a few weeks ago.  After many years of wanting, but being deathly afraid of, Lasik surgery, I finally went ahead and got it done.  Unfortunately, I didn’t qualify for regular Lasik so I had to get PRK surgery (the big difference is that they remove the epithelial layers on your eye rather than cutting a flap, which saves corneal tissue).  PRK requires a longer period of time to recover because that epithelial layer has to grow back … and it hurt.  A lot.  I knew that I wouldn’t be able to read or watch movies or anything for a while so the day before my surgery, I downloaded some audio books from the library.  This book happened to be one of the audio books that were available.

I learned that I can’t stand listening to audio books.  Even when there is a good reader who does different accents for the different characters, the reading is so slow.  I found myself getting impatient with the reading and wishing that I could pick up the book to read for myself.

The woman who did the audio book for Crazy Rich Asians put on a snobby accent for every character.  That’s really not how I imagined the characters sounding (British accent is not equivalent to snooty!).  I was interested in the story, but I just couldn’t bring myself to listen to more than a few chapters of the book and couldn’t wait until my eyes had healed enough so that I could read the e-book for myself.

I finally got to do just that yesterday.

In a way, this book reminded me of Pride & Prejudice, not because they had similar plots, but because of the humor presented.  The book obviously pokes fun at rich socialites and, of course, the moral of the story is that money is nice in some (most) situations, but it isn’t everything because, according to the old old cliche, money can’t buy love. The plot is pretty obvious and there really aren’t many surprises.

I’m not filthy stinking rich and I’m not Chinese so I have no idea how accurate the book was, but the cultural beliefs seemed to be accurate.  There were also footnotes throughout the book explaining certain customs and translating certain phrases.  It was rather fun to pick up some new swear words in Mandarin (hey, it’s helpful to know if someone is insulting you).  It was fun to read about how rich people live … and think about the Weird Al song about first world problems while reading about these rich people.

The book was a light, fun read that doesn’t require much thinking.

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