Review: Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan
'Light, funny and entertaining - that would be Crazy Rich Asians in a nutshell.'
Light, funny and entertaining - that would be Crazy Rich Asians in a nutshell.
When Rachel Chu's boyfriend of two years Nick Young invites her to spend the summer in Asia with him, she has no clue what the trip has in store. Whilst her easygoing other half is a simple university professor in New York, back in Singapore, he's absolute royalty and the heir to his family's crazy large fortune. You can imagine the reaction from Nick's family when they learn he's bringing home a mere nobody home!
I saw the movie rendition of Crazy Rich Asians and loved it (due, I'll admit, a lot to Henry Golding's incredible charming-ness). So when I realised there was not just one book, but a series of three novels, I knew I had to try it.
Now, where this book gets total brownie points: it's well-written, witty, funny and it gives you an insider account of the fabulous lives of the Singaporean high society. It was a very pleasant read on that front. It was made even better by the fact our pantry was stacked with stir fry
ingredients, because it talks so much about Asian food I spent the whole time craving noodles!
But - and there's a but - my qualm with this book is that, for a story that revolves entirely around Nick and Rachel... There's actually very little Nick and Rachel in it!
Yes it's all 'about' them and it talks 'of' them loads, and we're told they
are happy together and want to be together... But it's all 'tell' and no 'show'. Their intimacy is sorely lacking, so I was left missing that added colour to convince me that they, in fact, do love each other. And I'm not talking saucy passages - I 'm talking about basic things such
as them actually talking to each other and spending time together.
All in all: as a comedy, this is a four star read - four and a half if you stock your pantry with noddles and spring rolls to snack on as you read. As a romantic comedy however, which I expected it to be, it's a fail.
If you pick up this book, make sure you set the right expectations for yourself (mine were totally misguided and it negatively impacted my experience for sure!)