Five Star Billionaire

Fourth Estate

Five Star Billionaire

  • Publish Date: 2013-02-28
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Tash Aw
Regular price $32.35 Sale price $15.39

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In the Man Booker prize-longlisted `Five Star Billionaire' Tash Aw charts the overlapping lives of migrant Malaysian workers, forging lives for themselves in sprawling Shanghai. Justin is from a family of successful property developers. Phoebe has come to China buoyed with hope, but her dreams are shattered within hours as the job she has come for seems never to have existed. Gary is a successful pop artist, but his fans and marketing machine disappear after a bar-room brawl. Yinghui has businesses that are going well but must make decisions about her life. And then there is Walter, the shadowy billionaire, ruthless and manipulative, ultimately alone in the world. In `Five Star Billionaire', Tash Aw charts the weave of their journeys in the new China, counterpointing their adventures with the old life they have left behind in Malaysia. The result is a brilliant examination of the migrations that are shaping this dazzling new city, and their effect on these individual lives. An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: In his ambitious third novel, Tash Aw draws a luminous portrait of four new, disparate arrivals to Shanghai: a venerable business woman, a pop star, a factory girl turned socialite, and an inheritor of his family real-estate, all of whose fates are tied to an elusive billionaire. But Five Star Billionaire is as much about people as it is about place: Shanghai represents the booming economic growth of China. It's a city of over 23 million people--some trying to make a name for themselves, others just trying to get by (for comparison sake, that's nearly three times as many people as New York City). By the end, Five Star Billionaire doesn't feel so foreign. The characters don't find personal fulfillment, but they're finally moving in the right direction. Aw reveals that the American Dream isn't so uniquely American as it is a byproduct of capitalism. Or perhaps it's a byproduct of the human condition: money becomes a way to quantify one's worth, to cure one's unhappiness. In such a big city, everything that matters is inward. --Kevin Nguyen

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