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Monday, October 22, 2018

Review: China Rich Girlfriend

China Rich Girlfriend is the second book in Kevin Kwan's rich people trilogy that started with Crazy Rich Asians. As the title implies, this one is about the wealthy Chinese rather than wealthy Singaporeans.

With more mandarin and less Hokkien, the book is chocked full of footnotes, which are at least as much fun as the main text. What I didn't notice the first time (but my old ACS pal Terence Chua pointed out) is that some of the names in the book are funny in-jokes that are only available to those who speak Hokkien. Some of them are as funny as Neal Stephenson's "Hiro Protagonist."

The first half of the book is a made-for-Hollywood extravaganza worshiping the gods of wealth and conspicuous consumption. Not being a fan of fashion or luxury brands, most of it went by for me in a blur that's only peripherally related to the plot. When the plot gets going in earnest, it turns out to be shallow, but at least Kwan doesn't get lazy and we get a new villain instead of a rehashed version of what the first novel was.

The book's a breezy easy read, and a great airplane novel. I've already placed a hold on the next book in the series.

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