Book Review by: Mahrukh Hamayun
According to Mohsin Hamid there are 9 steps in order for one to get filthy rich within Asia.
With instructions ranging from moving to a big city to getting an education, not falling in love and using violence where necessary and always having a aptly timed exit strategy.
“The story as written by Hamid is of one man’s journey into the cut-throat world of business, childhood infatuations lost and the innate human greed for more.”
On first instance, the context seems simple. However, as you slowly peel away the surface layers and delve deeper into Hamid’s literary genius mindset you begin to realise this fictional piece of work isn’t just a mere parody of a get-rich-quick type book one finds in the wealth and finance sections of bookshops. Rather, the story as written by Hamid is of one man’s journey into the cut-throat world of business, childhood infatuations lost and the innate human greed for more.
This rags-to-riches story is set in an unnamed country with Hamid cleverly providing no indications as to whereabouts the story is actually set and removes any preconceived ideas that this tale is crafted within the author¹s homeland, Pakistan.
Upon indulging in the first few pages one might be mistaken that this was just another Slumdog Millionaire akin story about a paupers turning into a prince. Conversely as Hamid weaves his storytelling magic the reader finds it hard to put down the book as we follow the unlikeliest of heroes, an unnamed boy who moves from a small village to the big city in his quest to transform a small bottled water operation into a hugely successful company at the price of foregoing some dreams.
“After shedding a tear or two one begins to realise at the core of this novel the quintessential lesson being taught besides the overarching one of how to get filthy rich.”
The particularly fascinating feature of the book perhaps is the conclusion chapter titled ”Have an Exit Strategy” which strangely gives off F. Scott Fitzgerald’s tragic befallen hero Gatsby vibe. The focus turns to the unnamed boy turned corporate mogul sitting in a hotel room alone accompanied solely by his thoughts of the past half century to provide him solace.
After shedding a tear or two one begins to realize at the core of this novel the quintessential lesson being taught besides the overarching one of how to get filthy rich.