Disclosure: I never finished the second book in Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians series, The Richer are Getting Richer (title mine, since I can't remember its name). I think I put it down midway because I was distracted by something called life.
It doesn't matter. Kwan’s third volume, Rich People Problems, is such a frothy read I was able to fill in the gaps. The Asian
Murakami this is not. Which is a good
Shang Su Yi,
For Astrid Leong, there are even more things to worry about. Bitter divorce proceedings with husband Michael Teo and a secret relationship with ex-fiancé Charlie Wu has unspooled her perfect life in a very public way. And where is Rachel? Kwan must have finally figured out that she’s a total bore and relegates her to supporting character. That’s one problem solved.
You know how, when someone trips and falls on her face, you know you should not laugh, but you do anyway and it makes you feel bad, but you can't help it, it’s just so hilarious. You know you should turn away, but you keep watching. You feel super guilty, so you make the Sign of the Cross because, oh God, you just can’t help it. This is
Of note, the book includes several mentions of the Philippines, which can be classified into two categories: the Filipino as a fellow crazy rich Asian or the Filipino as nanny or maid (even in fiction, the reality of the wealth disparity is clear). There are also bit characters based on real Filipinos (you will easily
Kwan creates a fictional universe so full, with language as well adorned as the lives of the glittering characters he paints, so Problems becomes a compelling summer read. Just ignore the blocks of ant-sized footnotes that have contributed to my poor vision and the array of minor characters that has turned my brain foggy.
My only gripe is how everything gets tied up so neatly that the glorious tension built over many chapters deflates at the end (tell me if you were satisfied by the ending of the first book). But that's just me. I've always liked my books as complicated as my men. This, on the other hand, is a delicious, effortless work of fiction, and in the fantasy, the Truly Rich always win.