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Spiegel & Grau
400 pages
Product Description
<b><b>LONGLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE • <b>NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND <i>BOOKPAGE</i></b></b><br><br>An expansive, eye-opening novel that captures the vibrancy of China today</b><br>  <br> <b>Phoebe</b> is a factory girl who has come to Shanghai with the promise of a job—but when she arrives she discovers that the job doesn’t exist. <b>Gary</b> is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control. <b>Justin</b> is in Shanghai to expand his family’s real estate empire, only to find that he might not be up to the task. He has long harbored a crush on <b>Yinghui</b>, a poetry-loving, left-wing activist who has reinvented herself as a successful Shanghai businesswoman. Yinghui is about to make a deal with the shadowy <b>Walter Chao</b>, the five star billionaire of the novel, who with his secrets and his schemes has a hand in the lives of each of the characters. All bring their dreams and hopes to <b>Shanghai</b>, the shining symbol of the New China, which, like the novel’s characters, is constantly in flux and which plays its own fateful role in the lives of its inhabitants.<br>  <br> <i>Five Star Billionaire </i>is a dazzling, kaleidoscopic novel that offers rare insight into the booming world of Shanghai, a city of elusive identities and ever-changing skylines, of grand ambitions and outsize dreams. Bursting with energy, contradictions, and the promise of possibility, Tash Aw’s remarkable new book is both poignant and comic, exotic and familiar, cutting-edge and classic, suspenseful and yet beautifully unhurried.<br><br><b>Praise for <i>Five Star Billionaire</i></b><br> <b><i> </i></b><br>“Estimable . . . artful . . . Mr. Aw is a patient writer, and an elegant one. His supple yet unshowy prose can resemble Kazuo Ishiguro’s. . . . He’s a writer to watch.”<b>—<i>The New York Times</i></b><br><br>“In <i>Five Star Billionaire,</i> the Taiwanese-born, Malaysian writer Tash Aw chooses a refreshingly novel perspective. . . . Through five distinct Malaysian-Chinese voices, Mr. Aw wonderfully expresses the grit and cosmopolitan glamour of Shanghai today. . . . Mr. Aw has done more than merely satirize a social milieu; he has created a cast of compelling characters, all of whom have come to Shanghai to remake themselves, yet are haunted by their pasts in ways that they barely understand. . . . In <i>Five Star Billionaire,</i> Mr. Aw has achieved something remarkable.”<b>—<i>The Wall Street Journal</i></b><br> <b><i> </i></b><br> “[Aw’s] ever-spiraling web of connections is as improbable as it is entertaining, but he knits his various threads with an elegance . . . coupled with a photorealistic eye for the minutiae of urban life.”<b>—<i>The Boston Globe</i></b><br><br>“The ambition of the book perfectly reflects its subject. In one scene, we’re introduced to a ‘folk guitarist whose slangy lyrics spoke of urban migration and loneliness.’ Aw might be describing himself, except that his threnodies are set to sophisticated modern jazz.”<b>—Pico Iyer, <i>Time</i></b><br><br>“Goes beyond the bounds of the ordinary . . . [Aw] provides a richly drawn landscape of compelling characters, and a deep immersion in their lives. . . . <i>Five Star Billionaire</i> is a fiercely contemporary tale of tradition, modernity and the cost of progress.”<b>—Ellah Allfrey, All Things Considered, NPR</b><br><br>“Aw has woven an impressive and contemporary human tapestry of a country that Western audiences would do well to better understand.”<b>—The Daily Beast</b>
Spiegel & Grau
400 pages Review
<strong>An Amazon Best Book of the Month, July 2013: </strong>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 <em>Five Star Billionaire</em> 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, <em>Five Star Billionaire</em> 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. --<em>Kevin Nguyen</em>