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Five Star Billionaire #2020

Five Star Billionaire An entertaining expansive and eye opening novel that captures the vibrance of China today by a writer whose previous work has been called mesmerizing haunting breathtaking mercilessly gripping

  • Title: Five Star Billionaire
  • Author: Tash Aw
  • ISBN: 9780812994346
  • Page: 138
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Five Star Billionaire By Tash Aw, An entertaining, expansive, and eye opening novel that captures the vibrance of China today, by a writer whose previous work has been called mesmerizing, haunting, breathtaking, mercilessly gripping, seductive, and luminous Phoebe 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 existAn entertaining, expansive, and eye opening novel that captures the vibrance of China today, by a writer whose previous work has been called mesmerizing, haunting, breathtaking, mercilessly gripping, seductive, and luminous Phoebe 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 Gary is a country boy turned pop star who is spinning out of control Justin 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 harboured a crush on Yinghui, who has reinvented herself from a poetry loving, left wing activist to a successful Shanghai businesswoman She is about to make a deal with the shadowy figure of Walter Chao, 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 Shanghai, 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 Five Star Billionaire, the dazzling kaleidoscopic new novel by the award winning writer Tash Aw, offers rare insight into China today, with its constant transformations and its promise of possibility.

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      138 Tash Aw
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      Posted by:Tash Aw
      Published :2019-012-25T10:00:26+00:00

    1 thought on “Five Star Billionaire

    1. I m trying to read all the Booker longlist in the next month, and this was the first on my list Full disclosure I met Tash last month at a writers conference in Norwich, and he is a wonderful person, but that s not why I m giving his novel five stars It s an amazing book and I was drawn so quickly and deeply into the fictional world of these expat Malaysians trying to make it in Shanghai The plotting is masterful and the narrative voice is so compelling I couldn t put it down.

    2. One of those novels about a set of tangentially linked characters in a city It s a format I like, but it s been done a lot so each book does need to distinguish itself, and the settings are important most American ones feel very tired indeed to me, London rather overdone though at least likeable Five Star Billionaire is set in Shanghai which is, mindblowingly, bigger than London New York put together in population terms.For perhaps the first half of the book I was swept away by the engrossing de [...]

    3. There s something universally appealing about becoming filthy rich Earlier this year, Mohsin Hamid explored the topic in his book How To Become Filthy Rich in Rising Asia Now Tash Aw weighs in with Five Star Billionaire Interestingly, each of these accomplished authors employ a how to self help book conceit in this case, How To Achieve Greatness, How To Manage Time and so on.The problem or perhaps the point of this novel is, after a while, the strivers and the wannabes begin to blend together in [...]

    4. Five Star Billionaire was not, unfortunately, a five star book Sorry This novel is set in Shanghai, and it deals with five main characters, whose stories are covered in alternating chapters There is Phoebe, an ambitious young woman who has come from Malaysia to Shanghai to find love and get rich Justin, the heir to a fortune who becomes a recluse when his family s business fails Yinghui, a successful entrepreneur and Gary, a teen pop star who suffers a painful fall from grace Then there s Walter [...]

    5. This book was perfection I was so wrapped up in the second half of it that I forgot to eat dinner Five Star Billionaire follows 4 6 characters depending on how you look at it in very modern Shanghai as they attempt to survive expectations and pull themselves up economically and socially through plain hard work or through deception, if needed It s like the Protestant Work Ethic without any time for religion, turbo speed.I appreciated the portrayal of a very modern China So much of what I read, ev [...]

    6. Another atmosphere driven book, but because I found this one interesting than Harvest, 4 stars, not 3 The hero antihero of this book is Shanghai, the epitome of the 21st century megalopolis, ever expanding, ever growing, glittering, energetic, and yet with pockets of an older life, a few remaining heritage buildings Aw shows us the incredible wealth that there is to be made in Shanghai, as well as how its poorer citizens live Most importantly, he shows us a society constantly in motion where a [...]

    7. Shanghai is a beautiful place, but it is also a harsh place Life here is not really life, it is a competition.Shanghai is the world s largest city, with a total population of over 23 million It can arguably claim to be the city of the 21st century, similar to 19th century London and 20th century New York, as it is a booming financial, commercial and entertainment center that attracts emigrants and visitors from every continent, and it is the leading symbol of the new China and its growing influe [...]

    8. Six Degrees of SeparationThere is so much in this book it s hard to know where to start On the surface it s about several unconnected 20 and 30 something year olds who are trying to make a mark in Shanghai, China s capital city Along the way Aw has lots to say about the modern day culture of that city and the ethics involved in getting ahead there Everything seems to come down to appearances which are tricky for these characters since all of them are foreigners having grown up in Taiwan Being ou [...]

    9. Shanghai, the capital of the east, is potent and mythical, like New York or London in the west Immigrants are attracted to the glitter and hustle, the urbanity and promise of remaking themselves and securing wealth In Tash Aw s Booker finalist novel, four Malaysians with different stories and backgrounds come to Shanghai to score their dreams Their interconnected lives are slowly revealed over the course of the story on the way there, I was immersed in each one as the narrative alternates back a [...]

    10. Five Star BillionaireWhen i started reading the book I liked nonchalance and easiness with which the author writes I could see his ambition and I hoped the story itself would develop from the style But it did not happen for me at all unfortunately All the characters, especially the male ones seemed to me morally damaged and emotionally mute I did not feel sympathy to any of them Phoebe is the most fake and the most off putting one Male characters are so similar to each other as if they have been [...]

    11. Tash Aw has written several fine earlier novels But this book is an especially excellent work on at least three levels First it is a dramatic portrait of the energy, dynamism and ferment of China today particularly Shanghai, with its rapidity of change and its thrusting growth The city lives with brazen vividness and fascinating contrasts throughout this novel Secondly this book captures with skill and human empathy the lives of those attracted to this new Shanghai frontier from the narrower eco [...]

    12. This exceptional and thought provoking novel intertwines the stories of five Malay emigrants to Shanghai, with all their different stories and experiences There is Phoebe Chen Aiping, a recently arrived country girl longing to better herself with a fulfilling job and, hopefully, a rich man From a poor and remote region she relies on self help manuals for advice about how to fit in and become upwardly mobile Justin CK Lim is heir to LKH Holdings, a family insurance firm and a successful property [...]

    13. GulpI am disappointed It was long listed for the Booker prize in 2013 plus it sounded so interesting But, I found myself the opposite of interested for most of the read The story concentrates on 5 different individuals of different backgrounds living in Shanghai They all have dark fates to say the least and the author keeps reminding us that Shanghai is a hard city As if Shanghai, itself, is to blame for the miseries experienced by these five people My biggest hurdle that I never quite overcame [...]

    14. The Five Stars Billionaire is a book that speaks of success How to achieve it, how to not let it be the center of your life, a guide on what success is and how to deal with it, how to not let it consume you and change your world s views, and how to keep the shit going What I ve been told most by people when they see this book in my hand is pre explanation why are you reading a self help book Post explanation so Why are you reading a self help book And they are correct in a way No book or even a [...]

    15. Meh This book plods a depressing route towards a rushed conclusion Does not deserve the praise it receives in my opinion.

    16. The city held its promises just out of your reach, waiting to see how far you were willing to go to get what you wanted, how long you were prepared to wait And until you determined the parameters of your pursuit, you would be on edge, for despite the restaurants and shops and art galleries and sense of unbridled potential, you would always feel that Shanghai was accelerating a couple of steps ahead of you, no matter how hard you worked or played The crowds, the traffic, the impenetrable dialect, [...]

    17. The best part of Five Star Billionaire is the end because of a surprise plot twist I did not see coming at all Getting to the end took a while but the slow build involved five complete life stories and skillful character development.Most other reviews I have read are heavy on the five main characters as is the front cover blurb, so I won t spend my time retelling what you can find anywhere The most brilliant character is a city modern Shanghai with its frenetic rate of change and its contrasts b [...]

    18. You know how you can really like a book even though you don t necessarily really like any of the characters That s sort of how I felt about this book It centers around about 4 different individuals and their lives in Shanghai Each chapter covers one person, and gradually as the book goes on you see how the characters intersect But probably the best thing about this book is the setting Shanghai itself seems to be one of the main characters and the central focus on the book Each of the other chara [...]

    19. Five Star Billionaire has a lot going for it It has a very intriguing title It is about contemporary China Shanghai to be precise Shanghai is this beautiful flower that seems to attracts bees from all over in this case from Malaysia The book follows the path of 5 immigrants from Malaysia to China and the turns that their life takes.Tash Aw is a very capable writer It is to his credit that he spins an intriguing tale of hope and disappointment in this rather humane tale He uses multiple narrative [...]

    20. I gave this book 3 stars because I found the story rather depressing At the end, we are left to guess what will happen to the five key characters in the book I hope it will be less depressing Shanghai in this book is portrayed as fast paced, ruthless and always changing I have not been to Shanghai but I would have liked to get a better feel for the city and its link to its history or maybe there really is none and it s all about faking it and making it The author is Malaysian and he chose five M [...]

    21. I loved this book through the first three quarters I liked that the different characters stories were starting to come together and the reader was going to find out how five different people were connected in the large city of Shanghai, China This did not happen as this is a sad story of revenge Revenge may be a great motive to move a plot though, in the case of this book it falls a little flat The ending is not satisfactory and leaves the reader wondering what the purpose was anyway The central [...]

    22. This was a real thought out gift by a friend of mine who knows that i have been going to China regularly lately The book and the story has been set up in Shanghai the city of dreams in China with a huge migratory population not only from China but also abroad Taking place in autumn 2008 in Shanghai, the novel traces the lives of five ethnically Chinese characters who have arrived in the city from Malaysia for various reasons Each of them unique in their own way with their own set of issues Money [...]

    23. This is a well written novel about characters who I found hard to like The stories of each character revolve around one man and around Shanghai In fact I think Shanghai should be considered a character as it plays such an important part in the lives of the actual human characters I found the book not as compelling as I thought it might be but that may be my fault as there are definitely cultural aspects that I do not fully understand I am looking forward to reading it again slower and hopefully [...]

    24. Reading a book set in the city that you live in is special, the places are recognizable, the characters lives close to your own and therefore relatable In Five Star Billionaire we follow the story of five Malaysian Chinese living in Shanghai, some who have just arrived, some who have already made their fortune, and others that have just lost it The characters touch each others lives and some shared links to the past are uncovered which propels the story along at a good pace I felt the writing a [...]

    25. Im not even sure what to say about this book I couldnt get into this book at all It eas quite boring

    26. It s hard to imagine a spectacular cityscape than the one that has thrust skywards in China s second largest city over the last few decades The result is a fantastical array of glass and steel that at night lets Shanghai put on a lightshow which wouldn t be out of place in Las Vegas.Hardly surprising that millions of people have gravitated to the city with the dream of making a new life for themselves Tash Aw s Five Star Billionaire introduces us to just four of the city s twenty seven million [...]

    27. Depressing and sad Stories of several Malaysian migrants in Shanghai seeking happiness, success and love Relatable yet sometimes quite absurd.

    28. For some reason, reading this I was put in mind of the film Magnolia and wonder if it might make the basis for a good television drama Like Moshim Hamid s How to Become Filthy Rich in Rising Asia or Aravind Adiga s White Tiger, it s a book set in east Asia against a backdrop of rapid social and technological change parts of the world which are rapidly becoming part of the First World This time Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur substitute for India and Pakistan The book tells five loosely interlinked sto [...]

    29. I was midway through the book when I learned that it was included in the longlist of Booker Prize nominees for this year I think that ruined my reading experience a bit I was enjoying it until then without thinking too deeply, but after that I was concerned about why it would make it to the Booker Prize list It s not bad, no But it s not great either It s a loosely connected ensemble story of four third person narratives, plus one first person perspective that reads like a self help book Two of [...]

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