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Thursday
Nov012012

Five Star Billionaire

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 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.

Praise

“Aw is a master storyteller and Five Star Billionaire can be read as The Way We Live Now for our times.… [It is a story] of lives lost and found, of the transience of material success and the courage required to hope and to trust again, to forgive oneself and to believe in the possibility of love.” —The Guardian

“Tash Aw’s brilliant new novel focuses on four Malaysian immigrants, all determinedly on the make.… The unputdownable story of how these lives interconnect and touch upon the billionaire of the title, a shadowy avenging angel, is played out against the noisy, glitzy backdrop of a society on the cusp between abandoning old values and embracing a lifestyle as flashy as its neon glow.” —Daily Mail

Excerpt