Five Star Billionaire

Five Star Billionaire

A Novel

Book - 2013
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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.
Publisher: Toronto : Hamish Hamilton, c2013.
ISBN: 9780670067145
Characteristics: xiii, 379 p. ;,24 cm.


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Jul 05, 2015

Great book which kept me on edge of my seat. Will read his other books, too.

Jul 02, 2015

In this entertaining novel, Tash Aw uses his sparse dispassionate prose to present a mostly dystopian view of modern Shanghai. The setting is expertly drawn, and the characters are both vivid and fascinating. These Malaysian migrants attempt to settle and build better lives in Shanghai, but are all dragged down into the muck by dark secrets and almost fatalistic alienation. There is a shady mystery which links the doomed characters, and Tash Aw expertly reveals its depths.

kmctaggart Mar 14, 2015

This book basically goes nowhere,,,ESPECIALLY the completely lack lustre ending.

Mar 14, 2014

This is a novel about the migration of people to Shanghai, the London of Victorian England in the present day - a time of great change, urban migration, and raw capitalism. Five characters - a factory girl, a pop star, a real estate developer, a businesswoman and the elusive five star billionaire who links all of the characters. Like other Asian books (e.g., "How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia"), the chapter headings are from self-help books, which play a role in everyone's lives. It is Dickensian in terms of the unexplained coincidences experienced by the characters in a bewildering world and it portrays a hard, impersonal, materialistic new China. Quite good.

Nov 21, 2013

Five Malaysians struggle to reinvent themselves in the confounding mega-metropolis of Shanghai. A masterful and affecting novel.

debwalker Jun 03, 2013

"Tthe story of five lonely people--from a provincial girl to a shadowy billionaire--struggling to achieve their dreams in modern Shanghai."
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Nov 21, 2013

In front of him, little windows announce themselves on the screen of his laptop, popping into existence like beautiful, short-lived nighttime flowers.

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