Monday, January 6, 2014

Money Changes Everything - novels of the rich

Crazy Rich Asians (M)
by Kevin Kwan"Kwan's debut is a scintillating fictional look into the opulent lives of fabulously wealthy Chinese expats living in Singapore. Economics professor Rachel Chu has no idea what she's in for when her handsome boyfriend, Nicholas Young, invites her to join him at his best friend's wedding in Singapore. Rachel is excited to meet Nick's friends and family, but he fails to warn her about the social minefield she's about to cross. Nick's mother, Eleanor, jets off to Shenzhen to investigate Rachel's background, while friends and family gossip openly about her at a gathering hosted by Nick's grandmother. When Rachel is invited to the bride's bachelorette party which includes a ride on a private jet and a stay at a luxury hotel it becomes clear that these are young women with designs on Nick who will do just about anything to scare Rachel off. From its delightful opening scene onward, this sleek social satire offers up more than a few hilarious moments as it skewers the crafty, rich schemers who populate its pages." - Booklist

& Sons: a novel (M)
by David Gilbert"*Starred Review* Acutely aware that his time is short after the death of his lifelong friend, Charles Topping, Andrew Dyer, a revered, famously reclusive New York writer, is anxious for his youngest son, 17-year-old Andy, whose birth destroyed Andrew's marriage, to connect with his two half brothers. Their chaotic reunion becomes the catalyst for Gilbert's intricately configured, shrewdly funny, and acidly critical novel.... A marvel of uproarious and devastating missteps and reversals charged with lightning dialogue, Gilbert's delectably mordant and incisive tragicomedy of fathers, sons, and brothers, privilege and betrayal, celebrity and obscurity, ingeniously and judiciously maps the interface between truth and fiction, life and art." - Booklist

A Dual Inheritance: a novel (M)
by Joanna Hershon"*Starred Review* This multigenerational saga spanning almost five decades kicks off with the meeting of Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley at Harvard. The driven Jew and the aimless blue blood couldn't be more different, but Ed's persistence with the laconic Hugh cements their friendship. When the love of Hugh's life, Helen Ordway, comes back into the picture, the three become an inseparable trio...  Sharply observed and masterfully constructed, Hershon's fourth novel is her strongest yet, a deft and assured examination of ambition, envy, longing, and kinship.-" - Booklist

Seven Deadlies: a cautionary tale (M)
by Gigi Levangie"Perry Gonzales is a scholarship student at Mark Frost Academy, where the students and parents think nothing of their enormous wealth. Her hardworking nurse mother helps her keep it all in perspective, and soon Perry is in demand for tutoring the worst cases. Each chapter in Levangie's (The After Wife, 2012) latest features a young person suffering from one of the seven deadly sins in very humorous tall-tale fashion. The boy who turns into an insect after a life of playing video games nonstop responds to Perry's efforts, as does the overachiever who wants to raise his grades by a tenth of a point to beat her. But many are not able to overcome their extreme sins. Most of the teens meet grotesquely funny ends while Perry moves on to the next case. Perry herself is not immune to an attractive boy, giving her another appealing dimension. The humor and biting wit of this clever title will appeal to adults who like P. G. Wodehouse." - Booklist

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