9/17/2013 3:38:00 PM Second installment in Crazy Rich series
Special to the Times
Correction: "The Bookshelf "column in the Sept. 11 edition of the Palo Verde Valley Times discussed the book Crazy Rich which chronicled the Johnson family that founded the medical supply and pharmaceutical conglomerate Johnson & Johnson.
The first three paragraphs of the column erroneously stated the article was about a different family and company. "The Bookshelf" column in the Sept. 18 edition of The Times also mentioned the wrong family in an allusion to the previous week's column. The Times regrets the error.
BLYTHE - Last week's book report, Crazy Rich featured the Johnson & Johnson Dynasty and all the shenanigans played out by both the parental generation and their offspring.
Booze drinking and crack parties; drag racing to see who can wreck their car first; trophy wives who were flipped on a regular basis and spoiled children who refused to mind their elders. Lavish spending was a given for being rich. This is a non-fiction book by Jerry Oppenheimer and it is shelved in the new non-fiction section under 338.761 OPPE
The featured book this week is also titled Crazy Rich with a third word in the title: Crazy Rich Asians. This fiction novel is set in Singapore, center of the Asian squillionaire set who think nothing of jumping into their private airplane for dinner in Australia or breakfast on a tropical shore.
Rachael Chu has been invited by her boyfriend, Nick, to spend six weeks in Singapore exploring the local environs and soaking up Asian culture. Expecting a simple family home and quality time with Nick she is totally unprepared for the high-strung life of one-up-man-ship she encounters among the women she meets. She is overwhelmed at the price of the ladies' gowns - some of them a million dollars or more - that the elite purchase by the dozen and of the lavish homes in which they live well tended to by servants of every type.
Nick had come to Singapore for the wedding of one of his long-time pals. The description of the days leading up to the 60 Million dollar wedding, and the wedding itself, with a performance by the Cirque du Soleil as the crowning touch of the ceremony, is filled with intrigue, backstabbing, and the exclusion of Rachael. The local women fear Rachael - they think her background is not good enough for their kind - so they gang together to see to it that she doesn't get included in any of their activities.
The combination of gold housewares, couture, private jets, absurd social rules, and snobbery is a hilarious combination.
Author Kevin Kwan has done a masterful job tying all the feats of Singaporean street food, jet travel, million dollar apparel and snobbery together in one package that is highly readable and funny at the same time. This is Kwan's first novel. May there be many more to come in the future.
One can find Crazy Rich Asians in the Palo Verde Valley Library's special book section in the center of the library by the circulation desk. Look for the books with a chartreuse dot at the top of the book's spine.
If you are having trouble finding Crazy Rich/Asians the circulation attendant will be delighted to help you.
The Palo Verde Valley Library is at 125 W Chanslorway in Blythe, Calif. It is just north of the senior center in Todd Park. The library opens each day, except Sunday at 10 a.m. and closes at 6 p.m. The library closes at 4 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday the library is closed for a day of rest.