Authors: Kevin Kwan
Tags: #Literary, #Retail, #Humor, #Nook, #Fiction
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places,
events, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used
fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales
is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Kwan
All rights reserved. Published in the United States by Doubleday, a division of Random
House, Inc., New York, and in Canada by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.
and the portrayal of an anchor with a dolphin are registered trademarks of Random
Grateful acknowledgment is made to Kurt Kaiser for permission to reprint an excerpt
from the song “Pass It On” from
Tell It Like It Is
. Reprinted by permission of the artist.
Part opening illustration by Alice Tait
Jacket design by Ben Wiseman
Jacket photograph © adrisbow/Flickr/Getty Images
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Crazy rich Asians / Kevin Kwan. — 1st ed.
1. Fiancés—Fiction. 2. Fiancées—Fiction. 3. Americans—Singapore—Fiction. 4. Rich
people—Fiction. 5. Social conflict—Fiction. 6. Domestic fiction. I. Title.
For my mother and father
to download a larger version of the family tree below.
This is what happens when you get a face-lift in Argentina.
M.C. is the abbreviation for Mom Chao, the title reserved for the grandsons of King
Rama V of Thailand (1853 - 1910) and is the most junior class still considered royalty.
In English this rank is translated as “His Serene Highness.” Like many members of
the extended Thai royal family, they spend part of the year in Switzerland. Better
golf, better traffic.
M.R. is the abbreviation for Mom Rajawongse, the title assumed by children of male
Mom Chao. In English this rank is translated as “The Honorable.” The three sons of
Catherine Young and Prince Taksin all married Thai women of noble birth. Since these
wives’ names are all impressively long, unpronounceable to non-Thai speakers, and
rather irrelevant to this story, they have been left out.
Plotting to run away to Manila with his dear nanny so he can compete in the World
Her notorious gossip spreads faster than the BBC.
But has fathered at least one child out of wedlock with a Malay woman (who now lives
in a luxury condo in Beverly Hills).
Hong Kong soap opera actress rumored to be the girl in the red wig from
Crouch My Tiger, Hide Your Dragon II
But unfortunately takes after her mother’s side of the family—the Chows.
Sold his Singapore properties in the 1980s for many millions and moved to Hawaii
but constantly laments that he would be a billionaire today “if he’d just waited a
few more years.”
Nicholas Young slumped into the nearest seat in the hotel lobby, drained from the
sixteen-hour flight from Singapore, the train ride from Heathrow Airport, and trudging
through the rain-soaked streets. His cousin Astrid Leong shivered stoically next to
him, all because her mother, Felicity, his
dai gu cheh
—or “big aunt” in Cantonese—said it was a sin to take a taxi nine blocks and forced
everyone to walk all the way from Piccadilly Tube Station.
Anyone else happening upon the scene might have noticed an unusually composed eight-year-old
boy and an ethereal wisp of a girl sitting quietly in a corner, but all Reginald Ormsby
saw from his desk overlooking the lobby were two little Chinese children staining
the damask settee with their sodden coats. And it only got worse from there. Three
Chinese women stood nearby, frantically blotting themselves dry with tissues, while
a teenager slid wildly across the lobby, his sneakers leaving muddy tracks on the
black-and-white checker board marble.
Ormsby rushed downstairs from the mezzanine, knowing he could more efficiently dispatch
these foreigners than his front-desk clerks. “Good evening, I am the general manager.
Can I help you?” he said slowly, over-enunciating every word.
“Yes, good evening, we have a reservation,” the woman replied in perfect English.
Ormsby peered at her in surprise. “What name is it under?”
“Eleanor Young and family.”
Ormsby froze—he recognized the name, especially since the Young party had booked the
Lancaster Suite. But who could have imagined that “Eleanor Young” would turn out to
, and how on earth did she end up here? The Dorchester or the Ritz might let this
kind in, but this
the Calthorpe, owned by the Calthorpe-Cavendish-Gores since the reign of George IV
and run for all intents and purposes like a private club for the sort of families
that appeared in
Almanach de Gotha
. Ormsby considered the bedraggled women and the dripping children. The Dowager Marchioness
of Uckfield was staying through the weekend, and he could scarcely imagine what she
would make of
appearing at breakfast tomorrow. He made a swift decision. “I’m terribly sorry, but
I can’t seem to find a booking under that name.”