Five Star Billionaire, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


Longlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize, the overlapping lives of five newcomers to China's most dynamic city are the subject of this kaleidoscopic novel.

Welcome to Shanghai. A restless metropolis where old traditions collide with new ambitions - a place where anything can happen and anyone can become Somebody.

Golddigger, property magnate, pop star, entrepreneur and guru: five newcomers are lured by the promise of making fortunes and remaking identities.

But they find their lives converging in unpredictable ways, as the Five Star Billionaire's lessons for success wreak havoc.

For in a land where dreams may come true, nothing is ever quite as it seems...




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This novel didn't really work for me. I thought that the basic premise was clever, and I found the early chapters appealing, but that initial appeal palled fairly quickly.The story takes the form of five narratives relating the experiences of separate Malaysian émigrés who have relocated to Shanghai. These five include:·a young woman struggling to make a life in the big city who thinks that her greatest chance for advancement lies in finding a wealthy man,;·a member of an immensely rich family which has made its wealth through selling insurance and is now looking to cash in on the property boom in Shanghai as it becomes increasingly westernised;·a successful pop star in his early twenties who, after having a meteoric career seems to have fallen foul of the tabloid papers that had previously eulogised his every act;·a successful businesswoman who has created an extensive commercial empire but worries that she has sacrificed her private life; and ·a personal development guru who has developed a life plan that can make the most unlikely candidate become a billionaire.Unfortunately, as the novel progresses each of these characters seemed to become more rather than less two-dimensional, and the plot simply seemed too contrived to be rally plausible.