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Publisher's Summary

“A raucous novel, narrated in deadpan voice-over by Ramesh, a self-described ‘lower lower middle class’ 24-year-old scammer.... His perspective is a delight...a tartly entertaining novel, a potential summer blockbuster.” (New York Times Book Review)

A fresh look at modern-day India hailed as "a monstrously funny and unpredictable wild ride" by Kevin Kwan, New York Times best-selling author of the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy

The first kidnapping wasn’t my fault. The others - those were definitely me.

Brilliant yet poor, Ramesh Kumar grew up working at his father’s tea stall in the Old City of Delhi. Now, he makes a lucrative living taking tests for the sons of India's elite - a situation that becomes complicated when one of his clients, the sweet but hapless 18-year-old Rudi Saxena, places first in the All Indias, the national university entrance exams, thanks to him.

Ramesh sees an opportunity - perhaps even an obligation - to cash in on Rudi’s newfound celebrity, not knowing that Rudi’s role on a game show will lead to unexpected love, followed by wild trouble when both young men are kidnapped. 

But Ramesh outwits the criminals who’ve abducted them, turning the tables and becoming a kidnapper himself. As he leads Rudi through a maze of crimes both large and small, their dizzying journey reveals an India in all its complexity, beauty, and squalor, moving from the bottom rungs to the circles inhabited by the ultra-rich and everywhere in between.

A caper, social satire, and love story rolled into one, How to Kidnap the Rich is a wild ride told by a mesmerizing new talent with an electric voice.

©2021 Rahul Raina (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about How to Kidnap the Rich

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Funny and Insightful!

This book had lots of funny moments which were balanced out with insightful comments about Indian and Western cultures.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Needless use of F word

It is possible to tell a great story without using extreme profanity in nearly every para. My evidence is the entirety of literary history.
So an author choosing to incorporate such repetitive use of the F word is bowing the knee to coarse culture and becoming a prisoner to it.
That choice by the author spurs my easy choice to pass on this story.
I will ‘return’ if possible but delete regardless.

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A captivating story that reveals India's failings

apart from being a mesmerizing plot, this book is a long harsh indictment against Indian society, norms, culture and government. Westerners and whites are not spared.
enjoyed it and it made me think.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Inexplicably Slow and Dull.

Anyone who rated this 5 stars must either be a friend of the author or has never read an actually good book. I wanted to like it, I really did. the main characters have some charm and the story has potential but it all goes to waste. It takes more than half the book for a kidnapping to finally happen to move the plot along but by then I didn't care and it barely manages to nudge the plot along. This reads like a sketch or outline of a novel than an actual attempt at good story telling. Really, nothing happens most of the time and then when it does, the "action" makes very little sense and comes out of thin air with little if any detailed development. same for the shallow, superficial characters. if I was reading this on paper, I'd have given up after 100 pages but the narrator is actually quite good. This is simply and disappointingly, just not a very well written novel.