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Baby, You're a Rich Man Paperback – May 8, 2013

4.7 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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The A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah
"The A to Z of You and Me" by James Hannah
A striking tale of love, regret, and coming to terms with the mistakes that make us who we are. Learn more | See author page

Editorial Reviews

Review

Baby, You're a Rich Man is part picaresque, part noir, part tale of a (not so) innocent abroad, part send-up of the ridiculousness of made-for-TV consumer culture. Kent Richman's fall and rise and fall and rise is as weird and unlikely as his childhood infamy and his adult fame, and Christopher Bundy's masterstroke is to make of that weirdness a heartfelt novel for the new century, a novel in which everything and anything is possible: love, loss, and maybe even redemption. 
- Josh Russell, author of A True History of the Captivation, Transport to Strange Lands, & Deliverance of Hannah Guttentag

Christopher Bundy's Baby, You're a Rich Man is as much a satire of contemporary media culture as it is one man's attempt to escape his notorious past. And there are many pleasures here: the beauty and contradiction that are the Japanese landscape, the restrained humor mixed with slapstick, the comic book drama, and the unforgettable characters that drive this story to its surprising end.
- Karl Taro Greenfeld, author of Speed Tribes and Triburbia

From the first page, Christopher Bundy's Baby, You're A Rich Man drew me seductively into its world and never let go. This engrossing novel is filled with the spark of adventure and a hero whose relatable pains are rendered with striking originality. Mark your calendars, make room on your bookshelf: Baby, You're A Rich Man is worth your time.
- Laura van den Berg, author of What the World Will Look Like When All the Water Leaves Us

Part expat story, part whodunit, part celebrity expose, part graphic novel, Chris Bundy's debut chronicles the heavy and the light for a man who's staked his career on being a John Lennon look-alike in Japan, sweating his latest and maybe last shot at being somebody, someone, anyone at all. These pages have plenty to say about who we are while chasing our dreams and what it means, if it does, to catch them.
- Hugh Sheehy, author of The Invisibles

With sensitive nuanced writing, and an eye for the absurd as well as the tragic, Bundy has located the unexpected core of humanity and hope in the ludicrous maelstrom of the modern celebrity culture.
-  Man Martin, author of Paradise Dogs

About the Author

Christopher Bundy's fiction and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in Glimmer Train, Puerto del Sol, DIAGRAM, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, The Collagist, and many other print and online publications. His work has also been anthologized, including the IPPY award-winning Expecting Goodness & Other Stories (Hub City Press, 2010), edited by C. Michael Curtis.
 
Max Currie is an illustrator living in Kennessaw, GA.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: C&R Press; 1st edition (May 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1936196204
  • ISBN-13: 978-1936196203
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,933,392 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Galileo on April 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
POSSIBLE SPOILER

Christopher Bundy's "baby, you're a rich man" is a heartfelt novel that follows Kent Richman's (an American living in Japan) self discovery as he stays at a Buddhist Monastery, isolated in the mountains. Kent is a hotshot playboy. He first made a name for himself as a TV star, primarily because he looks identical to John Lennon. He had the life - money, fame and the most desired Japanese woman, Kumi, as a wife.

But after Kent was ridiculed on TV by Australian shock comic Ozman, Kent seeks revenge by having an affair with Ozman's celebrity wife, Monique. Kent only wanted it to be an innocent flirt - one that he could rub in Ozman's face. But the innocent flirt turned into a month long affair that spiraled out of control, especially when the sex video between Kent and Monique went viral. In a rage, Ozman murders his wife, Monique. Then, he tortures Kent and Kumi.

Renzo, Kent's agent and only friend, sends Kent to a Buddhist Monastery to film a comeback documentary, showing the world that Kent Richman has changed, in hope's to capture Japan's heart once again. Kent ventures into the mountains alongside Midori - a regular, but astonishing girl. At the monastery, Kent strives to be a better person, to change his destructive ways and learn from Oji-san, the monk/sensei. Kent learns that before he can recover all he lost, he must let go of all that is holding him back. Kent learns that his journey back to the top will not be easy, maybe not even manageable, especially with Ozman on the lose, who has just escaped from prison, and is coming to kill him.

We've all had a loved one that left us, and we thought it would be impossible to go on without them. When a girlfriend of two years that I thought I was going to marry left me, I couldn't eat.
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Format: Paperback
Each chapter opens with the type of stark contrast that only sequential art can bring to a story, the deep black ink and pale white introductory page gives readers visual clues of what's to come on the following pages. But rather than a story where the character's journey is abundantly clear - all black and white - Christopher Bundy examines the gray of our lives, the part where we look into the cloud of our future and try to figure things out.

The main character makes terrible choices, suffers the consequences and finds redeeming angels along the way, angels disguised as real people. The novel takes the character through several parts of Japan, described in evocative detail so that even readers who have never been to Japan get a feel for the absurdities of city life and the secrets of mountain retreats.

I highly recommend this book for its likeable characters, but especially for the creative approach that blends sequential art with written-word storytelling, making each more dramatic and memorable.
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Format: Paperback
Baby, You're A Rich Man is a musical composition, and many of its abundant riches are musical in nature. Above all I love the tone. Humor and pathos alike are rendered in a minor key that the author's sure hand maintains throughout. Imagine sitting in the sheltered café of a Japanese garden as the rain falls beyond the open walls, sipping tea as you listen to a confidant's hushed tale of love, loss, and guilt. That's the feel of this serious, humorous, richly textured book.

Bright humorous notes abound and serve as a welcome counterpoint to the book's predominant blue lines. An untalented American star of a Japanese variety show falls from grace due to scandal and is replaced by a cartoon version ... of himself. A Japanese gossip site sympathizes with the fallen faux-star when his wife leaves him due to his infidelity: "Boo hoo, RI-CHU-MAN-SAN!" The renderings of the doings on Ri-Chu-Man-San's own variety show, and that of Austrailian-bred shock comic Ozman, Richman's tormentor, are absurd, funny, and memorable. You just have to read it (humor does not paraphrase well).

The author's rendering of present-day Japan is thoroughly winning. In musical terms, the nightspots and temples and other locales, and the absurd and prosaic doings of the Japanese, bring to mind The Mikado, though Bundy's sketches cannot be accused of being disrespectful (as G&S sometimes are). I am fascinated by modern Japan, and that's one of the reasons that I enjoyed Jay McInerny's "Ransom." In my opinion, Bundy's depiction of Japan is richer, more compelling, and even more fun than McInerney's, and that is no small matter.

As a well realized symphony should be, Baby You're A Rich Man is beautifully paced. Never did I feel that the story rushed ahead or lagged.
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