The Golden House

The Golden House

A Novel

Book - 2017
Average Rating:
5
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"A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture--a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities On the day of Barack Obama's inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of "the Gardens," a cloistered community in New York's Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, a brilliant recluse with a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous, famous on twenty blocks; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, harboring an explosive secret even from himself. There is no mother, no wife; at least not until Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, snags the septuagenarian Nero, becoming the queen to his king--a queen in want of an heir. Our guide to the Goldens' world is their neighbor Rene, an ambitious young filmmaker. Researching a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down. Set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics, The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie's triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention--a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache that make Salman Rushdie a force of light in our dark new age. Advance praise for The Golden House "A ravishingly well-told, deeply knowledgeable, magnificently insightful, and righteously outraged epic which pos­es timeless questions about the human condition. As Rushdie's blazing tale surges toward its crescendo, life, as it always has, rises stubbornly from the ashes, as does love."--Booklist (starred review) "Where Tom Wolfe's Bonfire of the Vanities sent up the go-go, me-me Reagan/Bush era, Rushdie's latest novel captures the existential uncertainties of the anxious Obama years. A sort of Great Gatsby for our time: everyone is implicated, no one is innocent, and no one comes out unscathed."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)"-- Provided by publisher.
"When the aristocratic Golden family moves into a self contained pocket of New York City, a park in Greenwich Village called "The Gardens," their past is an absolute mystery. They seem to be hiding in plain sight: Nero Golden, the powerful but shady patriarch, and his sons Petya, a high functioning autistic and recluse; Apu, the successful artist who may or may not be profound; and D, the enchanting youngest son whose gender confusion mirrors the confusion - and possibilities - of the world around him. And finally there is Vasilisa, the Russian beauty who seduces the patriarch to shape their American stories. Our fearless narrator is an aspiring filmmaker who decides the Golden family will be his subject. He gains the trust of this strange family, even as their secrets gradually unfold - love affairs and betrayals, questions of belonging and identity, a murder, an apocalyptic terror attack, a magical, stolen baby, all set against a whirling background in which an insane Presidential Candidate known as only The Joker grows stronger and stronger, and America itself grows mad. And yet The Golden House is a hopeful story, even an inspiring one - a story about the hope that surrounds, and is made brighter by, even the darkest of situations. Overflowing with inventiveness, humor, and a touch of magic, this is a full-throated celebration of human nature, a great American novel, a tale of exile wrapped in a murder mystery, a meditation on the nature of good and evil, a thrilling page turner, and a coming of age story for the ages"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2017]
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9780399592805
0399592806
Characteristics: 380 pages ; 25 cm

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j
jaslatia
Nov 18, 2017

This is my first Salman Rushdie book, and I must say I find it puzzling but compelling. His writing style is so elegant yet simple that he draws the reader in to a story that is not really that interesting so far (FYI, I haven't finished it--my ebook ran out) at least. I can't give it a big "thumbs up" because of the denseness of writing (yes, simple, elegant, but dense!). I will revise my comment hopefully after I get the ebook (or book) back to finish (I'm halfway through).

w
writermala
Nov 12, 2017

I cannot say I enjoyed this book but there was something compelling about it that kept me reading. Nero Golden moves his family of three adult sons from India to Greenwich Village in New York and Rene` tells the story of his life. His life in India remains a mystery till almost the very end. Here in New York, Vasilisa a beautiful woman, traps him into marriage and is intent on producing a heir for Nero's fortune. Does she succeed? There are a lot of questions and Rushdie tells a tale quite well.

s
stefhollmichel
Oct 30, 2017

Not a perfect book but very satisfying. The writing is beautiful, the humor smart and scathing, and the story delightfully over-the-top.

debwalker Sep 04, 2017

Epic story includes a slimy Trumpian con artist character The Joker, autism, transgender issues, as a billionaire moves his family from India to a mansion in NYC. Satire for our age of anti - truth.

e
erinh729
Jul 17, 2017

Salman Rushdie's new book is a breath of fresh air after Two Years, Eight Months, and Twenty-Eight Nights. It is full to the brim with literary and cinematic references, not to mention cultural markers and political commentary from the last 8 years and today. Rene is a pretty unreliable narrator and often unlikable, which kept me on my toes. I'm still not sure what I think of the book, but it is definitely worth a read. In addition to providing a suspenseful, enticing drama, Rushdie offers his response to the events of the 2016 election. It was definitely enjoyable to return to the land of the real after his last few fantastical novels.

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