NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • 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
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR • PBS • HARPER’S BAZAAR • ESQUIRE • FINANCIAL TIMES • THE TIMES OF INDIA
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 René, 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.
Praise for The Golden House
“[A] modern masterpiece . . . telling a story full of wonder and leaving you marveling at how it ever came out of the author’s head.”—Associated Press
“Wildly satiric and yet piercingly real . . . If F. Scott Fitzgerald, Homer, Euripides, and Shakespeare collaborated on a contemporary fall-of-an-empire epic set in New York City, the result would be The Golden House.”—Poets & Writers
“A tonic addition to American—no, world!—literature . . . a Greek tragedy with Indian roots and New York coordinates.”—San Francisco Chronicle
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Hometown:New York, New York
Date of Birth:June 19, 1947
Place of Birth:Bombay, Maharashtra, India
Education:M.A. in History, King's College, University of Cambridge
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Excerpted from "The Golden House"
Copyright © 2017 Salman Rushdie.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A brilliantly told story of an enigmantic millionaire his three children his second wife and their mysteries and downfalls. The characters are engaging and the story is told through a cinematic lens as the narrator is a director and scriptwriter. His enthusiasm for understanding the family is contagious and makes each page a delight. Set against the backdrop of a seemingly farcical election with apolitician nicknamed Batwoman squaring off against a gaudy bussinessman nicknamed Joker. A familiar background event to many U.S. readers.
I really enjoyed this novel! The methodical pacing and the very fine character developments nicely brought together a richly woven story. The narrators keen eye observing real life contemporary political events with wit and sharp denunciation is spot on!
I had never read a Salman Rushdie book before, but I had heard of him and what a good writer he was. So. . . I was pretty excited when I requested and received this book. That excitement lasted until I started reading it. It was just so tedious. And, yawn. . . boring. There were numerous times when the narrator of this story would say the same things over and over again. Using different words, of course. I would be reading thinking surely there's been enough talk describing something with the Golden family and then several pages later it would be said again, paragraphs of content with different wording. The narrator kept promising that "the story" will be coming. Well, after 60% into this story, I said "wow, I don't have to read all of this". I rarely like to abandon books because I feel so bad in doing so. But this one, I could not take it anymore. Not sure if this the writer's typical style, something that did not appeal to me either, or if it's different. I do appreciate, however, that Random House and Net Galley provided me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Made my brain hurt. This was an intriguing, yet pedantic and tedious, telling of the lives of a family of uber-rich, modern immigrants, the Goldens, who take up residence in New York’s Greenwich Village. The intricately-woven tales of these quirky, colorful and quite dysfunctional relatives are relayed to the reader from the perspective of their young neighbor, Rene', who fosters a passion for filmmaking. By casting the Goldens as the subject of his latest film creation, Rene' inadvertently casts himself as an annexed member of the family and becomes embroiled in their ever-present quibbles, enmeshed in their infidelities and entangled in their nefarious deeds. Imbued with barely-concealed, nonsectarian political censure and littered with obscure film, book and music references, the prose oft times became draining and tiresome to slog through. But, what was glaringly obvious was Rushdie's blatant spotlight on the fact that we are a broken, dissociative society, over-indulgent in our hedonism and blind to our illusory, reality TV-infused existence. *I received a complimentary ARC of this story from NetGalley & Random House Publishing Group - Random House in order to read and provide a voluntary, unbiased and honest review, should I choose to do so.
It can be a bit jarring going from reading pulp fiction to true literature so I can appreciate some of the reviewers being uncomfortable, but make no mistake: THIS is literature. I don't think this is Mr. Rushdie's best work, but it's certainly close. The prose are gorgeous. The narrative is engaging and I liked the style in which it was written. The "character study" is, in truth, allegorical. This is a thoughtful, quiet analysis of the United States and our state of affairs. It's not a rebuke, but simply a study. If you enjoy intelligent meditation beautifully presented, you will love this book.
In an established neighborhood in New York City, a new family moves into a fabulous mansion. They are the Goldens who are immigrants from abroad, maybe India, maybe the Middle East, the residents are not quite sure. The father, Nero, is an obviously successful and powerful man even if his story is shrouded in mystery. He has moved here with his three sons. Petya is a brilliant man who is crippled by his insecurities and is rarely seen outside the house. Apu is an artist and quickly makes his mark in artistic circles, knowing and loving everyone and anyone. D is the youngest son, a half-brother to Petya and Apu. He is racked by doubts about his identity and what course his life should take. Rene is a resident of the neighborhood. He is a young would-be filmmaker who has grown up there. He is fascinated by the Golden family and decides to make a movie about them. When his own parents are killed in an accident, he is invited into the Golden house and soon learns many of their secrets. When Nero meets and marries an enigmatic Russian immigrant, Vasilia, Rene is right there and sees the same things about her that worry the sons. As the years go by, more secrets and tragedies unfold, not only for the family but in the country. Those who live in this Greenwich Village neighborhood are typically liberal and they bemoan the direction the country is taking after the administration of President Obama. Some are blase about the election; others see the conservative candidate as a madman who has evil intentions. The Golden family also starts to unwind as ill events happen to them and their innate inclinations lead them on to tragedy. Salman Rushdie is one of today's most prominent novelists and any new novel by him is a joy. This parable documents the path America is taking as seen through the eyes of the New York intelligentsia. There are references to Greek mythology and topics such as sexual identity, the autistic spectrum, the film industry, the tragedy of wealth and the ability to reinvent oneself are explored. Some have called this novel a modern Bonfire Of The Vanities and it was an Amazon Best Book of September 2017. This book is recommended for readers of literary fiction.
I have always wanted to try a book written by Mr. Rushdie ad I’m not sorry I tried this book…tried being the operative word! Apparently, I just don’t have the brains to become engaged with this sort of complex novel. I didn’t care for the political views of Mr. Rushdie but realize that this gives me another view of the world. This was a beautifully written book, with deeply complex characters that just didn’t capture my attention -I think I will be giving Mr. Rushdie a pass from now on. Apparently, I just can’t appreciate books like this – OR he just can’t write for the masses!
I have to confess that I am a huge Salman Rushdie fan. I think he is a brilliant writer and an incredible storyteller. In picking up The Golden House I was pretty sure I was going to love it. I wasn’t disappointed. As usual Rushdie’s writing blew me away with its cleverness, humour and humanity. I found myself highlighting passage after passage, just wanting to read them over and over and to share them with someone. The story he tells in The Golden House is so woven into current events that the two cannot be disentangled. His views of the 2016 election are very clear and his despair for America his palpable. While he doesn’t mention any names he does recount the election as between Batwoman, the hero, and the Joker, an insane clown. I laughed out loud over many passages and shook my head in wonder and disbelief that this wasn’t just fiction. Rushdie has a knack for pinpointing the exact pulse of current events and building his stories around them. This story is tragic and heartbreaking, dark and bleak while ultimately being hopeful. The Golden’s are fascinating and infuriating and very, very human. Their lives are packed full of a series of almost unbelievable events, much more than an average person would ever experience and they are larger than life characters yet pieces of their stories are relatable. Our narrator “Rene” sees the world through a cinematic lens and when he meets the Golden’s he sees that they are the perfect subjects for a film. Their lives do seem very much like a movie with organized crime, assassinations and secrets galore. The big mystery of the Golden’s and their history is unraveled slowly throughout the story while the present day events have huge impacts on the characters and their capacity to keep their secrets. Watching everything unfold was just riveting and I couldn’t put the book down. This was another sublime work by Rushdie and it just may be my favourite one yet! Thank you to Random House for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
Idiotic characters and plot line. Don't waste your money or time with this rubbish.