The Golden House
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 Ren , 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
"[A] complex and witty fable ... Rushdie has always been an impish myth-manipulator, refusing to accept, as in this novel, that the lives of the emperors can't be blended with film noir, popular culture and crime caper. On the evidence of The Golden House, he is quite right." -- Alex Clark * Observer * "Rushdie's fable is a sprightly portrait of American life from Obama's election to the rise of Trump." -- Anthony Gardner * Mail on Sunday * "Intelligent and darkly funny...with a raw political edge." -- Robert Douglas-Fairhurst * The Times * "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) "A ravishingly well-told, deeply knowledgeable, magnificently insightful, and righteously outraged epic which pos-es 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 *