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The Golden House

3.66  ·  Rating details ·  7,995 ratings  ·  1,326 reviews
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, unt ...more
Hardcover, 380 pages
Published 2017 by Random House
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Robert Blenheim I disagree. Although not top-rank Rushdie (i.e., less dense and more accessible than his usual novel), it is a really entertaining read by one of the …moreI disagree. Although not top-rank Rushdie (i.e., less dense and more accessible than his usual novel), it is a really entertaining read by one of the world's greatest living novelists. Every book he pens is essential to negotiate by any discerning, intelligent reader. In other words, Yes... read it.(less)
CJ I am just borrowing from the library in CD format.

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Average rating 3.66  · 
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Felice Laverne
4.5 stars

Salman Rushdie’s 13th novel, The Golden House, plays out as a Shakespearean drama re-imagined in the eyes of a postmodernist and set in the Obama era of ultra-riche Manhattan. (There, how’s that for an elevator pitch?) This novel is full of nostalgic references, ornate erudite descriptions and high-brow prose, as you would expect from the man who brought us Midnight’s Children and holds an esteemed Booker Prize. I, myself, was first introduced to Salman Rushdie by Hanif Kureishi, wh
Kevin Ansbro
“I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down.”
Kim Jong Un
Vladimir Putin
Donald Trump
—The Big Bad Wolf

Salman, Salman, Salman.
We need to talk.
I revere you, Mr Rushdie. Not only do you put me in mind of a wise apothecarist straight from a Scheherezade tale, but for three decades I’ve solidly sung your praises. And your Booker-winning epic, Midnight’s Children is the one novel I’d take with me if I were banished to a desert island. I sincerely hope that this punishment isn’t
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Searching for the right words to describe this book, Rushdie's 13th, and my very first foray into his oeuvre, the best thing I can come up with is hot mess. Overblown, bombastic in parts, melodramatic most of the way through, mind-numbingly boring in others, pinged with moments of social satire and brilliance.

I'm such a rule follower. I received the ARC of this book from Netgalley and felt a duty to finish this book and write this review, hence, I finished this book, to its very last page. If I
4.5 Stars

“The Golden House” was my first book from Salman Rushdie, his thirteenth novel to date. It begins 20 January 2009, with Barack Obama’s inauguration as the 44th President of the United States, setting the stage by reminding us of the economic ruin following the mortgage crisis that President Obama inherited.

On the same day, Nero Golden, his three sons, Petronius, or Petya, Lucius Apuleius, or Apu and Dionysius, or D, arrive in the US from an unnamed country of origin, moving into a
Nov 03, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why, but I am finished. Not entirely unlike trying to maintain with the lights on a pinball machine.

I’m grumpy when I’m disappointed. At one point, I stopped to check other reviews. Maybe I picked up the wrong book. The one that I was looking forward to. The one with the rave reviews is waiting for me.

Nope, not for me. Fortunately, the library wants it back.
[Originally appeared here:]

The world has turned into a cacophony of unrelenting voices, where people in high offices as well as pedestrian consorts battle every day to be one up. The lines have blurred as issues have bulldozed their way, against most conventions, right into our living rooms, and administrative, as well as clandestine, powers are clashing regularly, and vehemently, across continents over the fatal flames of terrorism, corruption, religion

In Midnight's Children, Rushdie diabolizes Indira Gandhi in the form of The Widow, one of his most terrifying caricatures: ‘green and black the Widow’s hair and clutching hand and children mmff and little balls and one-by-one and torn-in-half and little balls go flying green black her hand is green her nails are black as black.’ Some years later, in The Satanic Verses, he tried something similar by turning Britain's Prime Minister into ‘Mrs Torture’. Now – no longer plain old Rushdie but an enno
Once upon a time a great man fled from his native country, a land embattled by infighting and death, and came to a country filled with dreams of a future of hope and promise.

Ah, yes, an apt description of Salman Rushdie and his primary character in The Golden House, Nero Golden. As I read through this verbose tale of the egotistical Golden, I realized that this was, in fact, a veiled auto-biography of Rushdie, intended or otherwise, most likely not.

In The Golden House, Nero Golden has immigrat
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is a book of stories and identity; actual, created, and retold as tales to others. It questions what we think about as truth, especially when it comes to ourselves and others; what is said, hidden, implied, or lied about? Can we ever really know ourselves when we are so immersed and intertwined with other peoples' stories, with what they believe about us or want us to be? In this vortex of truth and lies, is one really more valid than the other?

From the outset it reminded me somewhat of The
This is a masterful literary achievement and a great lens on contemporary American culture from the perspective of an unusual immigrant family. The Goldens—an old man named Nero and his three adult sons-- arrive in Manhattan around 2008 and take up residence in a mansion that shares a common garden park with a small neighborhood of wealthy residents. Our narrator, who calls himself Rene, is an aspiring film maker in his twenties who is still living with his parents in the same neighborhood and w ...more
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I kept wavering back and forth on this book. Sometimes I thought it was brilliant and other times I thought that it was tragically unsubtle. I also kept finding parts that I wanted to quote, because they were written so well and/or they described just how I felt. This was my first experience with this author, but I definitely want to read more by him now. The book covers so much territory including sons suffering from the sins of the father, identity fluidity and political commentary. It incorpo ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If human nature were not a mystery, we’d have no need of poets.”

Without doubt, this is the best novel that Salman Rushdie has produced in a while. Rushdie uses the unsettled American political landscape – this novel begins with the inauguration of Barack Obama and ends with the rise of ‘the Joker,’ a (very) thinly veiled portrait of Trump – to great effect. He ties in the eight years of the 44th President to the ‘reign’ of Nero Golden, a seventy-something man, who arrives from an unknown locati
They were four men
Living all together
Yet they were all alone

I'm kind of embarrassed to admit that this is the first book I've read by Rushdie, therefore, I can't compare it to his many other titles. I only know that I found this one to be mostly fascinating, though keep in mind - I am a fan of books that portray the obscenely wealthy in a bad light.

"In my American house," he told his attentive sons in the limousine as it drove them from the airport to their new residence, "morality will go
Ron Charles
“The Golden House” doesn’t mention Trump by name — Rushdie wouldn’t give him that satisfaction — but there’s no doubt about the real identity of the “giant victorious green-haired cartoon king.” That gothic villain rages around the background of this story, setting the tone for a nation in peril. The narrator howls, “The best had lost all conviction, and the worst were filled with passionate intensity and the weakness of the just was revealed by the wrath of the unjust.”

Speaking of Trump’s unlik
Jul 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fabulously intelligent and mysterious novel about identity set against the backdrop of contemporary American politics and culture.

Barack Obama has just been inaugurated the first time when a septuagenarian foreign billionaire and his three adult sons take up residence in New York’s Greenwich Village. Nero Julius Golden arrives at his new home in a Daimler limousine, with his eldest son Petya, 44, who is agoraphobic and an alcoholic; Apu who is 41 and a romantic and flamboyant artist, a
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Die Golden Haus.

Salman Rushdie is a very brilliant man. A brilliant author. A man full of wit. A player of words. A great story teller. Perhaps even an elitist if one needed to use that word.

“..when your fellow Americans tell you that knowing things is elitist and they hate elites, and all you have ever had is your mind and you were brought up to believe in the loveliness of knowledge.” P. 359

But just a few sentences later he writes, “Lies can cause tragedies, both on the personal and national s
Elyse  Walters
May 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
"The Golden House" exceeded my expectations. I was a little 'ho hum' for the first 10% to 12% percent. Once introduced to the character Petya, the oldest son in 'The Golden Family', the storytelling kept soaring.
I was immediately pulled in to the personality profiles of each of Nero Golden's three son's.

Petya, is considered high on the autism spectrum. I was especially interested in
the behaviors of Petya because my husband and I had guest staying with us last week who either had austism or we s
Jun 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019, modern-lit
An entertaining satire set in America, mostly in the Obama years, perhaps a little short of Rushdie's brilliant best, though he is always worth reading.

The Indian born oligarch at the centre of the story has renamed himself Nero Golden, and he has left India to seek refuge in New York along with his three sons. Early in the book the 70-something Nero meets and marries the scheming young Russian Vasilisa, and the family's decline and fall is narrated by René Unterlinden, a New York neighbour who
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
★★✬☆☆ 2.5 stars
Well... You never feel great when you are about to give a not-so-glowing review to a really well known, acclaimed writer's work. But the review's gotta be honest. So honest it will be. In fact, I've recently written a post about how to write a review for a book that you didn't like, when it happens to be famous. It wasn't inspired by The Golden House though!

Maybe it was wrong to request an ARC by Salman Rushdie when I've never read his work before (although I have another book
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC!

I've always had Rushdie in my rear-view mirror it seems. He keeps cropping up everywhere and I always meant to read Satanic Verses for the big hubbub it made back in the day. You know, the whole assassination thing. And yet, I never actually got a round to reading him.

And then, out of the blue, I see a chance. Netgalley. I jumped on it and was pleasantly surprised to get it. And then I read my very first Rushdie.

Expectations are a tricky thing. I rather
Lucy Banks
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

The rise and fall of the Golden family, told through the 'post-truth' haze of US culture.

With an enigmatic title like that, I had no idea what to expect from Salman Rushdie's latest book. The first few pages, I was still none the wiser - then bam, after twenty pages or so, I was involved - and when I say involved, I mean completely mesmerised.

To briefly summarise the book (without giving too much away) - it follows a
Bombastic, overstuffed, kitchen sink of a novel. In a word, uneven. There are moments of brilliance and moments of tedium here.

Peppered liberally (VERY liberally) with references to film, art, music, mythology and literature ranging from the ancient world to pop culture, The Golden House will be a feast for some readers, exhausting for others.

For me, this book is at its best when at its most fanciful, incorporating myths and snippets from epic tales into the narrative. I also enjoyed Nero's ne
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book starts well - good and solid characters, interesting development of the story. Rushdie discusses about identity in many forms - sexual, national. Then there are interesting forms of delivering the story, different types of narration.
Ok those were the 2 stars. actually, after 60% of the book, i was convinced this book is a 5 stars one.
The problem is, the remaining 40% couldnt save it and actually made the whole story worse. Rushdie literally killed his book. There is so much nonsense i
Paul Fulcher
Sep 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017, net-galley
In these our cowardly times, we deny the grandeur of the Universal, and assert and glorify our local Bigotries, and so we cannot agree on much. In these our degenerate times, men bent on nothing but vainglory and personal gain— hollow, bombastic men for whom nothing is off-limits if it advances their petty cause— will claim to be great leaders and benefactors, acting in the common good, and calling all who oppose them liars, envious, little people, stupid people, stiffs, and, in a precise revers ...more
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gratitude (and, tons of it!) is owed to NetGalley, Random House, and Salman Rushdie for the ARC. My very first ARC and it’s a RUSHDIE novel! Kindly indulge my victory pirouette before we proceed.

As the inhabitants of a particularly depressing timescape (two weeks after I finished this book, Charlottesville happened!)– this epoch that marks the re-emergence of mainstream fascism, glorification of bigotry, justification of intolerance and vacillation of the entire planet towards right-wing fanatic
Marialyce (absltmom, yaya)
In this Salman Rushdie story, we meet the Golden family, a family of Immigrants whose patriarch comes to America with unlimited wealth, three sons renamed with Roman names, and a nefarious background which is explored by a neighbor of the Goldens. Nero, the family's head is a billionaire and his sons Petya, Abu, and D all of whom have issues that seem to ruin their lives and determine their destiny. Into this arena of tortured souls comes an erstwhile filmmaker, Rene, who is the narrator of the ...more
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Aug 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is the tale of an immigrant family, the Goldens, who come to America in 2008 and buy a mansion in a gated community of Art Deco homes. The backyards of the homes of the MacDougal-Sullivan Gardens Historic District form a park-like setting--"a private, magic little place in the middle of downtown NY."

They arrive in the city just as President Obama is being inaugurated, which ushers in a period of hope for the country. The head of the family calls himself Nero Julius Golden and his three adu
Roman Clodia
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

'The best had lost all conviction and the worst were filled with passionate intensity'

It's been a while since I've enjoyed a Rushdie novel as much as this one. If you're looking, though, for a linear, coherent piece of storytelling (does anyone come to Rushdie for that?) then this might be unsatisfying. Instead it's a brilliant, exuberant piece of writing, all fireworks and brazen juggling of allusions: historical, filmic, literary.

From the appropriations of Roman history and culture (
Brendan Monroe
For whatever reason, short stories are looked down upon in today's literary world. Nevermind that some of history's greatest authors - from Chekov to Zweig to Hemingway - made their names largely as writers of short stories. And while accomplished novelists occasionally still put out a short story collection, they don't make a habit of it because shorter stories are sneered at by a literary community that believes an author who writes them does so only because he or she can't write a novel.

Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
Your favourite writer isn't as good as Salman Rushdie. 😍 ...more
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Sir Ahmed Salman Rushdie is a novelist and essayist. Much of his early fiction is set at least partly on the Indian subcontinent. His style is often classified as magical realism, while a dominant theme of his work is the story of the many connections, disruptions and migrations between the Eastern and Western world.

His fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, led to protests from Muslims in several coun

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