The Golden House | Penguin Random House Canada
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The Golden House

Publisher: Vintage Canada
One of the truly great writers of the century reaches beyond the very top of his game in this uncannily timely knockout of a novel. In quality and compelling scope, this is Rushdie's The Godfather meets The Great Gatsby--an unparalleled modern-day American thriller, with wonderful, moving characters and a grippingly entertaining story straight out of today's headlines, set against the panorama of American culture and politics from the inauguration of Obama to post-election Trump.

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, reinventing themselves as emperors living in a lavish house in downtown Manhattan. Arriving shortly after the inauguration of Barack Obama, he and his sons, each extraordinary in his own right, quickly establish themselves at the apex of New York society, even as Nero Golden continues to raise huge buildings carrying his name in gold letters.
     The story of the powerful Golden family is told from the point of view of their Manhattanite neighbour and confidant, René, an aspiring filmmaker who finds in the Goldens the perfect subject. René chronicles the undoing of the house of Golden: the high life of money, of art and fashion, a sibling quarrel, an unexpected metamorphosis, the arrival of a beautiful former model, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work that could ruin Nero Golden forever.
     Invoking literature, pop culture and the cinema, Rushdie spins the story of the American zeitgeist over the last eight years, hitting every beat: the rise of the birther movement, the Tea Party, and identity politics; Gamergate; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendancy of Superman and Batwoman and the superhero movie; and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic villain with painted skin and coloured hair.


Chapter 1

On the day of the new president’s inauguration, when we worried that he might be murdered as he walked hand in hand with his exceptional wife among the cheering crowds, and when so many of us were close to economic ruin in the aftermath of the bursting of the mortgage bubble, and when Isis was still...
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Longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction 

“Darkly humorous and humane exploration of family, history and whether it’s possible to be both truly good and wretchedly evil at the same time. . . . The Golden House shows that, at seventy, Rushdie is still a profoundly necessary voice in contemporary literature.” —The Globe and Mail

“As our perspective on the world is narrowed by the claustrophobic echo chambers of Trump-favoured social media, The Golden House seeks to open it back out.” —Maclean’s

“The great strength of The Golden House is Rushdie’s ability to balance the fairy tale tone of the story with the gritty realities both of the family’s life in New York and their gradually revealed past. . . . Mystery, tragedy, family drama, coming of age story, romance, myth, satire, and on, and on—in its glorious excess, The Golden House is a fairy tale for our time.” —Toronto Star

“If you read a lot of fiction, you know that every once in a while you stumble upon a book that transports you, telling a story full of wonder and leaving you marveling at how it ever came out of the author’s head. The Golden House is one of those books.” —The Associated Press

“My favorite Rushdie novel in years. . . . 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

“Nuanced fury. . . . Ripe with myth and imagination. . . . If there is a theme to Rushdie’s entire body of work, it is the power of story and myth to uplift and inform us. In The Golden House, he has provided us a cautionary tale, unmasked and set in the trembling present—and infused, as such, with an urgency that is impossible to ignore.” —Winnipeg Free Press

“Ambitious and rewarding. . . . Replete with allusions to literature, film, mythology and politics, the novel simultaneously channels the calamities of Greek drama and the information overload of the internet. The result is a distinctively rich epic of the immigrant experience in modern America, where no amount of money or self-abnegation can truly free a family from the sins of the past.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Rushdie returns with a topical, razor-sharp portrait of life among the very rich, who are, of course, very different from the rest of us. . . . A sort of Great Gatsby for our time: everyone is implicated, no one is innocent, and no one comes out unscathed, no matter how well padded with cash.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)