The Golden House

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golden-house-us-hb-rushdie2Perhaps it takes the US becoming as dysfunctional, confusing, chaotic and in crisis as India or Pakistan to inspire Rushdie do deliver his best. Although I am a huge Rushdie fan, and adored “Satanic Verses,” “Midnight’s Children” and “The Moor’s Last Sigh” I haven’t loved a Rushdie book for quite a while.

Although the Nero, the protagonist, and his three sons are from Bombay, “The Golden House” is mainly set in present day NYC (more specifically the eight years of the Obama administration). It’s a very Gatsbyesque novel, with a rags-to-riches, elusive, mysterious, larger-than-life protagonist and a Nick Carraway type narrator. While taking the reader on a fun romp of a ride, Rushdie writes beautifully about our current political environment and captures the essence of American contemporary life, in the same way Fitzgerald limns the power of illusions, reinventions, dreams and pasts that refuse to stay past. For this reason, “The Golden House” is silver – the kind that comprises that proverbial lining.

Nicole Charbonnet

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