The Golden House

  • by Salman Rushdie
  • Narrated by Vikas Adam
  • 14 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture - a hurtling mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities.
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 20 blocks; and D, at 22 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.


What the Critics Say

"A ravishingly well-told, deeply knowledgeable, magnificently insightful, and righteously outraged epic which poses timeless questions about the human condition. Can a person be both good and evil? Is family destiny? Does the past always catch up to us? In a time of polarizing extremes, can we find common ground? Will despots and their supporters be forever with us? Will humankind ever learn? Can story and art enlighten us? As [Salman] Rushdie's blazing tale surges toward its crescendo, life, as it always has, rises stubbornly from the ashes, as does love." (Booklist )
"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)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Delirious antidote to wallowing in self-pity

Been suffering with the blues in these mindless deplorable days? Listening to this book may help. It's a reminder how much thinking, reading and humor heal. The narrator lacks some essential coaching on pronouncing some key names... Houston Street is not pronounced like that city in TX. Otherwise he is excellent.
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- D. Donohue

Rather disappointing - Did the HuffPo Publish?

As a former Lit major, I've been meaning to read Salman Rushdie for years and just never got around to it. I chose The Golden House first, as opposed to Satanic Verses, based on the reveiws and its recent publication. I don't know if this is representative of Rushdie's body of work since I haven't read anything else. I hope it's not. The Golden House was a big letdown. The cultural criticism it offered through the characters was no better than something one might find on the Huffington Post or worse yet, Salon - not what I would expect from such an acclaimed author. Isn't an author of that caliber supposed to rise above the cultural din and offer a more balanced, objective perspective on the characters, the trends they follow, the people they love and the times they live in? The character development was mostly flat and there was a fair share of celebrity name-dropping, obscure film references that didn't seem pertinent and the storyline could have come from an American soap opera. I don't get it. Another reveiwer said they felt that Rushdie "dialed this in" and it does kind of seem that way. I'm going to give Satanic Verses a shot next and compare notes.
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- Jerry Bradley

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-05-2017
  • Publisher: Random House Audio