A ravishingly well-told, deeply knowledgeable, magnificently insightful, and righteously outraged epic which poses 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.
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)
Rushdie’s fable is a sprightly portrait of American life from Obama’s election to the rise of Trump.
Anthony Gardner, Mail on Sunday
[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, The Observer
Intelligent and darkly funny...with a raw political edge.
Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, The Times
Rushdie writes with a Dickensian exuberance, always full of humour as well as striking scornful, tragic notes. Often he plays the role of satirist. His caricatures and outsize figures are full of life, wickedness and human energy: again, as in Dickens, grounded in a precise social and political scene.
Jereme Boyd Maunsell, Evening Standard
Salman Rushdie is a writer of illimitable imagination and verbal ingenuity. He grips us with wild storylines, takes us on flights of fancy, brings us back down again, enthralled and dazed… The terrorist attacks by Islamicists, the unplanned developments, the bribery and corruption and multiple tragedies are gritty, real and moving. Extreme scenes are written so beautifully I don’t think I will ever forget them… The Golden House is an extraordinary book, a brooding meditation on the personal and political, on ethics, egotism, freedom and interdependence.
This is a compelling thriller with a pinch of fantasy, populated by larger-than-life characters… This powerfully cinematic novel, enriched by references to literature, popular culture and film, is dense, detailed and rewarding, displaying one of our leading novelists at the top of his game.
Vanessa Berridge, Sunday Express
His prose is just as often a pleasure, bursting with colour and texture… The result stands as Rushdie’s most vital book in years, and perhaps the first protest novel of the Trump era.
Stephen Phelan, Herald
A typically bold and all-encompassing saga.
Hilary A White, Irish Independent
Rushdie is, as ever, excellent in conveying bitter, personal anger.
DJ Taylor, Literary Review
Two decades after Rushdie transplanted himself to the US, one of the major pleasures of this novel is the way in which he considers the mores of the one per cent of the one per cent. Rushdie writes about the Goldens’ glittering, private world with innumerable perfect details, down to the art hanging on the walls… It will be a long four years, but fictional protests are unlikely to be as electric as this.
Hugely entertaining… Told against a backdrop of American politics and culture between Obama’s inauguration and the 2016 presidential election, it’s an extraordinarily powerful tale of our times.
Sue Price, Saga Magazine
[The Golden House] is a recognizably Rushdie novel in its playfulness, its verbal jousting, its audacious bravado, its unapologetic erudition, and its sheer, dazzling brilliance.
Rushdie’s prose is beyond much reprieve—there are few contemporary artists who come to mind that possess his ability to craft sentences. In this regard, The Golden House, his latest novel, is no exception... The Golden House is a joy to read… It’s hard to not have fun reading writing at Rushdie’s level of craftsmanship. It’s clever, intimidating, jocund, and electrifying.
Chicago Review of Books
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…wildly satiric and yet piercingly real.
Poets & Writers
The Golden House is not Brideshead or Gatsby – it is too rich and too riotous. Rather it is a modern Bonfire of the Vanities, New York seen from the inside and the outside, as only a writer of multiple selves such as Rushdie – Indian, British, now a New Yorker – could do.
Aminatta Forna, Guardian
This is Rushdie's most urgent novel for years.
Tim Martin, Spectator
Rushdie’s story is a morality tale which unfolds with great verve and erudition, missing no opportunity to pillory Donald Trump with its withering contempt.
Richard Hopton, Country & Town House
September 7, 2017
September 15, 2017
September 5, 2017
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 an Egyptian mother-goddess, an uncrowned seventy-something king from a faraway country arrived in New York City with his three motherless sons to take possession of the palace of his exile, behaving as if nothing was wrong with the country or the world or his own story. He began to rule over his neighbourhood like a benevolent emperor, although in spite of his charming smile and his skill at playing his 1745 Guadagnini violin he exuded a heavy, cheap odour, the unmistakable smell of crass, despotic danger, the kind of scent that warned us, look out for this guy, because he could order your execution at any moment, if you’re wearing a displeasing shirt, for example, or if he wants to sleep with your wife. The next eight years, the years of the forty-fourth president, were also the years of the increasingly erratic and alarming reign over us of the man who called himself Nero Golden, who wasn’t really a king, and at the end of whose time there was a large – and, metaphorically speaking, apocalyptic – fire.Continue Reading