I’m temporarily skipping two reviews I owe y’all because I need this book closed and behind me just as fast as possible. The Golden House may have started a little interesting, teasing the hidden history of a family trying to start fresh, but it started to go downhill fast and then just wallowed at the bottom. It’s another one of those books that doesn’t feel the need to use full quotations or breaks for dialogue and thinks it’s artsy.
At one point, a character is trying to distract and cheer up another by going on a mindless, endless monologue and keeps peppering her unbroken wall of text with ‘Are you listening’ and man was that just the summation of me reading this book. No, I’m not listening, because there’s nothing here worth listening to.
The Golden House is ostensibly about a wealthy family that moves to New York – about how they got there and what happens to them after they arrive. It’s also centered pretty heavily on the goings-on of 2008 to the present including an extended not-really-a-metaphor in which Trump is the Joker and it’s a rhetorical device that just never works. It feels clumsy and unnecessary and honestly all of that “see, this is happening today” bullshit should have been sliced right out of the novel and no one would even notice the disruption. And the narrator was just petulant and exhausting. The idea that he’s a modern stand in for Nick Carraway would have been more clever if Rushdie hadn’t dropped allusions to Gatsby every 20 pages.
Hard pass, y’all.