Friday, 28 July 2017

Friday Friyay: Book Beginnings and Friday 56

The Golden HouseIt's Friday everybody! Another week gone by, I'm still on sick leave at home but at least I've got an eye patch so I can catch up on all of the reading that work has made me miss out on. So, there is a silver lining. Today it's time for another typical Friday post with two of my favourite memes: Book Beginnings and Friday 56, hosted by Gillion at Rose City Reader and Freda at Freda's Voice respectively. Please do travel over to their blogs and join in on the blog hopping fun. For this week's BB and F56 I'm using a book I just finished a few days ago, The Golden House by Salman Rushdie.

When powerful real-estate tycoon Nero Golden immigrates to the States under mysterious circumstances, he and his three adult children assume new identities, taking 'Roman' names, and move into a grand mansion 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.
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 woman, betrayal and murder, and far away, in their abandoned homeland, some decent intelligence work.
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, Gamergate and identity politics; the backlash against political correctness; the ascendency of the superhero movie, and, of course, the insurgence of a ruthlessly ambitious, narcissistic, media-savvy villain wearing make-up and with coloured hair.
In a new world order of alternative truths, Salman Rushdie has written the ultimate novel about identity, truth, terror and lies. A brilliant, heartbreaking realist novel that is not only uncannily prescient but shows one of the world’s greatest storytellers working at the height of his powers.
Whereas I've struggled with his work before, this novel really worked for me. I read it in a day and am still thinking about it! S, without any further ado, here we go!
Whereas I've struggled with some of Rushdie's books before, this novel really worked for me. Something clicked and I read it in a day. It's really the kind of novel that lingers in your mind for a long time. But, without any further ado, let's get to the business of the day!

BB:
'On the day of the new president's inauguration, when we worried that eh might be murdered as he walked hand in hand with his exceptional wife among the cheering crowd, 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.' 1%
One hell of an opening line, no? Once I read this sentence I realised what kind of novel I was about to read, one steeped in today, one tightly embroiled with the current events of the last decade or so, and one with an intricately woven story. I wasn't wrong.



F56:
'I felt like  a fool - worse than a fool, like an errant child, guilty of a great naughtiness and fearing adult retribution - and there was nobody to talk to. For the first time in my life I felt some appreciation for the Catholic device of the confessional and the forgiveness of Hod that followed it.' 56%
It was so difficult to find a right teaser for this one because everything looked like a spoiler to me in this passage. But this one gives you a good idea of Rushdie's writing in The Golden House, directly to the reader and almost confessional at times.

So, what do you think of The Golden House? Does it seem like your cup of tea? And have you read any of Salman Rushdie's other works?

22 comments:

  1. I have never read any Rushdie but I really want to. Both of these quotes are quite dense, which certainly sets the stage for a serious novel.
    My Friday Quotes

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    1. Dense is definitely the right word for this novel, but it is actually a great balance between light and serious! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  2. Oh wow - you're certainly making the most of your reading opportunity. Well done. Hope you enjoy. My Friday book is Then she was gone by Lisa Jewell.

    Happy weekend.

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    1. Yup, I'm desperate to catch up with my Goodreads challenge in these weeks! I will definitely come check out your Friday book :D Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  3. This does sound good -one of these days I'll get to it. :)

    Lauren @ Always Me

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    1. Let me know if you do, I'd love to know what you think of it! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  4. I've been reluctant to read this author's books too. Actually, I really want to read them but I get bogged down in them and never finish. I do, however, like the book's beginning that you shared. Maybe I should try again.

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    1. I got very bogged down by his previous books as well, but somehow The Golden House immediately worked for me! Let me know if you give him another try :D Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  5. Thanks for sharing. I've been a bit indifferent to Rushdie's past works, but since you enjoyed this one maybe I should give it a chance.

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    1. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one, but it's an amazing novel so definitely give it a chance! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  6. I managed a bookstore back when he wrote The Satanic Verses in 1988. My sister managed the bookstore across the mall from we. We received threatening phones calls telling us not to sell the book. It was a scary time.

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    1. Oh wow! I had heard about the controversy around The Satanic Verses but I never thought people would go that far! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  7. I need this book in my life!!!
    I added you to the Linky. Happy weekend!

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    1. It is a great book! And thanks for adding me, when I first looked I couldn't find the right post to add myself :( Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  8. Great excerpts...and you have tempted me with them. Thanks for sharing...and here's mine: “EMMA IN THE NIGHT”

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    1. Ooh yaay, mission accomplished! I'll definitely come check out your Friday book! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  9. Hope your recovery goes smoothly. I am intrigued by the quotes.They don't sound quite like I expected.

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    1. Thank you, it's going pretty well! I was also surprised by his tone in this book, it definitely felt different to me from his previous works! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  10. Interesting! I've never really read any Rushdie though I've always meant too. It's fantastic when a book just clicks right from the beginning!

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    1. I think he's one of those authors you plan to read but never really get around to! And yes, it's a beautiful feeling! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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  11. I've only ever read The Satanic Verses and that was a long time ago. Not sure if this would be my cup of tea but sounds like it's a hit for you:)

    My Friday 56 from Refuge For Masterminds

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    1. I still haven't gotten around to The Satanic Verses but after enjoying The Golden House so much I'm definitely planning to give it a try! Thanks for commenting, I hope you have an amazing weekend :)
      Juli @ A Universe in Words

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