Book for April 2018
Salman Rushdie’s latest novel (published 2017) is a modern American epic set against the strange and disconcerting panorama of contemporary US politics and culture.
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 sheltered 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; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, keeping an explosive secret even from himself.
Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor René, an ambitious young filmmaker. Initially the peripheral narrator researching a film about the Goldens, he gradually insinuates himself into the centre of the unfolding drama. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential election that turns New York upside-down.