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The Golden House is meant to be a grand tragedy—it plays more like farce

Salman Rushdie’s grandiose new novel should come with an excess baggage fee

By Sarah Churchwell   December 2017

Author Salman Rushdie poses for a portrait on a terrace in Midtown Manhattan.

The Golden House, Salman Rushdie’s latest novel, comes with a press release that quotes it being described as a “Great Gatsby for our times.” It’s clear why a publicist was keen to promote such high praise; less easy to understand why anyone who has read both novels would make the comparison. True, their themes are broadly similar: both are about a fabulously wealthy man who acquires an assumed name and tries to remake himself in New York…

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