THE CHÂTEAU by Paul Goldberg
Kirkus Star

THE CHÂTEAU

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Adrift and broke after losing his job at the Washington Post, William Katzenelenbogen descends into Trump-ian madness while visiting his estranged father in South Florida.

Once a prizewinning investigative science reporter, Bill is motivated to fly South by the death of his old college roommate, Zbignew Wronski, a cosmetic surgeon known as the "Butt God of Miami Beach." Zbig fell from the 43rd-floor balcony of a hotel. Prodded by an old flame who wrote a bestselling memoir after the Post fired her for fabricating stories, Bill thinks there may be a book in his famous friend's apparent suicide. But the story that engulfs him is his Russian father Melsor's antic campaign against Greenstein, the Jewish fascist who heads the ruling block on the corrupt board of the old man’s crumbling condo, the Château. Once a famed poet and dissident in Moscow (where Bill grew up), the 83-year-old Melsor has become a shameless hustler and supporter of "Donal'd Tramp," as he renders the name. He was indicted for Medicare fraud in New York for running a crooked ambulette service for invalids. Bill has never forgiven him for having a "two-bit crook" treat his late mother's breast cancer, leading to her early death. A master of dark, cutting humor, restless and allusive, Goldberg turns the Château, its Lexus-driving Russians, and a nearly 90-year-old American WWII veteran who drunkenly shoots at the ocean with his machine gun every night into a mad metaphor for Trump’s America. The longer Bill stays, the more he gets dragged into its seamy swamp.

Following up his acclaimed debut, The Yid (2016), Goldberg confirms his status as one of Jewish fiction's liveliest new voices, walking in the shoes of such deadpan provocateurs as Mordecai Richler and Stanley Elkin.

Pub Date: Feb. 13th, 2018
ISBN: 978-1-250-11609-3
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Picador
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2017




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