...a detective story that is as humorous as it is sinister ... The book treats the idea of a detective story with total irony, toppling it over onto itself—which is perhaps the greatest homage a writer can make these days to a particular form. The hallmarks of mystery fiction are teased out faithfully and yet so irreverently that the novel becomes a sort of anti-noir ... Even self-narration is done in the third person. Goldberg finds a way to give readers a deeply textured glimpse into Bill’s mind without ever speaking from it directly ... Goldberg’s style, on occasion, dips into a sort of lyrical fluidity detached from arcs and narratives and instead shows us a series of impulses and instincts and meanderings belonging to the brain and heart of his main character, all of which is so easily understood even if not entirely linear, as if he is writing something that is itself only intelligible to our gut—something that plays into the meanderings of our brains and hearts.
...a reading experience that's unmistakably set in Trump's America, which could make you want to stop reading, but you shouldn't. The Château isn't toxic. You won't choke. In the growing category of Trump novels, this entry will make you laugh ... Goldberg writes smooth prose even when he drops in Russian words, phrases and poetry, most of which add humour to the novel. If approval ratings dip on the story, the blame falls on the parts that are underdeveloped – the death of Bill's mother – or unnecessary (like Bill's not-quite ex-wife). The aspect most fully developed is Goldberg's humour, which floats in the same space as late-night TV. But whether you like the jokes depends on how you like your satire. Goldberg isn't merciless, but he's not Jimmy Fallon either. Thankfully.
...a fast-forward screed on our current historical moment, scattered and digressive and insane in the best possible way ... At moments, it is like Stanislaw Lem writing real estate copy for The Atlantic. At others, like Carl Hiaasen getting under the Florida blacktop and smelling the swamp beneath. And all through, it is bonkers — a careening voyage that feels like falling because never does it seem like Goldberg is completely in control of his own plot, pen or characters ... No book could be written about this moment in America that wasn't fractured; if one was, it would be a pack of lies. Or worse, propaganda. And Goldberg seems to know this. He finds truth in randomness and the unlikely outcome, character in who these people aren't as much as who they are.
Goldberg deployed a similarly kinetic storytelling style in his first novel, 'The Yid,' but there the enterprise was ennobled by the subject matter: a revenge fantasy in which a band of Jews and fellow travelers sets out to murder Stalin. The concerns of the Chateau — and 'The Château' — feel picayune by comparison. Bill’s antic numbness is the book’s, too.
Mr. Goldberg apes the comic novels of centuries past by filling his omniscient narration with entreaties to the 'dear reader' ('Our role is to convey these events as they occur,' he writes) while following Bill’s increasingly preposterous travels through the condo ... Mr. Goldberg has written a funny, antic novel for the masochists who don’t get their full of political farce from cable news—in other words, alas, for all of us.
...a scathing satire of Trump’s America ... Goldberg’s mordant satire – invoking and channeling a distinguished Russian literary tradition extending back to Gogol – hits home and bites hard ... Bill is a male version of Maxine Tarnow, the gumshoe heroine in Pynchon’s The Bleeding Edge. While Pynchon’s similarly dark satire of a fallen America has greater breadth and is much more lyrical, The Château shares its genre, structure and tone – as well as nostalgia for a younger self and more idealistic era, when so much more seemed possible.
Goldberg follows his delirious Stalin-era satire, The Yid (2016), with an qually caustic send-up of today's brand of authoritarianism ...With allusions to Gogol...impishly comedic Goldberg?peer to Tom Wolfe, Leslie Epstein, and Stanley Elkin?cannily burlesques the toxicity of human folly uynder Trump and Putin.
Paul Goldberg's The Château really took a second reading for me to warm up to fully ... The Château gets off to a rocky start, seeming to reflect every cliché of this kind of literary fiction ... In short, Goldberg's still writing about a kind of family he's known and experienced, even if it's not his literal family, and thus his observations have the ring of truth to them, as bleak as that may seem.
...a salty, witty tragic comedy ... Filled with gags, slapstick, and snappy repartee, this satire provides sharp commentary on American society as well as an affecting story of old people with nowhere to go and no way to get there.