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Good As Gold Paperback – November 12, 1997
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He sees an opportunity to change his life when he meets an old university friend, the Protestant Ralph Newsome, who used to copy all of Gold's course work and who got better grades for it. Newsome now works for the President, who is impressed by Gold's writings, and a high government position is dangled in front of Gold. To ease his way into the government, he duly decides to divorce his old wife and marry a daughter of a rich establishment family. This leads to humiliation at the hands of the father of that family. "You have aspirations and regrets and feelings of inferiority and I don't," Pugh Biddle Conover tells Gold.
The novel takes place in the late 1970s, after Henry Kissinger's stint as Secretary of State with presidents Nixon and Ford. Gold has been collecting materials about Kissinger for years and plans to write a book about him. Gold detests Kissinger, as does everyone else in the book. Kissinger is "a noisy, babbling fellow who was always trying too hard to be entertaining and made war like a Nazi," Conover says. To which, Gold says, "please don't put me in the position of defending the one person on earth I disapprove of most."
Conover mocks Gold as a Jew and for his political aspirations. Both Conover and Gold's father believe that Jews have no place in government and that Kissinger was an aberration.
Gold is well aware of Kissinger's infamies: "his role in the Cambodian war, in which an estimated 500,000 died," and his involvement in overthrowing the Allende government in Chile.Read more ›
The novel starts somewhat slowly, with sometimes tiring descriptions of Gold's get-togethers with his strange family. These are somewhat boring in the early part of the book, but do become more entertaining as the book goes on once they begin to become funny. The memembers of his family are strange, particularly his father, mother-in-law and brother. They bring the most entertainment to the family scenes as Gold faces the frustration of dealing with his father's incorrigibility, his mother-in-law's hostility towards him and his brother's prodding and teasing.
The story certainly has laugh-out-loud moments, particularly the scenes in which Gold is conversing with his friend in Washingtong Ralph, who is very vague in what he does and has a contradictory way of speaking. Moreover, is the strange Andrea Conover, a beautiful women in love who with Gold, yet wants to continue her relationships with other men and doesn't see why that would bother Gold. The sexual escapades of Gold are quite entertaining as he seems to have no trouble attracting beautiful women with strange behavior.
The problem with this book is that although it certainly has many funny moments, it doesn't exactly seem to go anywhere. The reader is exposed to quite a few scenes with Gold's family, but maybe a little bit too much. It would have been nice to see more events unfold in Washington D.C.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Hated this book. I stopped reading somewhere along the second chapter. No, I will not be sending it back. Someone else might buy it.Published 2 months ago by Adam Selene
This book is not surreal like "Catch-22". It's more grounded, but is still at times uproariously funny. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Matthew
Joseph Heller's prose sparkles with intent, his second-person narrative of Bruce Gold's life and times lays bare the protagonist's attitudes regarding a life lived Jewish in New... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Michelle Hyde
Interesting story, Jewish point of view, criticism on politics, great humor, the hero develops during the story.Published 14 months ago by Tamara Gottesman
"Good as Gold" is pretty much as good as Heller gets in the rarefied air of "Catch 22" and "Something Happened. Read morePublished 18 months ago by Wordsworth
It was odd and brilliant at the same time. I really enjoyed reading it and about the slice of Jewish American urban life in the 1970s.Published on June 29, 2014 by kendall wigoda
I think it's a shame that Heller's books don't get more attention. This is a fantastic spin on ethnicity, family, politics and wealth. Read morePublished on February 11, 2014 by canonizer
I am not sure if it is because I am not American, not Jewish or simply not smart enough, but I had no idea what message Heller was trying to give in this rambling book with no... Read morePublished on July 7, 2013 by RalphJ
The funniest book ever written, but also a touching and meaningful one. It is about the price -- and ultimately the futility -- of escaping from the old neighborhood. Read morePublished on May 8, 2012 by Feinschmecker