I hope you enjoy listening to Russian Guitar.
But does it make them happy? It seems to me that in order to avoid hearing the empty rattling in their own souls they fill themselves up with material goods, intrigues, cruises, travel, mistresses and toy boys.
It is very sad to witness a family in which each member so thoroughly hates the other. The protagonist, David Golder, is a brilliant businessman and has given his wife and daughter everything they want, but the stress and pressure is beating him down. He receives no sympathy from wife or daughter, who view him solely as a source to provide their gratifications.
Even when he has a heart attack, no one cares. But then, neither does he. A friend and business associate is failing financially for the same reason Golder is sinking: the extravagant lifestyle of their family. Golder refuses to help him and the man commits suicide.
I am astounded at just how extravagant Golder's family is. Money means absolutely nothing to them, except to buy obscenely expensive cars and jewelry. Their only concern is when it runs out.
If Golder dies, his wife and daughter are worried about the money supply drying up. But then again, if they can get their hands on his money, then it would be better if he died, or so they think.
The callousness of these people is shocking, but convincingly written. This is the first book I've read by Nemirovsky and I enjoyed her fluid, yet pungent style. She exposes her characters so their leathery hearts are absolutely naked.
This book was written in the 1920s before a decade that was going to see the destruction of many wealthy Jews (not to mention poor ones as well) but I wonder how shocking that must be for anyone to live in such glamour and luxury to suddenly find themselves stripped of everything, money, power, human dignity and even life itself.