Saturday, May 2

Book Review: David Golder

Title: David Golder

Author: Irène Némirovsky

Pages: 159

Summary: In 1929, 26-year-old Irène Némirovsky shot to fame in France with the publication of her first novel, David Golder. At the time, only the most prescient would have predicted the events that led to her extraordinary final novel Suite Françasie and her death at Auschwitz. Yet the clues are there in this astonishingly mature story of an elderly Jewish businessman who has sold his soul.

Golder is superb creation. Born into poverty on the Black Sea, he has clawed his way to fabulous wealth by speculating on the gold and oil. When the novel opens, he is at work in his magnificent Persian apartment while his wife and beloved daughter, Joyce, spend his money at their villa in Biarriz. But Golder’s security is fragile. Fore years he’s defended his business interests from cu-throat competitors. Now his health is beginning to show the strain. As his body betrays him, so too do his wife and child, leaving him to decided which to pursue: revenge or altruism?

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The whole reason I grabbed this book from the library was because it was Némirovsky’s first novel and I wanted to see what her other stories were like. This is the fourth story I’ve read written by her (Le Bal containing two short stories, Le Bal and Snow in Autumn), and of course Suite Françasie. Her first novel was wonderful, David Golder, is wrapped in her beautiful and poetic style of writing as she tells the story of a Jewish business man.

The characters in the story aren’t my favourites, but mainly because most were such selfish snobs, Némirovsky did a fantastic job at creating very realastic characters, the way they were written and how they portrayed themselves was handled well, she kept the characters very true to the type of person they were suppose to be. I just didn’t like or care for most of them. I think this is one of the rare cases (at least for me) when I don’t care for the characters, because the author has done a great job at creating such, selfish and snobby characters, but without annoying me to the point I want to hurl the book across the room.

The story it’s self, is also one I normally wouldn’t read. It’s slow moving, but with her writing style, I wouldn’t care. Her descriptions melt of the pages, she is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. Wonderful book!

Would I recommend it to read: Yes I would recommend the book to read. I love Némirovsky’s work. She was a very talented author which any bookworm, would enjoy. This story is a little slower the her other novels, so I suggest starting with Le Bal or Suite Françasie, if you’re new to her work, rather then let this be your first experience with her. All are wonderful novels, but this doesn’t show what she can really do in writing a story, as it’s done in her other novels.

What to read next: Suite Françasie , Le Bal....really anything by Némirovsky. She was a very talented and beautiful writer.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge


  1. Good review. I'll probably look this up.

  2. I have Suite Françasie on my shelves, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. From what I understand reading Némirovsky can be a very powerful and fulfilling experience. I have also heard that she doesn't shy away from complicated characters who exhibit a lot of moral grayness. I am also interested in Le Bal in addition to this book. I hope too read at least one of these books very soon. Great review btw! You really expressed yourself well.