If you’re in England and have been patiently been waiting for Gangsterland to come out, your wait is nearly over. The fine folks at Titan Books are releasing the book April 10th. They’ve given it a fancy new cover:
If you’re coming to the LA Times Festival of Books, I’ll be doing three ticketed events — two on Saturday, one on Sunday. I’ll also be signing books at Mystery Ink on Sunday at 10am. Details below for the ticketed events:
SATURDAY, APRIL. 18, 2015, 10:30AM
Fiction:Victims & Vice
SATURDAY, APRIL. 18, 2015 3:30PM
TAPER HALL 101
Crime Fiction:Playing Both Sides
SUNDAY, APRIL. 19, 2015 12:00PM
TOWN & GOWN
If you’re coming to AWP in Minneapolis in April, I’ll be speaking on Saturday, April 11th. Also, I’ll be manning the booth part of each day for the UCR Low Residency MFA –– booth #1807. Here’s the details for the panel:
S214. Rejection: How to Cope With It, How to Grow From It
Room 211 A&B, Level 2
Saturday, April 11, 2015
1:30 pm to 2:45 pm
The experience of having one’s work rejected is part of the publishing process, and there is a correlation between the number of rejections one receives and the number of pieces one has published. Panelists will include a widely published essayist and three fiction writers. We will examine the panelists’ experiences of having their submissions rejected and their strategies for continuing to submit in the face of that.
Moderator:John Hill has been a musician, music producer, arranger, songwriter, film composer, and teacher of film music. He received an MFA from Bennington College.
Dinah Lenney wrote Bigger than Life: A Murder, A Memoir and co-authored Acting for Young Actors. She teaches in the Bennington Writing Seminars, the Rainier Writing Workshop, and the MPW program at the University of Southern California. Her new memoir, The Object Parade, has just been published.
Heidi Durrow is the New York Times best-selling novelist of The Girl Who Fell From the Sky and the founder of the annual Mixed Remixed Festival.
Sheena Cook is a Scottish writer with a law degree from the University of Edinburgh and an MFA in literature and writing from the Bennington Writing Seminars in Vermont. Her first novel is in the hands of agents, and she is working on her second.
Tod Goldberg is the author of several books of fiction, including Gangsterland, Other Resort Cities, and the popular Burn Notice series. His nonfiction has recently appeared in the Best American Essays, LA Times, and LA Review of Books. He directs the low residency MFA at the University of California, Riverside.
Gangsterland has been named a finalist for the Hammett Prize by the International Association of Crime Writers!
The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers is pleased to announce nominees for their annual HAMMETT PRIZE for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author. The nominees are as follows:
Wayfaring Stranger: A Novel, by James Lee Burke (Simon & Schuster)
Smoke River, by Krista Foss (McClelland & Stewart)
Gangsterland: A Novel, by Tod Goldberg (Counterpoint)
Mr. Mercedes: A Novel, by Stephen King (Scribner)
Goodhouse: A Novel, by Peyton Marshall (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
A reading committee of IACW/NA members selected the nominees, based on recommendations from other members and the publishing community. The committee was headed by Del Staecker and included Maria Hudgins, Heidi Noroozy, Howard Owen, and Allen Wyler.
The winner will be chosen by three distinguished outside judges: Morris Dickstein, author of Why Not Say What Happened: A Sentimental Education; Daniel Simon, Editor-in Chief of World Literature Today; and Frank Wilson, former Books Editor of The Philadelphia Inquirer and blogger at Booksinq.
The organization will name the HAMMETT PRIZE winner, during the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association’s (NAIBA) Fall Conference, in Somerset, New Jersey, October 2-4. The winner will receive a bronze trophy, designed by sculptor Peter Boiger.
The Desert Sun had an excellent series, Gangsters In Paradise, that I was happy to play a small role in:
It’s the mid-’80s. Society writer Jan Curran and her children arrive at Paul di Amico’s Steak House, where on any given night you could run into a wide range of characters, legit and otherwise.
The mayor, Frank Bogert, is here. Businessmen and real estate agents are seated at center tables, mingling with the movers and shakers coming in and out of the piano lounge. Regular folks and a smattering of old Hollywood celebrities occupy the cushioned booths. So do some cops and mobsters.
Mobsters don’t faze the always-fashionable Curran. She regularly regales her kids with stories of “Fat Philly” and “Jerry the Crusher.” For Tod Goldberg, the youngest of Curran’s four children, the scene at the restaurant is like a movie. The only problem is he’s watching a bit too intently when a gruff-looking patron thinks he’s eavesdropping.
The New York Times Book Review says nice things about Gangsterland…just about the nicest things, ever, when you get right down to it:
For many of us, “The Godfather,” book or movie, ushered us into a second boyhood, teaching that the incorrigible vitality of a first-rate gangster story could temporarily inoculate us against adult sanity. For readers of a like mind, Tod Goldberg’s “Gangsterland” will arrive as a gloriously original Mafia novel: 100 percent unhinged about the professionally unhinged.
The nice people at The Rap Sheet have named Gangsterland one of the top books of 2014:
[A]n exceedingly sage and witty thriller that reveals no chinks in the armor, no narrative lines to nowhere, and with a “look Ma, no hands” ease of invention that would have Elmore Leonard turning over in his grave to see who has taken his place as one of the best writers around.
The Jewish Journal spent a bit of time with me and realized I’m just a nice Jewish boy with murderous fantasies:
Tod Goldberg was excited to have his author photo taken for the jacket of his new crime novel, “Gangsterland” (Counterpoint Press).
“I’ve always wanted to be one of those dudes that dresses like their characters on their book jackets,” Goldberg said. “Any crime writer that’s wearing a trench coat and has a bulldog on a leash, I always think, ‘Yeah, you’re living it, dude.’ That’s my life. I want that.”
His actual author photo is far more conservative. Although Goldberg may be a nice Jewish boy who dreams of passing as a gangster, he’s far from the antihero protagonist of “Gangsterland,” a legitimate Chicago Mafia killer-for-hire who disguises himself as a rabbi in the Las Vegas suburbs.
After killing three undercover FBI agents in a drug deal gone wrong, Sal Cupertin goes underground, where a plastic surgeon rewires his jaw to reconstruct his face. He spends weeks poring over the Talmud and midrash in order to convince synagogue members that he is Rabbi David Cohen. Sal takes a while to grow into his new identity: “David Cohen? That wasn’t a tough guy. That was a guy who fixed your glasses. That was your lawyer.”
It sounds far-fetched, but the transformation of Cuperti into Cohen is the true joy of “Gangsterland.”
If you’re living in a foreign country and wondering just when you’ll get the chance to read Gangsterland, here’s who’ll be publishing the novel around the world…with more to come soon:
Bulgaria: Soft Press
England: Titan Books
France: Super 8
Germany: C. Bertelsmann (2016)
Italy: Sperling & Kupfor
The Netherlands: Querido (Summer 2015)
And if you’re waiting for the audio book, the nice folks at Blackstone will be releasing a full unabridged version in early 2015.