The good people at Desert Companion — the magazine of KNPR in Las Vegas — asked about how hard it is to think about bad, bad things all day long: September 1 sees the publication of Gangster Nation, by novelist and former Las Vegan Tod Goldberg, the follow-up to his Vegas-set best-seller Gangsterland. What’s important about the setting isn’t just where, but when: September 2001. Obviously, a lot of themes come together in the narrative, but at its most elemental level, it’s about a mob hitman, Sal Cupertine, who’s masquerading as Las Vegas rabbi David Cohen while doing favors for his old masters — and who wants out. Complications ensue. Read more
Excited to finally be able to announce something that has been cooking for a little while: the great team behind the gangster epic PEAKY BLINDERS is now charged with bringing the adventures of Sal Cupertine & the Rabbi David Cohen to television. From Publishers Marketplace: Tod Goldberg’s GANGSTERLAND, the story of Sal Cupertine, hit man for the Chicago mob, whose assassination of three undercover FBI agents lands him in Las Vegas under the identity of Rabbi David Cohen, optioned by Caryn Mandabach Productions with Michael Besman to executive produce, by Judi Farkas Management on behalf of Jennie Dunham at Dunham Literary and by Susan Waddell of behalf of Caryn Mandabach Productions. The Read more
We’re getting geared up here for the release of Gangster Nation with a slate of events, kicking off this fall with a series of signings, conversations, and readings. Even more events will be added soon, but here’s where you can find Tod starting in September: September 14, 2017 Los Angeles, CA Skylight Books 7:30pm with David Ulin September 15, 2017 San Diego, CA Mysterious Galaxy 7:30pm with Jim Ruland September 18, 2017 Portland, OR Powell’s on Hawthorne 7:30pm with Ben Loory September 21, 2017 Chicago, IL The Book Cellar 7pm with Gina Frangello October 5, 2017 Oakland, CA Diesel 7pm with Heather Scott Partington October Read more
More good news! Publishers Weekly has weighed in on Gangster Nation and they were impressed! Offbeat doesn’t begin to describe Goldberg’s impressive sequel to 2014’s Gangsterland. Mafia leader Sal Cupertine escaped arrest by hiding in the back of a refrigerated meat truck after murdering three undercover FBI agents and an informant in Chicago. Now, he’s successfully reinvented himself as Rabbi David Cohen in Las Vegas, where he’s found that not being Jewish “had ceased, over time, to be a problem.” He has successfully faked his way into the job, officiating over life cycle events and dispensing nuggets of wisdom. Goldberg’s sections on Cupertine/Cohen’s relationship with his wealthy flock, which includes Read more
The first review for Gangster Nation is in…and it’s great! The jig may be up for Las Vegas Rabbi David Cohen, the unlikely identity assumed by ruthless hit man Sal Cupertine. It’s only a matter of time before an obsessed former FBI agent tracks him down—or the fake rabbi’s cosmetically altered face caves in. Set in 2001, two years after the events of Goldberg’s audacious Gangsterland (2014), this sequel finds 40-ish Sal/David weary of the Jewish mob wars in Vegas and missing his family. He left his wife, Jennifer, and 7-year-old son, William, in Chicago more than three years ago after murdering three undercover FBI agents and escaping town in Read more
Tod wrote a bit about…pickles. And immigration. But mostly about pickles. All in the latest issue of Palm Springs Life Magazine. If you grew up in Palm Springs, you grew up in Jewish delis. The Gaiety. Buddy’s. Marvin’s. Nate’s. Sherman’s. There were upwards of a dozen of them valley-wide back in the 1970s and early ’80s. Only Sherman’s is still in business, the others are long gone, replaced by restaurants with ironic names, serving food that is best described as “fusion,” which is just a fancy way of saying no one could make a decision. But these delis. You know them. You’d walk in and there’d be a gruff man Read more
Tod was recently interviewed by The Millions on the evolution of literary criticism in the era of podcasts: Goldberg says that when he and his co-hosts are recording “Literary Disco,” “we know that beyond the quality of the book, we are sharing with our audience something more profound: here is what great literature can do, here’s the empathetic bridge literature lets you cross, here’s us, experiencing it, live.” As our lives become more fragmented and diluted across various online streams, there’s something rare and valuable about knowing you can have this resource to build meaningful bonds with thousands of strangers.