Author: Goldberg, Tod

Publication Date:

September 2014



Original language and publisher

English (USA) | Counterpoint Press

Territories Handled

France, Netherlands, Scandinavia


Crime & Thrillers


Author: Goldberg, Tod

  • 2 Seas Represents: French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Norwegian, and Swedish Rights.
  • Rights Sold: Bulgaria (Soft Press), France (Sonatine-Super 8), Hungary (Jaffa), Italy (Sperling), UK (Titan Books), The Netherlands (Querido), Germany (C. Bertelsmann, at auction), Audio (Blackstone),TV rights (Caryn Mandabach).


“As sharp as a straight razor. But a lot more fun. Count me a huge fan.” —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Personal: A Jack Reacher Novel.

“Gangsterland is rich with complex and meaty characters, but its greatest strength is that it never pulls a punch, never holds back, and never apologizes for life’s absurdities. If this novel were a person, you could ask it for a bookie.” —Brad Meltzer, bestselling author of The Fifth Assassin

“A gloriously original Mafia novel …. torridly funny.” —New York Times Book Review

“Talmudic wisdom and a hint of Springsteen”—Publishers Weekly Starred Review

“One of the year’s best hard-boiled crime novels.”—Booklist Starred Review

“The best mafia novel in years” —Sara Gran

“Infinitely better than anything else you’ll read this year!” —Craig Johnson

“Harrowing, funny, wise, and heretical, everything a thriller should be.” —T. Jefferson Parker

“Goldberg aspires to the heights of Elmore Leonard. For those who miss the master Gangsterland is a high-grade substitute.” —New York Times

Sal Cupertine is a legendary hit man for the Chicago Mafia, known for his ability to get in and out of a crime without a trace. Until now. His first-ever mistake forces Sal to botch an assassination, killing three undercover FBI agents. This puts too much heat on Sal and so – to avoid a death sentence from the Mafia – he agrees to their radical idea to save his own skin. After a few surgeries and some intensive training, Sal Cupertine is gone, disappeared into Rabbi David Cohen, leader of a growing La Vegas congregation.

Overseeing the temple and the new cemetery, Rabbi Cohen feels his wicked past slipping away, surprising even himself as he spouts quotes from the Old Testament. But the Mafia isn’t quite done with him—the new cemetery is being used as a money and body-laundering scheme for the Chicago family, and that rogue FBI agent on his trail, seeking vengeance for the murder of his fellow agents isn’t going to let Sal fade so easily into the desert.

Gangsterland is wickedly dark and funny It’s a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it. And it’s optioned for a TV series by CBS Productions!

Tod Goldberg has long been one of the most interesting writers around, and Gangsterland is his biggest and best book so far. — Thomas Perry (author of 19 novels including the Jane Whitefield series (Vanishing Act, Dance for the Dead, Shadow Woman, The Face Changers, Blood Money and Runner), Death Benefits, and Pursuit, the first recipient of the Gumshoe Award for best novel. He won the Edgar for The Butcher’s Boy, Metzger’s Dog was a New York Times Notable Book, and Nightlife was a New York Times bestseller.)

With his eye for human detail and trademark wit, as dry as a desert breeze, Tod Goldberg charts Sal Cupertine’s unlikely transition from stone-cold mob hitman to Las Vegas rabbi. This tale of witness relocation-by-mob—part Elmore Leonard, part Theatre of the Absurd—is a compelling examination of salvation, which comes in various guises and moves in elusive ways. A wholly unique tale from a wholly unique voice. — Gregg Hurwitz (New York Times and internationally bestselling author of twelve novels, most recently Trust No One, They’re Watching, You’re Next, Don’t Look Back and The Survivor).

As sharp as a straight razor. But a lot more fun. Count me a huge fan. —Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of Personal, the newest Jack Reacher novel

Infinitely readable, infinitely funny, and infinitely better than anything else you’ll read this year! — Craig Johnson, author of the Walt Longmire Mysteries and the basis for A&E’s hit series Longmire

Just when you thought the mafia novel was dead, Tod Goldberg breathes new life into it. Gangsterland, the best mafia novel in years, is a dark, funny, and smart page-turning crime story. It’s also a moving, thoughtful meditation on ethics, religion, family, and a culture that eats itself. I loved this book. — Sara Gran, author of Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway

Gangsterland is Tod Goldberg at the height of his hilarious and incisive and hell-bent powers as a writer of who we are and what we thought we wanted and how we tried to stay alive in America —if we were insanely funny and contemplative hit men. No one does Vegas, the desert, money, and mayhem like Goldberg I stayed up six nights in a row reading, unable to put this book down because I couldn’t wait to see how he’d play each card. — Susan Straight, author of Between Heaven and Here  (Susan is a National Book Award Finalist, an LA Times Book Prize Finalist, and this year she won the LA Times Robert Kirsch Award.)


Tod Goldberg is a gifted writer, a surveyor of the soul and Other Resort Cities is powerful fiction. He catches his characters at moments of great stress, then reveals their depths to us with compelling insight and great empathy. He sure as hell knows the details that convince. These are inventive and fresh stories that might have been merely clever in lesser hands, but Goldberg’s talent and compassion extends dignity even to the most fucked-up and misbegotten lives. — Daniel Woodrell, author of The Death of Sweet Mister and Winter’s Bone.

A keen voice, profound insight…Tod Goldberg’s fine ear for dialogue and for the spoken nuances of social microstrata enable him to dispense with reams of descriptive background and cut straight to the heart of the matter. If sometimes his overwhelmed characters fail to fully engage emotionally, their deadpan delivery of jolting ironies reaches to laugh-out-loud heights of insight. Even the collection’s title has a sardonic ring While hardly simple, “Simplify” is devilishly entertaining. — Los Angeles Times

Everybody dies at the end of a Tod Goldberg story. Well, almost. The ones who don’t die — violently, through hangings, shots to the heart, slit wrists, drownings, murders — are left to deal with the emotional and psychological fallout. They are the mothers, fathers, younger brothers and sisters in Goldberg’s creepy, strangely sardonic, definitely disturbing version of Middle America…And that, of course, is where the fun begins. — LA Weekly

Goldberg’s work is an eclectic collection of realist and surrealist storytelling..startling and shuddersome. — TimeOut Chicago

It’s rare to find a book that can evoke such strong emotions within a single collection, however, Tod Goldberg’s Simplify is a force to be reckoned with.  —

The stories on the whole are powerful, provocative and a pleasure to read. The title entry, in particular, is a minor masterpiece.— Crime Fiction Dossier

The stories in this collection hum with speed and ferocity and a raw energy that exposes your nerve endings, wakes up places inside of you that you had happily lulled to sleep. The sharp-edged, hard-luck boys that populate these pages know exactly how you feel at two in the morning and are telling the truth about it. Simplify is ruthless and tender, truthful, full of heart and scary in all the right ways. — Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness; Sight Hound

Energized, engaging, highly readable– each one of Tod Goldberg’s stories is a nugget of originality. I started each new story with fresh interest, wondering where he would take me next– to bleeding Elvis, or the Salton Sea, or through the strange way childhood cruelty rearranges adulthood. A terrific collection. — Aimee Bender, author of TheGirl in the Flammable Skirt; Willful Creatures

Living Dead Girl is an evocative read full of seductive prose, sharply focused characters, and a microcosmic world fraught with human sadness. —Library Journal

Tod Goldberg is an amazing true original who plunges deep into the scary heart of our American life. Hilarious and unnerving, charming and creepy, dusted with a strange, ineffable melancholy, these stories made the hair on my head stand up and my eyes fall ouT —Dan Chaon, author of Among The Missing and You Remind Me of Me

Tod Goldberg’s stories are not like faceted jewels. They are like glinting barbed wire, actually, roped across the field where you are reading, racing, wondering what’s next, and then pierced with longing, regret, or revelation. His new collection kept me reading like that — racing to find out what would happen next to these people only Tod Goldberg could create. —Susan Straight, author of Highwire Moon and A Million Nightingales

Goldberg continues his examination of the human condition, detailing the struggle between a corporeal existence versus an ethereal wane, with each character asking the questions: is this really my reality or have I simply dreamed the whole damn thing?” — NewPages

Goldberg’s prose is deceptively smooth, like a vanilla milkshake spiked with grain alcohol, and his ideas are always made more complex and engaging by the offbeat angles his stories take. — Chicago Tribune


Goldberg_GANGSTERLAND_Dutch_Uitgeverij Q_January 2016

The Netherlands (Uitgeverij Q)

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