From Read To Reel: Gangsterland: A Novel by Tod Goldberg
''In his plotting, dialogue and empathy for the bad guys, Goldberg aspires to the heights of Elmore Leonard. For those who miss the master, Gangsterland is a high-grade substitute.'' ― New York Times Daily Review This is the story
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, that is. His first-ever mistake forces Sal to botch an assassination, killing three undercover FBI agents in the process. This puts too much heat on Sal, and he knows this botched job will be his death sentence to the Mafia. So he agrees to their radical idea to save his own skin. A few surgeries and some intensive training later, and Sal Cupertine is gone, disappeared into the identity of Rabbi David Cohen. Leading his growing congregation in Las Vegas, overseeing the population and the temple and the new cemetery, Rabbi Cohen feels his wicked past slipping away from him, surprising even himself as he spouts quotes from the Torah or the Old Testament. Yet, as it turns out, the Mafia isn't quite done with him yet. Soon the new cemetery is being used as both 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 three fellow agents, isn't going to let Sal fade so easily into the desert. Gangsterland is the wickedly dark and funny new novel by a writer at the height of his power ― a morality tale set in a desert landscape as ruthless and barren as those who inhabit it.
Reviews & What Readers Say
“Goldberg's new book is clever bordering on wise, like Get Shorty on antacid."
―David Kipen, Los Angeles Magazine
“Clearly influenced by the great Elmore Leonard, Goldberg puts his own dry comic spin on the material. …Clever plotting, a colorful cast of characters, and priceless situations make this comedic crime novel an instant classic."
―Kirkus, Starred Review
“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
“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
" Let's get this part out of the way: Gangsterland is a thriller, and provides a crackling good read for any fan of the genre. But the truth is, to call this book merely a thriller is inaccurate. It's also a whip-smart comedy, a sublime morality play, and a gleefully blasphemous investigation of what and why we worship. There's something for everyone here. Just make sure you set aside a good chunk of time, because once you start reading you won't want to stop."
―Ron Currie, Jr., author of God is Dead
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Tod Goldberg is the New York Times bestselling author of several books of fiction, including the novels The House of Secrets, which he co-authored with Brad Meltzer, Gangsterland, a finalist for the Hammett Prize, Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat, and the popular Burn Notice series, as well as two collections of short stories, Simplify and Other Resort Cities. His essays, nonfiction, and journalism have appeared widely, including, most recently, in Best American Essays 2013. His next book, Gangster Nation, a sequel to Gangsterland, will be released in 2017. Tod Goldberg holds an MFA in Creative Writing and Literature from Bennington College and lives in Indio, CA where he directs the Low Residency MFA program in Creative Writing & Writing for the Performing Arts at the University of California, Riverside.