In ten seductive new stories, the author of Simplify and Living Dead Girl encounters the ruthless, vulnerable people who inhabit resort cities, along with their misdemeanors and felonies. Vibrant, moving, and often profound, Other Resort Cities is Goldberg at his best.
Menace and mayhem brew beneath the finely crafted surface of these magnetic short stories of American mania and despair. Goldberg draws on his crime-fiction chops (Living Dead Girl, 2002) to portray refugees from failed attempts at middle-class normalcy seeking freedom and revenge in the overdeveloped deserts of the American West. Goldberg’s disgruntled characters get up to no good in Palm Springs, Las Vegas, and various gated communities just begging for defilement. A lonely, no-longer-young cocktail waitress struggles to understand her missing Russian adopted daughter. A former sheriff and cancer survivor returns to the strange, toxic, devouring Salton Sea, where he lost his first wife. A man converts his fancy home into a Starbucks after the disappearance of his second wife, and one wonders just how insane he truly is. Goldberg pulls out all the stops in “Mitzvah,” a tale about an ersatz rabbi and a temple-centered money- and body-laundering scheme. A divorced father kidnaps his kids; a family is found slain on a mountain. These are eerie, obliquely compassionate, darkly humorous, and ensnaring stories of misery and catharsis. — Donna Seaman — Booklist
Tod Goldberg is the author of the novels Living Dead Girl, a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Fake Liar Cheat & The Fix as well as the short story collection Simplify, a finalist for SCBA Prize in Fiction and winner of the Other Voices Short Story Collection Prize. His short fiction and essays have appeared in numerous journals and magazines, including The Sun, Post Road, & The Santa Monica Review, and several anthologies, including Las Vegas Noir, When I Was A Loser and Don’t You Forget About Me: Contemporary Authors on the Films of John Hughes, twice earning Special Mention for the Pushcart Prize. A four-time winner of the Nevada Press Association award in journalism and arts criticism, Tod’s work appears frequently in the Los Angeles Times, Las Vegas CityLife, and the Chicago Tribune. His next novel, The End Game, will be released in May of 2009 followed by his next collection of stories, Other Resort Cities, in October of 2009. Tod Goldberg is the Administrative Director of the MFA Program in Creative Writing and Writing for the Performing Arts.