DHS Library embraces gangster noir with Indio resident Tod Goldberg

The literary locals have been waiting for the moment when author Tod Goldberg would reveal the parodies behind the fiction of his recently published humorous yet unsavory gangster book “The Low Desert.”

On April 21 from 1 to 2:30 p.m, the Desert Hot Springs Library will host the New York Times and international best-selling author as part of its Author’s Series. His most recent book has been receiving all kinds of accolades along with being chosen a Time Magazine Best Book of the Month.

Growing up in the desert, Goldberg heard stories of the mobs and organized crime in the valley. As a teenager, he was fascinated when he encountered mobsters who were members of Palm Springs Society. At that time his mother, Jan Curran, was the Desert Sun’s Society Editor and was known to have entertained them.

This may explain why today Tod loves fictionalizing the outlaws, bandits, gangsters and mobs who roam the desert between Palm Springs and Las Vegas. His fascinating characters, although ruthless, appear loveable at times.

"The Low Desert" is a collection of short stories that dazzle the reader with audacious crimes steeped in gangster culture.

The book’s 12 stories take place in many recognizable parts of the Coachella Valley. This allows the local reader to partake in the scenes and story lines, enjoy the humor and experience compassion — all the while being horrified by the character’s brutal deeds.

Goldberg’s earlier book, “Gangsterland,” was a finalist for the Hammett Prize. His “Gangster Nation” and “The House of Secrets,” which he co-authored with Brad Metzler, and “Living Dead Girl,” were all finalists for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His many essays, journalism and criticism appear regularly in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today and have earned five Nevada Press Association Awards for excellence.

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