I don’t know what it is about Chicago, but the Windy City sure is kind to us Goldbergs. First, the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times gave my book DIAGNOSIS MURDER: THE PAST TENSE great reviews. Now TimeOut Chicago is raving about my brother Tod Goldberg’s short story collection SIMPLIFY:
[Tod] Goldberg’s work is an eclectic collection of realist and surrealist storytelling, from a brother’s difficult return from the first Gulf War to a kid who turns invisible after witnessing his father’s infidelity. The overheated suburbs of southern California and the crazed, sun-scorched roads through the outlying deserts are the perfect settings for Goldberg’s characters. In a story that exemplifies his skill for blending the unreal with the everyday, a dyslexic kid creates his own language as a way to deal with life’s stresses. As he witnesses a brutal act of violence against a fellow student and his careerist father becomes more and more aloof after a move to L.A., the kid fills binders and binders with his personal alphabet, a secret distress code. It’s a startling and shuddersome story, with the kind of atmospheric tension we’ve come to expect from the new wave of Japanese horror movies.