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Author Request, Book Review, Crime, Family Relationships, Giveaway, Historical Fiction, Humor

The Great Gimmelmans by Lee Matthew Goldberg


Middle child Aaron Gimmelman watches as his family goes from a mild-mannered reform Jewish clan to having over a million dollars of stolen money stuffed in their RV’s cabinets while being pursued by the FBI and loan sharks. But it wasn’t always like that. His father Barry made a killing as a stockbroker, his mother Judith loved her collection of expensive hats, his older sister Steph was obsessed with pop stars, and little sister Jenny loved her stuffed possum, Seymour.

After losing all their money in the Crash of 1987, the family starts stealing from convenience stores, but when they hit a bank, they realize the talent they possess. The money starts rolling in and brings the family closer together, whereas back at home, no one had any time for bonding due to their busy schedules. But Barry’s desire for more, more, more will take its toll on the Gimmelmans, and Aaron is forced into an impossible choice: turn against his father, or let his family fall apart.

From Jersey, down to an Orthodox Jewish community in Florida where they hide out, and up to California, The Great Gimmelmans goes on a madcap ride through the 1980s. Filled with greed and love and the meaning of religion and tradition until the walls of the RV and the feds start closing in on the family, this thrilling literary tale mixes Michael Chabon and the Coen Brothers with equal parts humor and pathos.


I was looking for a change of pace when I picked up The Great Gimmelmans, and WOW, I wasn’t disappointed. When a man loses everything, he takes his wife and children on a ride to ruination by turning family values on its head.

This story is a thought-provoking novel that delves into the complexities of family dynamics. Each family member, driven by their unique desires, grapples with seeking power, attention, forgiveness, closure, and validation. 

Goldberg’s masterful storytelling took me on an emotional rollercoaster. The characters are complex and well-developed, and the ending is fitting for the crazy life events experienced by the main character. In addition, the 80s nostalgia is a big plus for someone who lived it.

For readers who appreciate a captivating mix of suspense, heartfelt storytelling, and a bit of dark humor, The Great Gimmelmans is a must-read.


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Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author and screenwriter of thirteen novels including THE ANCESTOR, SLOW DOWN, THE MENTOR from St. Martin’s Press, STALKER STALKED, ORANGE CITY, the five-book DESIRE CARD series, and the Young Adult trilogy RUNAWAY TRAIN, GRENADE BOUQUETS, and VANISH ME, currently with actress Raegan Revord from TVs Young Sheldon attached to develop. THE GREAT GIMMELMANS is forthcoming in November 2023.

He has been published in multiple languages, a finalist for an Anthony Award, and nominated for the Prix du Polar. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared as a contributor in CrimeReads, Pipeline Artists, LitHub, The Los Angeles Review of Books, The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Mystery Tribune, The Big Idea, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, Hypertext, If My Book, Past Ten, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Maudlin House and others. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests

Lee is the co-curator of  The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series.

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