Category: When a Psychopath Falls in Love

Lakewood-Library-HerbOne of the heroes returning to his home town of Lakewood, Ohio, in May is Herbert Gold, whose 20th novel is just out (in hardback, paperback and eBook). That’s our hero Herb on the left, next to Gilgamesh of Uruk and Batman.

Check out the listing in the local library’s spring/summer program guide.

When a Psychopath Falls in Love

Herbert Gold’s new novel is a funny, sad romp through the San Francisco he has staked out as his primal territory, filled with flimflam artists, lost summers of love and, most of all, fathers on the run, looking for a little bit of mercy and poetic meaning to their lives. — Jerome Charyn, Author

The intriguing new story from prizewinning author Herbert Gold, his twentieth novel in more than six decades, takes us on a journey of lost souls seeking attachment, revenge and redemption at the edge of San Francisco Bay.

When impoverished court translator Dan Kasdan lets lawyer and con artist Ferd Conway suck him into a shady property deal in Haiti, he’s unprepared for the life-changing complications that follow. First, an unknown daughter has just turned up at Dan’s door in the Tenderloin, nineteen years after a forgotten encounter in the Summer of Love. She, her half-employed husband and their disabled baby son need his care, attention and cash. All this just as Dan’s swollen prostate is confronting him with his own mortality.

It’s bad enough when his cohort manipulates Dan into a love affair with Petal, a young woman his daughter’s age. But when Ferd starts pursuing Dan’s daughter as lover and would-be father figure, Ferd’s sleazy disloyalty changes Dan forever.

If a psychopath really can fall in love, it had better not be with the wrong person. That could lead to murder among old friends.


Reviewer comments on the author’s previous work:

In the course of an impressive career as a writer, Herbert Gold has demonstrated many gifts, among them his talent for making high drama of ordinary events, ordinary people. Chicago Tribune Book World

Herbert Gold gives his stories a wry, bright air of wonder – he is a born storyteller. New York Times

One of the most gifted writers in America. Detroit News

Books by Herbert Gold


Birth of a Hero
The Prospect Before Us
The Man Who Was Not With It
The Optimist
Therefore Be Bold
The Great American Jackpot
Swiftie the Magician
Waiting for Cordelia
Slave Trade
True Love
Mister White Eyes
A Girl of Forty
She Took my Arm as if She Loved Me
Daughter Mine

Short Stories and Essays

Love & Like
The Age of Happy Problems
The Magic Will: Stories
and Essays of a Decade
Lovers and Cohorts:
Twenty-Seven Stories


Biafra Goodbye
My Last Two Thousand Years
A Walk on the West Side:
California on the Brink
Travels in San Francisco
Best Nightmare on Earth:
A Life in Haiti (
reissued as Haiti:
Best Nightmare on Earth)
Still Alive: A Temporary Condition
(reissued as Not Dead Yet)
Bohemia: Where Art, Angst, Love,
and Strong Coffee Meet


[at age 17, Herb Gold] traveled to New York and went to a party given by an editor and attended only by other poets. That night, he met poet and author Anaïs Nin, who softly asked him to come with her to her houseboat in Hoboken. He agreed and followed her out of the party. “I was ready for whatever came next,” he remembers. Read More…

Herbert Gold, Special to The Chronicle Published 4:00 am, Sunday, January 2, 2011

In Havana, 1959, I was camped out at the Ambos Mundos Hotel, trying to write a film script based on my novel “The Man Who Was Not With It.” I had driven my beat-up, badly used Ford (transportation for the poverty-stricken recently divorced) to Key West and then flown to Cuba by Q Airlines (slogan: “Ten Minutes, Ten Dollars”). Read More…

Julian Guthrie Published 2:54 pm, Friday, April 18, 2014
San Francisco writer and author Herb Gold, deemed an “elder statesman of the Beat Generation,” turned 90 on March 9 and celebrated with his kids and grandkids. Read More…

By Joseph Berger
Published: August 29, 2008
Toward the end of this reflection on his own aging and what he calls “the encroaching inevitable,” Herbert Gold, a novelist who has turned out a book every few years for more than half a century, says that writers never stop writing, are “always on the lookout for the next book.” Read More…

Paris Review No. 41, Summer-Fall 1967
Interview by Herbert Gold

Vladimir Nabokov lives with his wife Véra in the Montreux Palace Hotel in Montreux, Switzerland, a resort city on Lake Geneva which was a favorite of Russian aristocrats of the last century. Read more…