Friday, November 23, 2018

Macmillan Audio Review of Button Man by Andrew Gross

Happy Black Friday, wether you've been up since 4am stalking all the great deals or still vegging from yesterday's Turkey feast it's always the right time for one of Andrew Gross's fabulous historical novels. This one dates from the early 1900s through the 30s in New York's garment industry and stars a scrappy Jewish boy named Morris.
Enjoy or in Yiddish hnah!

Button Man

By: Andrew Gross
Narrated by: Edoardo Ballerini
Length: 9 hrs and 48 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 09-18-18
Language: English
Publisher: Macmillan Audio
Source: Publisher for Review
Buy it on Audible



"As usual, narrator Edoardo Ballerini's narration is eminently listenable...He captures the rich details of the era while engaging listeners with the story's relatable family dynamics." — AudioFile Magazine

Following up The One Man and The Saboteur, Andrew Gross's next historical thriller audiobook brings to life the dramatic birth of organized crime in 1930s New York City from the tale of one family.

After a string of New York Times bestselling suburban thrillers, Andrew Gross has reinvented himself as a writer of historical thrillers. In his latest audiobook, Button Man, he delivers a stirring story of a Jewish family brought together in the dawn of the women's garment business and torn apart by the birth of organized crime in New York City in the 1930s.

Morris, Sol, and Harry Rabishevsky grew up poor and rough in a tiny flat on the Lower East Side, until the death of their father thrust them into having to fend for themselves and support their large family. Morris, the youngest, dropped out of school at twelve years old and apprenticed himself to a garment cutter in a clothing factory; Sol headed to accounting school; but Harry, scarred by a family tragedy, fell in with a gang of thugs as a teenager. Morris steadily climbs through the ranks at the factory until at twenty-one he finally goes out on his own, convincing Sol to come work with him. But Harry can't be lured away from the glamour, the power, and the money that come from his association with Louis Buchalter, whom Morris has battled with since his youth and who has risen to become the most ruthless mobster in New York. And when Buchalter sets his sights on the unions that staff the garment makers' factories, a fatal showdown is inevitable, pitting brother against brother.

This new audiobook is equal parts historical thriller, rich with the detail of a vibrant New York City in the 1920s and 1930s, and family saga, based on Andrew Gross's own family story and on the history of the era, complete with appearances by real-life characters like mobsters Louis Lepke and Dutch Schultz and special prosecutor Thomas Dewey, and cements Gross's reputation as today's most atmospheric and original historical thriller writer.

“Button Man is a compelling, fast paced historical thriller that paints a rich portrait of the rise of organized crime in 1930’s America. Fans of Boardwalk Empire and Dennis Lehane will love it.” - Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale

Listen to a sample- 

My Review:

Button Man
Andrew Gross

Set from the beginning of the twentieth century through the 1930’s and centered in the NY garment district, Gross’s latest historical thriller, Button Man is a fast paced, epic tale that follows the life and times of one Jewish immigrant family and especially one member of the family and his fight against the corruption of the unions that instead of fighting for the workers strong armed, maimed and killed to get a company and owner’s compliance. The author’s use of real crusaders like Thomas Dewey NY’s DA and both Jewish and Italian mobsters like Louis Buchalter, Dutch Schultz and Lucky Luciano and their crime syndicate called “Murder Inc.” make the novel more genuine and more chilling. The narrative is period perfect bringing to life for the audience the realistic sights and sounds of New York from early 1900 through the roaring twenties complete with mob run speak-easies and clubs and on through the bullet ridden crime filled union enforcements of the 1930s garment industry. Morris is an unforgettable character, a hardscrabble, never give up, honest businessman and loving family man, but one who’s also prideful and imperfect. The secondary characters are also fantastic some memorable and some extraordinary. All in all The Button Man is a must read for all lovers of historical fiction who love facts with their fiction. Brava Mr. Gross!

The Narration by Edoardo Ballerini is amazing giving life to the characters. His male voices are pitch perfect and he does well with the female roles too. But the
pièce de résistance is the emotions he gives to Morris and his family with every Yiddish phrase and every angry arrogant mob voice.

Morris Raab is the youngest and only US born in his Russian Jewish immigrant family. He quit school at twelve and went to work for one of New York’s garment manufacturers working his way up the company ladder until at twenty-one he was running the business. At twenty-six he took a big chance and with one of his older brothers opened their own garment manufacturing business, Raab Brothers. But things are changing in the garment industry, the unions who at first were formed to care for the workers are suddenly just another racket being run by organized crime and businesses who don’t join and pay up suffer terrible consequences. This doesn’t sit well with Morris who never ran from a fight, always paid his own way and he’s determined that these lowlife thugs aren’t going to infiltrate his company.

My Thanks to Macmillan Audio for providing a copy
In exchange for an honest review

About the author:Andrew Gross is the author of New York Times and international bestsellers The Blue Zone, Don't Look Twice, and The Dark Tide, which was nominated for the Best Thriller of the Year award by the International Thriller Writers, Reckless, Eyes Wide Open, and One Mile Under. He is also coauthor of several number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. He lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife, Lynn.
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Narrator Edoardo Ballerini:
HBO fans may recognize Edoardo Ballerini from his role as Corky Caporale in The Sopranos, or his more recent role as Ignatius D’Alessio in Boardwalk Empire. Audiobook fans know him as the smooth voice behind many a thriller and compelling work of literary fiction.

Black Friday doorbusters. Valid 11/23.


  1. Oh wow, Debbie this sounds like one I would enjoy!

  2. That's different from what I usually read and it sounds like a good one.

  3. Sounds like a really good listen, I am noticing more and more that audio can really bring a book alive and seems like this narrator did just that.

    1. you are so right the narrator can either make or break a book.

  4. A thriller that might just fit me too

  5. Historical fiction is not my thing, but this does sounds like something I could see myself enjoying.

  6. I agree. Andrew Gross is a phenomenal writer. Hugs...RO