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January 2020: Thriller > [Poll Ballot] Button Man by Andrew Gross - 3 stars

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Joy D | 3233 comments Button Man by Andrew Gross - 3 stars - My Review

As stated by the author, Andrew Gross, in the Acknowledgement to his novel Button Man, “Twenty million immigrants came to this country between 1880 and 1920, and in many ways, this is the story of one of them. The only one in his family born here actually, in 1902, who went from the mean streets of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and a sixth-grade education to run the garment factory he apprenticed in at the age of twelve by the time he was twenty-one; battled the unions controlled by the Jewish mob…; and grew the dress firm he named after his daughter… into an iconic national brand. That man was my grandfather.”

I have found in recent years that I do not particularly care for contemporary psychological thrillers, so when “thriller” was selected as the category for this month’s book, I decided to go with historical fiction. On the plus side, the story includes a good amount of 1920’s to 1930’s history of the garment district in New York and the setting feels realistic. On the minus side, the writing is full of clichés, the dialogue is clunky, and the featured brothers come across as too good to be true (possibly a side-effect of basing the book on the author’s real family members). Overall, I found it entertaining, but I doubt it will remain with me over time.


message 2: by Booknblues (new)

Booknblues | 5531 comments I enjoyed reading his books The One Man and The Saboteur. I will put this on my radar.


message 3: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8310 comments Joy, I was planning to read this book this month. It’s the group read for the Jewish Book Club. Can I ask a question? Does it fit a state tag? Looked like you had it for something. Since I am reading it anyway....


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 8310 comments Just saw! New Jersey Mafia! Yay!


Joy D | 3233 comments Amy wrote: "Just saw! New Jersey Mafia! Yay!"

Yes, it not only fits in that one person tagged it that way, one of the scenes is set in New Jersey (though the vast majority takes place in New York.)


Joy D | 3233 comments Booknblues wrote: "I enjoyed reading his books The One Man and The Saboteur. I will put this on my radar."

I've never read any of his other books but if you like crime novels in general, you'll probably enjoy this one.


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