Read Gangster Nation by Tod Goldberg Online


"Gangster Nation is a razor. It will slice you open and reveal your insides. And like the best of Tod Goldberg's work, it'll show you everything you are at your core." —Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The President's ShadowIt's been two years since the events of Gangsterland, when legendary Chicago hitman Sal Cupertine disappeared into the guise of Vegas"Gangster Nation is a razor. It will slice you open and reveal your insides. And like the best of Tod Goldberg's work, it'll show you everything you are at your core." —Brad Meltzer, New York Times bestselling author of The President's ShadowIt's been two years since the events of Gangsterland, when legendary Chicago hitman Sal Cupertine disappeared into the guise of Vegas Rabbi David Cohen. It’s September of 2001 and for David, everything is coming up gold: Temple membership is on the rise, the new private school is raking it in, and the mortuary and cemetery—where Cohen has been laundering bodies for the mob—is minting cash. But Sal wants out. He’s got money stashed in safe-deposit boxes all over the city. He’s looking at places to escape to, Mexico or maybe Argentina. He only needs to make it through the High Holidays, and he’ll have enough money to slip away, grab his wife and kid, and start fresh.Across the country, former FBI agent Matthew Drew is now running security for an Indian Casino outside of Milwaukee, spending his off-time stalking members of The Family, looking for vengeance for the murder of his former partner. So when Sal’s cousin stumbles into the casino one night, Matthew takes the law into his own hands—again—touching off a series of events that will have Rabbi Cohen running for his life, trapped in Las Vegas, with the law, society, and the post-9/11 world closing in around him.Gangster Nation is a thrilling follow-up to Gangsterland, an unexpected, page-turning examination of the seedy foundations of American life. With the wit and gritty glamor that defines his writing, Goldberg traces how the things we most value in our lives—home, health, even our spiritual lives—have been built on the enterprises of criminals....

Title : Gangster Nation
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781619027237
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 597 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gangster Nation Reviews

  • Michael Hughes
    2018-12-10 12:04

    Sal Cupertine -- or rather -- David Cohen, can't but help to get involved in even more criminal undertakings, no pun intended, in this sequel to Gangster Land. While he has maintained his control of the mob's activities at the temple, his cousin's tenuous grip on the Chicago mob threatens to undermine everything. Plus, a rogue ex-FBI agent doesn't seem to be doing him any favors. Altogether an excellent, albeit at times bloody, read. Highly recommended.

  • Jim
    2018-11-22 13:22

    Violent and suspenseful follow-up to Gangsterland. Goldberg's Las Vegas murder mystery reads at times like a critique of neoliberalism disguised as a murder mystery. Ends with a cliffhanger.

  • Kate
    2018-11-18 05:58

    I won an ARC of Gangster Nation from Goodreads. I read and enjoyed Gangsterland and I also enjoy listening to Tod Goldberg as a host of the Literary Disco podcast. This novel picks up a couple of years after Gangsterland and Rabbi David Cohen is continuing to minister to his flock in Las Vegas while continually trying to figure out how to get his old life back. Having previously murdered several FBI agents as well as enemies of his previous criminal enterprise, there are still people searching for him. This story moves swiftly and while I enjoyed it, I found the constant references to corruption in every day life tiresome at times. Tod writes crisply and pulls you into his characters worries and concerns. I will wait impatiently for the third in this series.

  • Patrick O'Neil
    2018-12-09 13:01

    This may sound odd, given the subject matter, but Tod Goldberg achieves a certain sophistication in his language while writing about all that murder and mayhem in Gangster Nation. Obviously he could have gone the total full frontal shoot ‘em up. But instead Goldberg got inside his protagonist’s mind and explored his ongoing (and readily relatable) issues of identity and desire. Throw in a subplot of the effects of organized crime on American society and the ever evolving debate on religious freedom and you have much more to digest than your usual run-of-the-mill crime novel. Plus, let’s face it. Sequels are hard. Most times the second book is judged not by its quality, but by its quality compared to the quality of the first book. Like as if it couldn't be considered as a stand-alone piece of work. Fortunately Gangster Nation is just as strong and compelling as Gangsterland (maybe even better). If you haven’t already gotten into this series, you should do so now.

  • Thomas Todd
    2018-12-11 08:10

    I really enjoyed both Gangster Land and this newest edition Ganster Nation. This one ends with an opening for a 3rd novel in this very well written series. Great crime fiction Chicago mob style with a little Jewish twist set in Sin City.

  • Rory Costello
    2018-12-03 09:04

    Some readers found all the Judaica in this story a drag. I did not. I thought it went hand in hand with all the black humor, which I enjoyed. At first I thought Tod Goldberg was aping Don Winslow, and though they do have a lot in common stylistically, there is more than enough to separate them (the Judaica comes in again here).This is #2 in what has to be at least a trilogy. I came to it out of order, but that didn't interfere with the reading experience. I intend to go back for #1 at some point.

  • Carol
    2018-12-14 10:13

    I missed reading the first book, Gangsterland but had no trouble in picking up the story. Sal Cupertine is a well known hit man in Chicago disappears and reappears as Rabbi David Cohen in Las Vegas with a new career boy launderer for cash, raking off money from a Jewish private school. He planted his stash all over in lock boxes all over. It is a disconcerning that he can preside over weddings and funerals without ever making mistakes. That bothered me all the way through the book. He not even Jewish , he was a con man. The book was engrossing and kept me reading and I was partially interested in the part of Las Vegas that I was familiar with and now want to check out more of the history.There is also ex-FBI man, Matthew Drew who although he didn't have much time in with the Federal Agency, was still pretending at first that he was still on the case. He becomes so wrapped up in it that he decides to just do what he wants and not worry about any consequences I start to hate him so much that I was relieved with the book would rotate back to other stories. The writing was direct and very dark. The details of Sal Cupertine's face collapsing and the demise of Ronnie Cupertine did not make for a steady stomach through this book.I received this finished copy from the publisher as a win from FirstReads but that in no way influenced my thoughts or feelings in this review.

  • Jennifer
    2018-12-15 09:08

    I won a copy of Gangster Nation from a Goodreads giveaway.This was a strange, weird book. The main character is a mob hit man who constantly thinks about killing people. Oh, and his face happens to be falling apart after bad plastic surgery. But no worries, he's hiding out in Vegas disguised as a Jewish rabbi...and this leads to him becoming quite confused about who he really is...but not confused enough to have no problem preforming any of his religious duties. Thru all of his confusion, he has no problem planning the robberies from members of his congregation. But wait, the fun doesn't stop there, no....he's also being stalked by an ex-FBI agent. It wasn't a total convoluted mess, there were some interesting plot points tied into 9/11 .....But while trying to wrap your mind around the cartoon characters and wacky premise, you get to wade through page after page of deep introspection and long religious sequences....So, I gave up on this at half way through....and I was so disgusted by it, I started ranting about it to my husband. Something about the book must have pipped his curiosity, because the next thing I know he's finishing the book and raving about how much he liked it. I asked what he'd been smoking, and then he called me crazy...and at that point we decided to drop the topic since we clearly disagreed. I told him I was going to write a one star rating, and he threatened to hide my this review is a compromise. He wanted to rate it a 5, I wanted to rate it a 1...

  • Laurie Rockenbeck
    2018-12-13 09:18

    This review is for the audible version...What kind of writer gets me to feel empathy for a mobster hit man? A good one. Is the whole story line believable? Maybe not, but it's a fun story anyway. One reason we care about Sal/David is the way he is so in love with his wife that he doesn't stray to other women--even after three years. It would be so easy to rationalize that, and Goldberg makes it feel real. I love the way Sal is 'turning into David' and yet... The novel explores a bit of nurture vs. nature. What makes us who we are? Sal/David is a very complicated person who is constantly questioning himself, wondering who he is what he might have been. He has taken the enforced learning he had to become a credible Rabbi to a very deep level. The other POV characters are equally interesting and emotionally charged. Goldberg makes some painful choices in this story--surprising ones that had me literally gasping out loud. I won't put any spoilers in this review, but it should be no surprise that not everyone in a book titled Gangster Nation makes it out alive and unharmed. And, the book leaves you on a total cliff, feet dangling in the air, and your hands grasping at crumbling earth.(My only pet peeve is the narrator doesn't pronounce Nevada correctly. Even Sal would get that right after three years. Is it nit-picking to ask that the pronunciation to be different for different POV character? Maybe. I don't know anyone living in Nevada who doesn't cringe whenever they here it pronounced the 'wrong' way. It only happens a couple of times.)

  • Heather Scott Partington
    2018-12-05 06:19

    Goldberg’s newest book, Gangster Nation (Counterpoint), is the sequel to his award-winning 2014 novel, Gangsterland. The series is going to be produced for TV by the team behind Peaky Blinders. The premise of the books is that Sal Cupertine, Chicago mafia hit man, makes a mistake: he shoots undercover FBI agents in a deal gone bad. He’s subsequently hidden in a temple in Las Vegas, given a new face, and a new identity: Rabbi David Cohen. Since he’s not Jewish — and has to become so, at least ostensibly— quickly, Rabbi David Cohen pulls from the Jewish texts he binge reads and rounds them out with Bruce Springsteen lyrics. Gangster Nation picks up two years after Gangsterland: Sal’s new face is failing him, and he is growing desperate to reunite with his wife and son.Read more of my interview with Tod Goldberg at Electric Literature.

  • Rebecca
    2018-12-15 13:03

    Thank you to the publisher, Counterpoint, for providing a free advance copy for review. Gangster Nation picks up a couple of years after Gangsterland, and follows former hit man, Sal Cupertine, who is now hiding in Las Vegas as Rabbi David Cohen. David knows that he's still a wanted man, and avoids being seen by surveillance cameras and checking in on his wife and son back in Chicago, despite his desperate desire to know they are surviving without him. This is a great story told with humor, suspense, and plenty of action. Sal/David is such a great character- he's going through the motions and expectations of his life as a rabbi while battling his natural tendencies towards violence and threats, and reading the ways he sometimes calls on his former persona in his current life is wickedly entertaining. The epilogue will leave readers wanting to read more about what happens next for the rabbi, with the final paragraphs leading to one of my favorite book endings of the year.

  • Steve
    2018-11-16 06:05

    GANGSTER NATION by Todd Goldberg is every bit as funny as GANGSTER LAND the initial entry into this Las Vegas- Chicago Mob tale of comic woe and laughs. Sal Cupertine is a deposed hit man. He has been relocated to Las Vegas, and is a Rabbi. And such a Rabbi. Quoting the Torah and the Talmud, all the while calculating how he can escape his new identity, reclaim his wife and child, and get out once and for all. Unfortunately, the mob bosses back in Chicago have other ideas, as does a dedicated ex-F.B.I. agent who wants revenge for his murdered partner and a few other dead agents.Goldberg has written a funny, unique and sometimes poignant novel of mistake, regret, and faith. GANGSTERNATION is violent, unpredictable, and wonderful. Read it if you know what is good for you.

  • Theresa Wade
    2018-11-24 10:06

    3.5This is the first book I have read by Tod Goldberg. I found this to be a very enjoyable story to read. It kept me interesting to finding out if Rabbi David Cohen (Sal) will ever make it back to his wife and child before the FBI finds him. The author outlines the many challenges and consequence and how they effect each characters' actions on each other's lives. There are many subplots. I didn't realize this was the 2nd book in the series. The book was well written in a way that doesn't require reading the first book. There were a couple of subplots late in the book that didn't make sense why it was including unless it is a setup for the 3rd book. An example of this is when the churches hire security guards. A good book to read.

  • Keith Rosson
    2018-11-19 11:01

    Sequel to GANGSTERLAND, with an expected third novel to follow, but there's more than enough here to stand on its own. I don't think I've ever read crime fiction like this before. While it's still plotted wire-tight, GANGSTER NATION is way more reliant upon character development and a sense of place than endless gunfights or invincible cliche-spouting killers. Goldberg writes circles around most crime writers, and even though the novel is dense, wordy, self-reflective, there's a velocity here that I rarely come across, as well as an inherent humanness. I plowed through this thing. Heartily recommended.

  • Joyce
    2018-11-29 05:58

    This book was a little confusing but surprisingly good, despite the ridiculous plot (a hit man masquerading as a rabbi). It is well-plotted, moves along at a good pace, and has interesting social commentary.On the negative side, I found the relationships very confusing. This book is the second in a series. The author seems to assume that anyone reading this book had also read the previous one ("Gangsterland"), and does not clearly explain how the characters came to be involved with each other.

  • Kate Maruyama
    2018-11-20 08:25

    A deeper dive into Sal Cupertine/David Cohen's increasingly twisted life. Hilariously fun reading as he takes his Talmudic learning to his gangster upbringing. But underneath run deeply fascinating character studies of the lengths people will go to maintain their lifestyles, protect their own, doggedly maintain their plans, even of vengeance, in a world come unhinged by 9/11. The ripple effect of characters' actions on each other's lives weaves these stories into a tight, page turning throughline.

  • Raymond
    2018-12-02 06:15

    This book seemed to drag a bit compared to Gangsterland and I was looking for more resolution. It doesn't resolve much and at the end should say, "To be continued". Still, it is well written and the issues confronting the protagonist as he morphs from a deadly hitman who kills efficiently without hesitation or remorse to a rabbi with a developing faith and conscience is interesting. I will definitely read the third in this series when it comes out.

  • Harvey
    2018-12-02 14:11

    I enjoyed the first, Gangsterland, quite a bit.The fun was in hitman Sal Cupertine's transition into his "secret identity" as Rabbi David Cohen.In Gangster Nation, Rabbi Cohen's role is well established and he has a certain flair for some good schemes. While there are some good observations about post-Sept 11th society, this book did not hold my interest. I almost gave up and was definitely underwhelmed by the ending.

  • randy
    2018-12-10 14:25

    Sal Cupertine continues his transformation into the Rabbi David Cohen, but he won't leave his old life behind. Gangster Nation brings back many of the great characters from Gangsterland, as well as introducing a new one that will wreak havoc on the Rabbi's life like none other. Goldberg does a masterful job of delving deep into each of his characters without losing the pace of a well crafted crime novel. What a great sequel!

  • Suzy
    2018-12-08 14:01

    Set aside a weekend! This is a book you won’t want to put down. Reading Gangsterland before you get to the Nation is definitely a good idea, but the storytelling and plot stand by themselves. Sal Cupertine is the bad guy that I’m rooting for, even in the darker moments of the book. Goldberg is a master narrator and I was hooked the whole way through. Vegas, gangsters, religion it doesn’t get better than this!

  • Rob Cohen
    2018-12-10 09:27

    Definitely my favorite book in a long time and a worthy successor to the first. Not only was it a great crime book, but it was a great book comprised of great individual scenes. It is one thing to create a good scene but to put many great scenes together to make a great book, that's the real extraordinary aspect to this book.

  • Vitaly Sigal
    2018-11-21 07:22

    Read this book!An amazing adventure filled with both drama and laugh out loud comedy. Goldberg spins an epic tale of crime intertwined with the daily doings of a compelling cast of characters. You will find yourself rooting for the good guys, the bad guys and everyone in between.

  • Shirley
    2018-11-21 06:03

    I just finished the second book by Tod Goldberg, GangsterNation. Sal/David is one complex man. From hitman to rabbi and all that he went through, this was one good book. It seemed like at the end he was deciding to give up his earlier persona and truly be Rabbi David Cohen. I hope there is a third book.

  • Alvin Youman
    2018-12-08 07:05

    Bad endingReally enjoyed this book until the end. The author left loose ends. the first book is free. If you want to get answers you have to buy the next book. Don’t waste your time unless you want to buy the next book. Very disappointed

  • Marcus Richter
    2018-12-04 08:18

    I think this series is overrated. Too much talk about people's thoughts and motivations and about religion. It really destroys the flow. Just enough "cliffhanger" so that you "must" read the next one.

  • Robert
    2018-11-22 09:09

    I met Tod at a bookseller’s convention and enjoyed his personality, so I decided to read his book despite not having read the first one. It took me a while to get in to it. But about halfway through he had me hooked. I’m already excited to see the next installment of Sal’s story.

  • Megan Eccles
    2018-11-24 06:21

    I listened to the audiobook of this in almost a straight shot. Goldberg keeps you on the edge of your seat, leaning into the next twist, the next bit of action. A brilliant continuation in the series. I need book 3. I need it yesterday.

  • Natalie Canavor
    2018-12-12 09:13

    Not like anything else I’ve readImmerses you in several worlds through interesting (but far from admirable) people you hope never to know in person. A plot you can’t anticipate, a mordant irony, an unending stream of fascinating information.

  • max savin
    2018-12-11 14:05

    Great readUnusual thriller. I enjoyed the writing style, learned a lot about gangs, the mob and various ways to kill. Most unusual way involved religious objects. Started reading and never put the book down

  • Charles Levenstein
    2018-12-14 10:03

    A finE and fun read!,a wonderfully fant,asized tale of crime and corruption. Everything you could want from fake rabbis to mob assassins to FBI agents gone over the top. Waiting for book 3!