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The Drop Hardcover – Deckle Edge, September 2, 2014

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First edition (September 2, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062365576
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062365576
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (136 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

David Nicholls Interviews Dennis Lehane

David Nicholls, is the international bestselling author of One Day and the forthcoming Us: A Novel.

David: Some of your past books have been adapted into major movies— Mystic River; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Shutter Island. How did the process for The Drop, the book and the film—evolve?

Dennis: 10+ years ago, I attempted a novel in which one of the characters rescued a dog from a trash can. I couldn’t pull the novel together, though. It broke my heart because I loved several of the characters—the guy who found the dog, his cousin who owned a bar, a woman he met, a messed up but well-meaning cop. A few years later, I went back to the first chapter, where Bob Saginowski finds the dog, and turned it into a short story. Some folks in Hollywood asked if I’d adapt it into a screenplay. The idea appealed to me because I still had that bench of secondary characters I hadn’t gotten a chance to use.

David: The Drop is your screenwriting debut. How does writing a screenplay differ from writing prose? Which do you prefer?

Dennis: A novelist is God; all originates from him and he has final say over his universe from a single blade of grass to breadth of the Milky Way. A screenwriter is an employee, one of maybe 150 people who contribute to a film. It’s so much less stressful being the employee than it is being God, no question, but maybe I like stress.

David: What was it like to revisit characters you initially created for a short story and bring them into a full length novel?

Dennis: It was like bringing them home. They’d belonged in a novel all along; it just took me over a decade to figure out what that novel/script/film actually was.

David: What’s it like to see characters you’ve created in print come to life on screen? Do you find that actors surprise you, draw out qualities that you didn’t recognize on the page?

Dennis: Great actors have no skin. They’re all exposed nerve and naked heart. To watch someone as gifted as Tom Hardy, Sean Penn, or Amy Ryan, to name just three, inhabit my characters and take them to places I never could have predicted—but to do so with conviction and honesty—has been profoundly gratifying.

David: The dog plays such a central role in this story. Where did your inspiration for him come from?

Dennis: I love dogs. Got one snoring at my feet as I write this.

David: The setting of Boston has always played an important role in your novels. What brings you back there?

Dennis: I was blessed to grow up in a unique city during difficult times. It’s given me a lifelong affinity for unique and difficult things.

David: The Drop is a gritty, dark story, and there are no conventional “heroes.” Do you ever have an author’s anxiety about characters’ likeability? Dennis: No. We loved Tony Soprano, a murderer who destroyed most of what he touched, because he was harried by his mother and couldn’t get his basic household appliances to work when he needed them to; we loved Othello, even after he murdered his wife, because most of us understand the pain of being treated as second class, regardless of our achievement. Audiences don’t what likeable characters, they want relatable ones. In The Drop what the characters want—absolution from past sins; respect; a knight to come to their rescue; confirmation of their faith—strikes me as pretty common stuff. Not dark at all. (Okay, a little dark.)


“A tight, gritty little tale of working-class crime in Boston….Lehane breathes pulsing life into his story through the small details of his stoop-shouldered characters’ lives, investing their every mannerism with unspoken emotion.” (Booklist (starred review))

Customer Reviews

Lehane writes characters.
I have been a huge fan of Dennis Lehane since A Drink Before the War and he doesn't disappoint with this short novel, one of the best he has written in years.
Matthew Erwin
There was a lot of intriguing material that could have been developed further, although I didn't feel as if the book ended abruptly or was too short.
Larry Hoffer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 105 people found the following review helpful By M Elliott "a reader from TX" VINE VOICE on July 9, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Be forewarned: this is not a new "novel" by Dennis Lehane. It is a novelization of a screenplay developed from a short story, "Animal Rescue," by Lehane which appeared in an anthology, Boston Noir, in 2009--according to the flyleaf--and the rights to the "novel" are owned by 20th Century Fox.

I regret to say the writing, except for the first chapter, the aforementioned "Animal Rescue," only marginally resembles Lehane. The tone is the same, many of the words, but the skill, the talent, the depth of Lehane's usual work--the heart and soul--is missing. The paperback, admittedly an Advance Reader's Edition, is short, sketchy, sloppy, filled with typos and errors (toward the end, a main character, Nadia, is referred to as Natalie, and Bob's relationship to Cousin Marv is described one way in the early part of the book, and another at the end); nine-tenths of the book seems lazily written. The film, made from this expanded short story, may be excellent, but the book is misrepresented. As a courtesy to readers, particularly Lehane fans, the publishers and Amazon Vine should make that clear.

Too bad, too, because lonely bartender Bob Saginowski and Rocco, the puppy he rescues, are interesting and appealing, and I cared what happened to them. Rounding out the cast of book and film are Cousin Marv, who "owns" the bar where Bob works, a woman named Nadia, Eric Deeds, a sociopathic ex-con, a Boston detective named Torres, a threatened Catholic parish, and members of the Chechen mob who control the criminal enterprise in Bob's section of Boston. But all the characters, with the possible exception of Bob and Cousin Marv, are so thinly developed that we never get to know them fully or care about them.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 1, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We are back on the mean streets of Boston in "The Drop," by Dennis Lehane. Christmas is over and Bob Saginowski, who tends bar for his Cousin Marv, spends his days working, going to church, and looking for a companionable female to alleviate his loneliness. He has little luck with dating, but as fate would have it, Bob comes across a puppy who was abused and subsequently discarded. Bob takes in and cares for the dog, whom he names Rocco. Unfortunately, nothing ever comes easily for Bob or Marv. Someone gets wind of Bob's new pet and pronounces himself the dog's rightful owner. In addition, members of a ruthless Chechen syndicate, who actually own the bar that Marv manages, are none too pleased when masked gunmen hold up their establishment and abscond with five thousand dollars. There will be consequences.

In this concise and hard-edged novel, Lehane entertains us with punchy, amusing, albeit profane dialogue, and brief sketches of hardened, selfish, and greedy individuals, some of whom are as dim-witted as they are heartless. Although several of the characters are quick to take offense, they fail to realize that they have no monopoly on rage. Blood flows freely in "The Drop" and, as the story progresses, our hero must decide whether it is in his best interests to avoid confrontation at all costs.

"The Drop" is about clueless lowlifes who try to score easy money, put one over on their enemies, and avoid being blown away. In addition, a suspicious detective named Torres takes a dislike to Bob and comes sniffing around, looking to bust him for something. The plot is fast-paced and edgy, and Lehane dishes up some twists that few will see coming. This is a bleak and savage world in which people go to great lengths to maintain a semblance of self-respect, fend off anyone who poses a threat, and in Bob's case, find love. To sum up what seems to be Dennis Lehane's worldview: "The worst in men is commonplace. The best is a far rarer thing."
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By michael a. draper VINE VOICE on July 20, 2014
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
In "The Drop," Dennis Lehane returns to the Boston area and the setting of his novel, "Mystic River."

The story opens shortly after Christmas where a number of customers gather together to celebrate the life of a missing friend after leaving the bar, Cousin Marv's, ten years ago. The reader is left with the feeling that there will be more to come in this part of the story.'"

Bob Saginowski is the bartender at Cousin Marv's. On his way home, he hears a whimpering sound and finds an abandoned puppy in a garbage can. As he removes the lid of the can to get the dog, a woman comes to her porch and yells at him to get out of her garbage. In this way, Bob meets Nadia. When she learns what Bob was doing, she becomes more friendly.

Bob is a loner who attends daily Mass at St. Dom's but never receives communion. There is some feeling of guilt in his past that leads to this. A police detective who also attends daily Mass wonders what Bob's secret is.

Bob's boss is Cousin Marv. When Marv tells Bob to take down the Christmas ornaments on December 27th, it tells the reader what they need to know about Marv. We also see what a Scrooge he is when he objects to Bob's kindness in allowing a senior citizen to run a never ending tab.

The little we know about Marv is that he was the owner of the bar but it is now owned by a Chechen mobster. It is currently a place where Marv takes bets and the Chechen mob uses it as a drop for their illegal money.

Bob learns that St. Bart's is going to close so it can be used for commercial purposes and the reader can appreciate this as a problem with the Catholic Church. There is less attendance at Mass and an aging group of priests which necessitates the combining of parishes.

I enjoyed Bob as a character.
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