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Live by Night: A Novel (Coughlin Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
Dennis Lehane is the author of numerous novels, including several New York Times bestsellers, as well as a collection of short stories and a play. Mystic River was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and it won the Anthony Award, the Barry Award for Best Novel, and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, given by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.--This text refers to an alternate kindle_edition edition.
- ASIN : B007HC3PUG
- Publisher : William Morrow; Reprint edition (October 2, 2012)
- Publication date : October 2, 2012
- Language : English
- File size : 1304 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 417 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #159,441 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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It took me awhile to engage with the book - like way more than I am used to - but I have to say once I got into it, i was completely hooked. Bottom line is that I recommend it. However, I would encourage anyone new to Lehane to start with "The Given Day", "Mystic River", "Shutter Island", "Since We Fell", "The Drop" first. It has been many years but I enjoyed his private detective series too. Especially "Moonlight Mile".
Others will no doubt write about plot specifics. I will not because I do not want to spoil the read for people who buy the book. I do agree with those who compare if to the Godfather book. There are some differences because Coughlin is obviously not Italian and his father is a cop. But Lahane develops a great story based on Coughlin's life starting as a petty criminal and going on from there.
The Given Day introduced the Coughlin family and focused primarily on Danny Coughlin. Danny's younger brother, Joe Coughlin, is the subject of Live by Night. The former novel had rich, interesting characters and focused on weighty subjects like race, class, and the American dream. Live by Night mostly focuses only on the American dream and does not examine that concept nearly as well as The Given Day. In addition, the characters are not well-developed or particularly believable--from the supposed heroine who continues to shape Joe's life even after her own death, to Joe Coughlin himself, who is simply not believable as a gangster from a solid blue collar background.
Don't get me wrong, Live By Night is still a good novel when compared to the genre as a whole. It's an entertaining read and you might pick up a few interesting tidbits about prohibition and bootlegging. But it has the overall feel of a middle novel, a place holder, really, in between the fantastic novel that began the series and a defining conclusive novel still to come. It's worth a read, but Lehane has done much better and will easily top this work again.
Top reviews from other countries
There are a couple of morals: greed begets evil and good can come from bad.
It also very clearly illustrates everything that is wrong with prohibition - if people want it, they will get it, and, if you make it illegal, you just create and enrich the illegal providers.
One quote from the book, admittedly taken out of context, really sums it up: "We live by night and dance fast so the grass can’t grow under our feet. That’s our creed.”
Interesting to read that Batista was initially seen as the rescuer of the Cuban people from the Machado regime - something went wrong there, eh?
Towards the end, I had a feeling about how it would finish and really hoped that it wouldn't....but, sadly, it did.
The novel follows the criminal career path of Joe Coughlin, one of the brothers from The Given Day, from the mid 20's, through the Depression, to the mid 30's. Joe, originally from Boston, earns a place in the Pescatore family and is moved to Tampa to oversee the bootlegging and speakeasy businesses during the prohibition era. Without giving too much of the story away Joe has an arch enemy who always returns to haunt him and there are also a couple of women to complicate his life. There are also cameo appearances from his father and brothers.
The other thing that slightly annoyed me was that Lehane has tried to make Joe, a gangster, or outlaw as he describes himself, with a conscience. Obviously he thinks this will make him a more sympathetic character and more acceptable to his readers. Myself, I would have preferred it if Joe was a bit more ruthless but then again that would have significantly shortened the story !
It is at times quite violent but I understand the years of prohibition could be and if you read the blurb on the dust jacket you know what to expect. It has a great ring of authenticity, great plot and great characters. It is, quite simply, superb.
Incidentally, I looked at the reviews of the people giving this book only one star and they don't seem to like much of anything they read which is a shame.