Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ $3.99 shipping
Live by Night: A Novel (Joe Coughlin Series) Paperback – May 14, 2013
|New from||Used from|
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
“LIVE BY NIGHT transcends the familiar and assumes an unimpeachable reality of its own. . . . [A] meticulously crafted portrait of our violent national past.” (Washington Post Book World)
“Lehane’s novel carves its own unique place in the Prohibition landscape. . . . This is an utterly magnetic novel on every level, a reimagining of the great themes of popular fiction—crime, family, passion, betrayal—set against an exquisitely rendered historical backdrop.” (Booklist (starred review))
“Masterful. . . . Lehane has created a mature, quintessentially American story that will appeal to readers of literary and crime fiction alike.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“LIVE BY NIGHT is Crime Noir 101, as taught by the best of its current practitioners. . . . A sentence-by-sentence pleasure. You are in the hands of an expert. And you’ll know it.” (Janet Maslin, New York Times)
From the Back Cover
From Dennis Lehane, bestselling author of The Given Day, comes a spellbinding tour de force that brings to life a bygone era when vice was a national virtue
Boston, 1926. Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops. Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent police captain, has graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. Beyond money and power, even the threat of prison, one fate seems most likely for men like Joe: an early death. But until that day, he and his friends are determined to live life to the hilt.
Joe's dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba. Live by Night is a riveting epic layered with loyal friends and callous enemies, tough rumrunners and sultry femmes fatales, Bible-quoting evangelists and cruel Klansmen, all battling for survival and their piece of the American dream.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The central proposition the book explores is whether bad money can lead to good; whether crime and violence can be whitewashed or redeemed. It also takes a look at religious morality versus practical morality. Joe is in many respects an honorable man in a dishonorable trade. He doesn't trade in violence for its own sake but is forced to resort to horrific violence periodically in order to survive. He is loyal to his friends and generous to his enemies. He is untainted by the racism of his era. He is not especially greedy in a world where everyone is greedy. He is, in the author's depiction, a fundamentally good man in a rotten world. And of course, this position is untenable and an awful price has to be extracted.
I must say I found this book less compelling than some of Lehane's wonderful moral tales set in the hard world of South Boston. There were periods when nothing much happens and the narrative tension slackens. The characters don't snap to life, especially the villains who are not sufficiently villainous. Joe's lover is also two-dimensional. The history was kind of interesting but the setting lacked the immediacy of Lehane's contemporary novels. And I thought the book lost momentum when the scene switched from Boston to Florida -- as if the blazing sun bleached and sapped the narrative strength. That said, it was still an interesting read.
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 guy with the cement overshoes is Joe Coughlin, the wayward but ambitious son of a Boston police captain. Boston politics may rival Chicago's, the relationship between cop dad and outlaw son complex, but the winks and nods stop when Joe is involved in a western Massachusetts robbery where a couple of local cops are killed. Joe ends up plea-bargaining a stint in prison where he meets mob boss Tommaso Pescatore, leading to a multi-threaded tale of crime backed by a richly drawn cast and colorful and historically authentic Tampa Ybor City settings. Coughlin is a fascinating character - 100% criminal but not without ethics, a killer who kills with discretion, a likeable thug vulnerable in the lost love of a mob mistress, caught in "a world without nets - none to catch you and none to envelope you." This is a poignant and savory soup of cigar factories, seductresses, the Ku Klux Klan, and even cameo appearances by Lucky Lucciano and Meyer Lansky wrapped tightly around a complex tale that builds slowly to an explosive and satisfying end.
Allegedly the middle installment of a trilogy, "Live by Night" ends with all the appropriate ambiguity to tee up the finale. And if this one leaves you wanting for more, you may also want to consider Ace Adkin's "White Shadow," another fascinating historical crime novel set Tampa's Ybor neighborhood, this one in 1955. Meanwhile, I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Most recent customer reviews
Great and fluid storytelling and over well fleshed out characters.Read more