From New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane comes this epic, unflinching tale of the making and unmaking of a gangster in the Prohibition Era of the Roaring Twenties—now a Warner Bros. movie starring Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Sienna Miller.
Meticulously researched and artfully told, Live by Night is the riveting story of one man’s rise from Boston petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner, and it proves again that the accolades New York Times bestseller Lehane consistently receives are well deserved. He is indeed, “a master” (Philadelphia Inquirer) whose “true literary forefathers include John Steinbeck as well as Raymond Chandler” (Baltimore Sun). And, “Boy, does he know how to write” (Elmore Leonard).
Bestseller Lehane (The Given Day) chronicles the Prohibition-era rise of Joe Coughlin, an Irish-American gangster, in this masterful crime epic. While most hard-working stiffs are earning their wages by day in 1926 Boston, 19-year-old Joe and his friends live by night, catering to the demand for prostitution, narcotics, and bootleg alcohol. When Joe falls for a competing mobster s gun moll, he sets in motion a chain of events that land him in prison, with the girl missing and presumed dead. In the joint, Joe meets aging Mafia don Thomaso Maso Pescatore, who becomes his mentor. On Joe s release, Maso sets Joe up in Tampa, Fla., as his point man. Years pass, and Joe creates a huge empire in the illegal rum trade. He marries Graciela Corrales, a fiery Cuban revolutionary, and eventually builds a life for himself in Batista s Cuba, soothing his conscience by doing good works with his dirty money. This idyllic existence can t last forever, though, especially in the night, with its shifting alliances and fated clashes. Lehane has created a mature, quintessentially American story that will appeal to readers of literary and crime fiction alike.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not a sequel, OK story
Lehane wrote a wonderful book in The Given Day. It is a Mitcheneresque look at a time in history when America was coming into her own. The end of the war, the end of the abuse of labor, the start of the great American middle class. A time that begat the great country and power we became by the end of the 20th century, told through the families of poor Irish immigrants and poor rural blacks. A great read with characters we cared about.
Live by Night was the highly anticipated book to pick up where The Given Day ended, until it didn't. This is a very different type of story with fleeting reference to The Given Day's story line. It is a story like Scarface about the criminal underbelly that grew as America grew but without characters that held our interest and passion.
It seems a lazy follow up to a very good novel, with a predictable storyline and finish. Lehane could do much better, has done much better than this. He started with a story that had so much promise, only to disappoint with what feels like a rush to meet a deadline.
He's a great storyteller, but this is his weakest effort to date. Hope he gets his mojo back next time. He's much better than this.
Couldn't put it down
Awesome read. Great characters and help my interest.
The Given Day Was Better
The book was pretty good as long as its setting was Boston. The rest of the book was one long melodrama.