FromNew 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 soon to be a Warner Bros. movie starring Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Sienna Miller.Read more...
FromNew 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 soon to be 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).
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
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. Agent: Ann Rittenberg, Ann Rittenberg Literary. (Oct.)
The bad boys of the Roaring '20s
"Some years later, in a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin’s feet were placed in a tub of cement.” As an opening line guaranteed to pick you up by the scruff of the neck and not let go, it doesn’t get much better than that. Live by Night is told in flashbacks, coming around full circle to that gripping beginning, which is, in its way, the end.
Ardent Dennis Lehane-ophiles will recognize the Coughlin family name from 2008’s The Given Day, the sweeping early 20th-century novel in which Aiden (Danny) Coughlin, Joe’s Boston cop father, played a pivotal role. Fast-forward 10 years or so to the heady time of Prohibition, and the younger Coughlin offers up a fine example of the apple having fallen far from the tree. While Coughlin père pursued his vision of law and order, Coughlin fils embarked early on a life of crime. He should have known better than to rob well-connected speakeasy owner Albert White, and he really should have known better than to make a play for White’s girl, but then there would have been no cement overshoes and probably no story as well. And make no mistake, there is a fine story here, more than the equal of its predecessor—one that begs for (and, according to reports, will receive) a third installment.