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Live by Night: A Novel by Dennis Lehane
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Live by Night: A Novel (edition 2012)

by Dennis Lehane

Series: Coughlin (2)

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6264015,510 (3.82)26
Member:ken1952
Title:Live by Night: A Novel
Authors:Dennis Lehane
Info:William Morrow (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

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Boston, 1926. Joe, knapp 20 Jahre alt, will nur eines: nach seinen Regeln leben. Er will sich von niemandem sagen lassen, was er wie und warum zu tun hat. Und so entscheidet er, sein Leben in der Nacht zu leben. Denn nur dort zählen die Regeln, die sich ein echter Mann selbst auferlegt. Sein Weg führt ihn nach zwei Jahren Zuchthaus nach Florida, wo er im Dienste von Gangsterboss Maso Pescatore den Rumschmuggel neu organisiert und dies derart erfolgreich, dass er schon nach kurzer Zeit der mächtigste Mann in Florida und an der Golfküste ist. Doch sein Erfolg bleibt nicht unbemerkt und ebenso wenig seine Neigung, Gewalt wo immer möglich zu vermeiden. Denn Joe lebt nach seinen Regeln und dazu zählt seine für einen Gangster ungewöhnliche Menschenliebe. Dies gefällt nicht allen...
Joe ist ein ungewöhnlicher Protagonist für ein solches Buch. Obwohl er die Regeln 'des Tages' in jeder Hinsicht ablehnt, versucht er ein nach seinen Ansprüchen ehrenwertes (im Sinne von moralisch) Leben in der Nacht zu führen. Dies gelingt ihm erstaunlich gut und mit großer Wahrscheinlichkeit ist er im Vergleich zu vielen sogenannten 'rechtschaffenen Bürgern' der Gesellschaft der deutlich Anständigere. Ständig hinterfragt er sein Tun wobei er feststellt, dass er seinen Prinzipien immer wieder untreu werden muss.
Nur neun Jahre umfasst der Zeitraum, in dem Joes Leben beschrieben wird. Doch es ist eine derart ereignisreiche Periode, dass sie bei den meisten anderen Menschen für ein ganzes Leben ausgereicht hätte. Lehane schildert nicht nur die Ereignisse direkt um und mit Joe, sondern breitet ein immenses Panorama der damaligen Zeit der Prohibition vor den Lesenden aus, ganz in der Tradition des 'film noir'. Sowohl das Boston wie auch das Florida der 30er und 40er Jahre des letzten Jahrhunderts hat man beim Lesen deutlich vor Augen und es fiel mir überaus schwer, den Roman vor dem Ende beiseite zu legen, so gepackt war ich von diesem Buch.
Lediglich der letzte Teil hat mein Lesevergnügen etwas geschmälert. Wie Joe hier als Wohltäter aufgebaut und einem seine 'Blauäugigkeit' demonstriert wird (was angesichts seiner bisherigen Erfahrungen völlig unglaubwürdig wirkt), empfand ich einfach als etwas zu viel des Guten. Schade, sonst wäre das Ganze schlicht perfekt. ( )
  Xirxe | Dec 2, 2014 |
Dennis Lehane is an excellent writer. Many of you would be familiar with the movies made from his books (Shutter Island, Gone Bay Gone, Mystic River, The Drop). This book is a continuation of the story he had in "The Given Day". The two books are historical fiction and differ from Lehane's usual mystery books. Although "The Given Day" is a more robust book, this book is a good read. Between the 2 you get a great sense of the historical roots of organized crime that came out the the failed implementation of Prohibition. With the failure of prohibition it is surprising that we have tried to replicate this failure through our 40+ year war on drugs. I was bit disappointed with the ending but overall this a good read especially if you like crime books. It was also interesting to see a crime book from the 20's that took place outside the major big cities. The focus here is in Tampa, Florida. If you have never read Dennis Lehane, I would start with "The Given Day". ( )
  nivramkoorb | Nov 26, 2014 |
Joseph Coughlin starts as a low level hoodlum attached to a crime boss in Boston. After a failed bank robbery, he spends a couple of years in prison where he meets another crime boss, who sends him to Tampa after his release to run the operations there. He makes a deal with the local Cuban rum importer to cooperate on business, and they are successful in controlling operations in the larger Southeastern area, all the way along to coast to New Orleans.
He is of the same Coughlin family that Lehane wrote about in the The Given Day. His brother Danny, who was featured in that book makes a brief appearance. His father, a police Superintendent, also has a role here.
This book is not primarily plot driven; it's focus is Joe as a maturing person over many years. It's a portrait of his life rather than a single story line.
Joe's a reluctant gangster, and prefers to think of himself as an outlaw. He avoids serious confrontation and killing when he can, preferring to make deals rather than eliminate his opposition. He can forgive transgressions against him. The book makes him a full dimensioned individual and his love life plays a major part of the book.
I greatly enjoyed the book, as I have everything else I've read by Lehane. It is well written but still easy to read. The story is well constructed, and the history seems well-researched and accurate. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Aug 27, 2014 |
Great follow-up to The Given Day but not necessary to read first to fully understand the second. Pure Lehane. ( )
  bogopea | Jun 14, 2014 |
The story line was good; I know little about Prohibition, and even less about organized crime and political corruption during that era. Joe was a criminal mind who really never thought of himself as a gangster until one act pushes him to the edge. This is an easy read, although the flow of the story was a little disjointed. ( )
  Dmtcer | Jun 3, 2014 |
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Epigraph
Men of God and men of war have strange affinities.  -- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian
It's too late to be good.  -- Lucky Luciano
Dedication
For Angie
I'd drive all night...
First words
Some years later, on a tugboat in the Gulf of Mexico, Joe Coughlin's feet were placed in a tub of cement.
Quotations
"When she found his eyes, hers were fuller and sharper, lit with something that had entered the world centuries before civilized things." - pg. 19

"The people we service?" Tim said more than once. They visit the night. But we live in it." - pg. 22

" 'Crazy' isn't love," his father said.
"No, what is it?"
"Crazy." - pg.86
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Book description
(from the book jacket)
Prohibition has given rise to an endless network of underground distilleries, speakeasies, gangsters, and corrupt cops.  Joe Coughlin, the youngest son of a prominent Boston police captain, has long since turned his back on his strict and proper upbringing.  Now having graduated from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys spoils, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw.

But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition, armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns, battle for control, no one - neither family nor friend, enemy nor lover - can be trusted.  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 embarks on a dizzying journey up the ladder of organized crime that takes him from the flash of Jazz Age Boston to the sensual shimmer of Tampa's Latin Quarter to the sizzling streets of Cuba.
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In 1926, during the Prohibition, Joe Coughlin defies his strict law-and-order upbringing by climbing a ladder of organized crime that takes him from Boston to Cuba where he encounters a dangerous cast of characters who are all fighting for their piece of the American dream. By 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 Boston Police captain, defies his proper upbringing and his father's strict law-and-order orthodoxy. Graduating from a childhood of petty theft to a career in the pay of the city's most fearsome mobsters, Joe enjoys the riches, thrills, and notoriety of being an outlaw. But life on the dark side carries a heavy price. In a time when ruthless men of ambition armed with cash, illegal booze, and guns battle for control, no one can be trusted. For men like Joe one fate seems more likely than all others, an early death.… (more)

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