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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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6434415,030 (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
Rating:***
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Live by Night by Dennis Lehane

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Showing 1-5 of 42 (next | show all)
I love books by Dennis Lehane. They are exciting stories with characters you become interested in. Jo, the main character, is basically a nice guy but he has chosen a way of life where bad things sometimes have to be done. The price he pays for his criminal deeds is ultimately too much for him to bear.
Sad ending but it couldn't have been otherwise. ( )
  scot2 | Feb 14, 2015 |
For people who are fans of "Boardwalk Empire", then this book is for you. The main character, Joe Coughlin, is the son of a police commissioner in South Boston. Joe and his two best pals, Dion and Paolo, form their own little crew during the Prohibition years. They embark on a series of petty crimes and stick ups. Joe falls for one of the Boston bosses mistresses - the cold as ice Emma Gould.

After disappointing his father during a bloody stick up attempt that was foiled by a traitor, Joe does some time in the prison in Charlestown. A series of events ends with Joe becoming part of the Mafia and being sent to Tampa, Florida to become a very profitable rum runner.

This is where the story truly begins as Joe creates alliances with Cuban Freedom Fighters, Italian Mafiosi and Spanish and Latin gangsters and outlaws. They take on and pocket crooked politicians, cops, councilmen and businessmen. They stave off rival organizations as well as a very active Ku Klux Klan and religious zealots and teetotalers.

The story flows beautifully and the characters are excellently drawn. As well, for fans of the early days of the mob, there are nods to Lucky Luciano and Meyer Lansky who controlled most of the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The nightlife in Tampa is well explained - speakeasies, illegal gambling, Cuban social clubs and the like.

Like Boardwalk Empire, Lehane shows consistently throughout the book how bad money can do good things and create infrastructure where poverty previously existed and how good money isn't always as pristine as it seems. When I picked this book up, I expected it to be a lightweight read that I would be able to pick up and put down between other books I was reading. The story was so well done and so riveting that it only took me two days to read it.

This is my first Lehane novel but it will definitely not be the last. He is the author of Mystic River which I really enjoyed as a movie and if this book is anything to go by, I expect the novel to be even better. Highly recommend this read but be prepared to be unable to put it down! ( )
  ozzieslim | Feb 13, 2015 |
My review is going to be biased; I love Dennis Lehane's writing. I cannot get enough of his novels. The Given Day was the first book of his I read, and it's probably one of my all time favorites. I didn't enjoy this one quite as much as The Given Day, but it was still a great read. This novel takes place during the Prohibition Era, and it is Joe Coughlin's story of progression from small time crime in Boston to running rum routes through much of the Eastern seaboard. This is absolutely an action packed novel, and a quick read. At the same time, this was not a superficial crime drama. Lehane explores moral issues in a way that continues to make you question your own morals. And his characters--very few of the characters in this novel are pure good or pure evil. I found myself having conflicted feelings about many of the characters, including Joe. One minute I was rooting for him to win, and the next minute, I was hoping he would be locked up for life. Ultimately, I love that Dennis Lehane is never afraid to end a novel the way the novel should end...without making everyone live happily ever after. I really enjoyed reading this and would definitely recommend it.

( )
  carebear10712 | Dec 31, 2014 |
Wow. Was The Given Day and Live By Night written by the same author? ( )
  SimonLarsen | Dec 29, 2014 |
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 |
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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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(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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