a compelling story and good character
As noted by some of the other reviewers, the first sentence grabs the reader and the good writing holds the reader to the end. In my opinion, this is not Lehane's best work (I think "The Given Day" was better), but it is an interesting look at organized crime during the Prohibition era. Even more, it is an interesting character study in which the protagonist is a "bad guy" but has many redeeming qualities. It is never adequately explained why he chose a life of crime (most sons rebel against their fathers without going to that extreme), but having done it, he certainly became a multi-faceted criminal, and the reader cheers him on in spite of some pretty fundamental character flaws.
Sarah B. (Streamwood, IL)
Live by NIght
Live by Night is a wonderful piece of storytelling. The story of the Coughlin family during prohibition was so detailed and rich I felt like I could smell the rum and the seas.
The book covers many themes like love, revenge, and hate masterfully. The characters were not static and grew which helped draw me into the book and love it more.
Joanne V. (Towanda, PA)
Another Dennis Lehane winner
I have read many of Dennis Lehane's books and loved this one! His characters are wonderfully drawn, not to mention his interesting chapter titles. If you are a Lehane fan, you will like this one, although I admit to having had a difficult time with "The Given Day". You are drawn in from the first sentence and it doesn't let up. I would recommend this to anyone who loves crime fiction - not too sure that book clubs would like it though.
Margaret (Petoskey, MI)
Live by Night is an interesting and colorful book about a gangster's life during the prohibition era. The changing activities of the strong characters helped to hold my attention from beginning to end. Dennis Lehane is a good storyteller and I will be interested in reading more books by this author. I would recommend this book to adults who are interested in stories with some historical background.
Doris K. (Angora, MN)
Live by Night
Dennis Lehane is an excellent writer. In this fiction book he gives a hard look into the world of corrupt law enforcement, alcohol production and distribution during the Prohibition.
From the beginning of the book you know Joe Coughlin is a criminal. Throughout the book a more compassionate side is shown. The author does a good job of character development.
To those readers who don't mind violence in their books this is a good read. It was a bit too much for me. This is the reason I could only rate it as average. I will definitely look for other books by D. Lehane and hope they are not so dark.
Maggie P. (Mount Airy, MD)
A step back in time
This book was a real page turner. It grabbed my interest on the first page and did not let it go. Lehane's language painted a picture of the times, gritty when it needed to be and a splash of color and hope when it was important. I would recommend this book to those that like a bit of history thrown into their fiction and to those who love action. Clear your calendars because this is a book you won't want to put down.
Irene M. (Ashland, OR)
Live by Night
Another Lehane page-turner. Once I started this book I didn't want to put it down. It's a good story with a twist at the end. The novel has everything; good, evil, love, hate, loyality and revenge, His characters are rich and you certainly care about them, one way or the other. I look forward to his next novel.