This is just one of those great epics that you hate to see end. The greatest part for me, though was the amazing job done by narrator, Michael Boatman. The Russian, French, Italian accents, the foreign language sections and the variety of Irish brogues were luscious! The only distraction was stopping to wonder how one person could bring the speech patterns, pronunciations and inflections of such a wide range of characters to life. I've had the pleasure of listening to many fine book narrations, but by far this was the best. Kudos Mr. Boatman
This book reminds me of Ragtime, Glory and the Dream, the Jungle and maybe some of Studs Terkel's stuff. Dehane adroitly captures what it must have been like to live in 1919 - the end of WW I, the Great Flu, the beginnings of Unions, immigration, racism, generalized corruption, floods, fires AND molasses!
He captures all that, straightens it out and weaves it back into an unforgettable story.
On top of that, Michael Boatman gives a first rate performance as narrator.
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
This was my third Dennis Lehane novel and I have to say - the man can write a story. “The given day” is the beginning of a trilogy (regrettably I’ve read the second episode before this one) that has the ambition to complement a rather classic plot of gangsters/mafia/political corruption with a socio-economic picture of post World-War I Boston. The characters are well drawn and the writing is crisp and evocative even when Lehane deviates the attention from the main story and start describing the hard life of immigrants and ethnic minorities, rampant racism, pro and ante union factions, anarchists and urban terrorists. The lives of the two main characters (Danny and Luther) –so distant one from the other by race and background - interject and cross each other at times, but remain distant, as society has given them a different role. This is a story about coming to the crossroads, and making choices that define who you are.
The only criticism to this book is that toward the end (say two/third into the story) Lehane starts rambling and the momentum of the plot seems to fade away; the books sounds at times overwritten and the impression of sharp elegance that one had got thorough most of the book is a bit tainted.
Overall a great reading !
I really enjoy books with interesting plot lines and an historical element. This book has both. You go back in time to 1917 (I think). All the little details are there - the daily habits of the people, the sights, sounds and smells. Plus race relations, politics, labor history, and baseball. I recommend.
Being from Boston I thought I would enjoy all the historical settings and stories. Very depressing and only a little bit interesting.
GET rid of the Loud Organ Music at chapter beginnings. It blocks out the 2-3 opening sentences. Very annoying.
GET rid of Organ Music playing over the narration.
Anger at the Organ Music.
I hope I never get this knid of narration with music again.
I'm not a Dennis Lehane reader. I got this after seeing a particularly strong review. I liked the writing, but the stuff of the novel--Irish cops in Boston, criss-crossed with a story about a black family from the South-- became tedious. Involves a struggle for a union, good cops/bad cops, family quarrels, lots of local color. The reader did a fine job keeping things clear, but in the end Lehane couldn't get anything fresh into this very predictable, and sometimes quite nasty story. I wearied of it about half-way through and skipped much of the narrative about the cliched idea that immigrants and blacks have a lot in common. They do but Lehane trots out too many conventional characters and episodes.