Yes, it is very well written and rich in characters and events. I might mention that this is the first of three novels centered around the Coughlins, the second being Live the Night and the third, World Gone By; this is not apparent from the introductions to these works. I had already listened to two later works because I was not aware of The Given Day; I ended up listening to these again when I finished The Given Day.
It is richly evocative of the period around and after World War I. In particular, it renders vividly race relations of the time.
Michael Boatman, whom I discovered here, is just about the finest reader I know. A great performance.
Yes, more than one. The one that comes to mind is Babe Ruth unexpectedly seeing Luther in the audience and being so conscience stricken than he cannot play well for the rest of the season.
The opening chapter is an anthology piece that is worth the price of the book.
I recommend this audiobook with enthusiasm.
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.
After 6 hours - about a quarter of the book - I'm just not engaged in the story or the characters. And if it hasn't engaged and involved me by this point (with either interest or emotion), I doubt it's going to. The small, interspersed vignettes of characters and plot points are occasionally interesting but mostly routine and/or derivative and, after 6 hours, aren't even starting to show me how they're connected. There's good descriptions of the times, but poor characterization and poor flow.
This is not the Dennis Lehane writing I enjoyed so much in the various crime novels.
Dennis Lehane has written a grand saga here. It may easily be his best. And Michael Boatman does an outstanding job with it. He brings all the characters to life. Boston accents, Irish brogues, men, women, children - he pulls them all off flawlessly. Every character with their own voice. It's always a joy to find an incredible new narrator and Michael Boatman now ranks for me as one of the best. Highly recommended.
Love this book can't wait to finish the trilogy. Top notch storytelling lined with history. Such amazing and interesting characters
Do yourself a favor. This is audio listening at its best. If we're lucky there will be a sequel. With the same reader, of course.
This is a lengthy book, almost 24 hours, but I blew through it in 3 days- I found myself taking longer walks! Depiction of Boston in early 20th century more graphic than any movie I have seen. Wonderful characters. The beginning of the novel with a charming and sad incident involving Babe Ruth - well it had me at "hello".
When I first heard the story began with a "baseball" theme, I thought, uh oh, bad decision on my part. But after the first 10 minutes I was hooked. I loved all the characters in their own right, even the "evil" ones because they are so very real! Personally, I enjoy stories where prejudice and cruelty are overcome by love and empathy, so this story hit every mark for me. I will listen to this again and again over the years and may purchase the book to really absorb the story.
So many books, it's tough to think of just one. The first that comes to mind is Great Expectations.
The sections with Nora and her open friendship with Luther. Also, I love the last chapter, wrapping up all main characters so beautifully.
Both, but not to an extreme level. It was a feel good book that spoke to me.
Everybody would get something out of this book. I researched some of the history of the Boston Riots and the BPD Strike. Very accurate.
each conversation contained every vulgarity known to man. while i am sure the book has merit, I could not get past the language.a great book does not need to reduce itself to vulgarity in place of eloquent dialogue