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The Given Day | [Dennis Lehane]

The Given Day

The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.
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Publisher's Summary

Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, New York Times best-selling author Dennis Lehane's long-awaited eighth novel unflinchingly captures the political and social unrest of a nation caught at the crossroads between past and future.

Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters more richly drawn than any Lehane has ever created, The Given Day tells the story of two families: one black, one white, swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power.

Beat cop Danny Coughlin, the son of one of the city's most beloved and powerful police captains, joins a burgeoning union movement and the hunt for violent radicals. Luther Laurence, on the run after a deadly confrontation with a crime boss in Tulsa, works for the Coughlin family and tries desperately to find his way home to his pregnant wife.

Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era: Babe Ruth; Eugene O'Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson's ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer named John Hoover.

Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time, including the Spanish Influenza pandemic and culminating in the Boston Police Strike of 1919, The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.

©2008 Dennis Lehane; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

"[An] engrossing epic....A vision of redemption and a triumph of the human spirit." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (500 )
5 star
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4.2 (248 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.4 (253 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Linda R. Brown 05-05-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved the characters and the story"
    Would you listen to The Given Day again? Why?

    I would listen to a story like this one in the future.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Given Day?

    there were many memorable moments - I always enjoy when characters who lead separate lives come together and become part of the same story, when people of diverse cultures find more similarities than differences.


    Which character – as performed by Michael Boatman – was your favorite?

    There were a lot of fav characters.


    If you could rename The Given Day, what would you call it?

    It's a good title


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caroline 03-04-13
    caroline 03-04-13
    ratings
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    2
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    "A great book"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Definitely worth reading and the performance added a lot to the story.


    Any additional comments?

    The only part(s) I didn't like were the portions that included Babe Ruth. It didn't seem to flow with the story and could easily have been left out. (Our book club wondered if it was added in the editing process as it really felt crammed into the book.)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana Jackson OXFORD, GEORGIA, US 02-05-13
    Dana Jackson OXFORD, GEORGIA, US 02-05-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What is this book about???"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    It was very hard to follow. It followed too many people for me feel attached to any of them.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Dennis Lehane again?

    I loved "live by night" so I thought I would like this one. I was very wrong.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    I couldn't finish it. It was too distracting.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blair Carnegie, PA, United States 01-09-13
    Blair Carnegie, PA, United States 01-09-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Well-read"
    Where does The Given Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    First


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Given Day?

    Michael Boatman's Boston and Irish accents.


    What does Michael Boatman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    A certain sophistication that is a part of his image.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Given Day and why?

    Tessa.


    Any additional comments?

    No.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TS Tucson, AZ, United States 11-24-12
    TS Tucson, AZ, United States 11-24-12 Member Since 2012

    tsears

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    "Standing ovation"
    If you could sum up The Given Day in three words, what would they be?

    Great frigging story!


    What other book might you compare The Given Day to and why?

    East of Eden, Pillars of the Earth maybe because it pulls you in very quickly. The character development is phenomenal. I did not want to stop listening. Very good story, thought provoking and extremely entertaining.


    Have you listened to any of Michael Boatman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I haven't but will look for them in the future. He did a great job.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    If I could have I would have. It was really good.


    Any additional comments?

    I highly recommend this book. It goes on a very short list of all time favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francine L. Tchan 08-09-12 Member Since 2010

    Lee

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Things I had not heard about"
    Where does The Given Day rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the most enjoyable.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The sensation of being there then.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The last scene of father and son in Boston.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    NO! The history of our country is not always a pretty one or a nice one. Some of this book was just too intense, I had to take a break from it now and then. It was always easy to return to, I could not wait to finish it. I needed time to sort of digest the information, and I felt as if I was there, it felt very real to me.


    Any additional comments?

    We all have had history in school, my school gave us a “thumbnail” sketch of these times. I found this book to be compelling, and entertaining. I liked the characters, and the story. It did not feel contrived to me, and I feel it gives a clearer picture of what times were like in those good ‘ol days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trista Houston, TX, United States 05-30-12
    Trista Houston, TX, United States 05-30-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Not Lehane I usually like"

    I liked the historical fiction, but it could have used less description and more action.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nancy Brigantine, NJ, United States 04-11-10
    Nancy Brigantine, NJ, United States 04-11-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Historically interesting, NOT engaging fiction."

    This book just never engaged me; interesting historical information on the ethnic, racial & social structure of post WWI, primarily Boston, but the characters & dialogue get lost in the author's effort to educate.
    I read fiction to be entertained, and if I'm fortunate enough to learn something in the process, excellent. But this book sacrifices entertainment for facts.
    Lots of history, but no soul.

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katka 11-07-10
    Katka 11-07-10 Member Since 2015
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    "Overrated"

    After reading many of the positive reviews, and liking much of Lehane's other stories I decided to get this book. However, I forced myself to get though it, most of the time only half listening. I was not very impressed with the story. Narrator was ok, he didn't make or break the book. I wouldn't really recommend it to anyone though.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doug Hamden, CT, United States 01-28-09
    Doug Hamden, CT, United States 01-28-09 Member Since 2002
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    "good story,, stinking lousy music"

    I am enjoying the story, but i wish audible carried a disclaimer with each book that includes music. I hate having to hit the FF to get through that crap. I dont ever recall opening a book and hearing music, For the life of me cant figure out how it has found it has way into audio books

    3 of 10 people found this review helpful

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