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The Given Day Audiobook

The Given Day

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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

4.2 (761 )
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4.3 (484 )
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4.5 (492 )
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Performance
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  •  
    John Austin, TX, United States 05-30-15
    John Austin, TX, United States 05-30-15 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "well written but predictable plot line"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Calliope 04-27-15
    Calliope 04-27-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "doesn't engage me - not the Lehane I've liked"

    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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. Fowler Temple, TX 04-26-15
    H. Fowler Temple, TX 04-26-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Exceptional book read by an exceptional narrator"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Memphis 04-12-15
    Amy Memphis 04-12-15 Member Since 2017
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    "Love this book can't wait to finish the trilogy"

    Love this book can't wait to finish the trilogy. Top notch storytelling lined with history. Such amazing and interesting characters

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Queenmum 03-27-15
    Queenmum 03-27-15 Member Since 2011
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    "A born storyteller meets the perfect narrator"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    judy schmidt newport beach, ca USA 03-24-15
    judy schmidt newport beach, ca USA 03-24-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Poetic, disturbing, and memorable"

    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".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz 11-15-14
    Liz 11-15-14
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    "Amazingly addictive"
    What did you love best about The Given Day?

    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.


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

    So many books, it's tough to think of just one. The first that comes to mind is Great Expectations.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The sections with Nora and her open friendship with Luther. Also, I love the last chapter, wrapping up all main characters so beautifully.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Both, but not to an extreme level. It was a feel good book that spoke to me.


    Any additional comments?

    Everybody would get something out of this book. I researched some of the history of the Boston Riots and the BPD Strike. Very accurate.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    BigDan 07-23-14
    BigDan 07-23-14
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    "A very good read."
    Would you listen to The Given Day again? Why?

    Probably not. It was a great book but not a "re-read". The characters and story were strong and well plotted. It did go on a little too long but overall very entertaining.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Mott 04-17-14
    J. Mott 04-17-14
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    "Exhausting Read"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I can take violence and I can take vulgarity but the amount used in this book was exhausting.


    If you’ve listened to books by Dennis Lehane before, how does this one compare?

    Far from my favorite. In fact, my least favorite.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Handled the Irish accents pretty well although after a bit, they all began to sound the same.


    Did The Given Day inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, it inspired me to listen to the third part at warp speed and skip sections altogether. I did do some research as I was reading to learn more about some of the events referenced and found out more about how wretched people can be to one another.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 10-10-13
    R POLLOCK PINES, CA, United States 10-10-13 Member Since 2011
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    "A Solid Read"

    Based on the reviews I downloaded this book and found it completely fascinating. It was a page turner I rooted for several characters (which I rarely do). I would recommend this book to everyone I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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