Friday, 27 March 2009

The Given Day by Dennis Lehane

DATE PUBLISHED: 2008 DATE READ: March 2009 NOTES: A massive epic focussing on two Americans – Danny Coughlin, a policeman in Boston PD and Luther Laurence who arrives in Boston on the run from gangsters. They are both flawed but decent men living in a turbulent (and often corrupt) society. The story begins at the end of WW1 and ends a short time later on the day that Prohibition starts. The book is superbly researched and brings the history of the time very much to life – politics, corruption, racism, anarchists, Bolsheviks, Spanish flu, poverty, immigration, trade unionism and strikes. And on top of all that he includes believable family relationships and a few love stories. Interspersed throughout are appearances real historical characters - Babe Ruth, Eugene O’Neill, Jack Reed, Calvin Coolidge and John Hoover. The Given Day is a massive book – over 700 pages! But from the first page it flows effortlessly and became hard to put down (so you can combine seriously great reading with weightlifting!). It lives up to its rave reviews and is a joy from beginning to end.

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