Live by Night by Dennis Lehane
A Novel

80%

19 Critic Reviews

In less expert hands, this would be one more book about a Boston gangster. From Mr. Lehane it is a classic take on the underworld and how to survive in it.
-Washington Times

Synopsis

From New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane comes this epic, unflinching tale of the making and unmaking of a gangster in the Prohibition Era of the Roaring Twenties—soon to be a Warner Bros. movie starring Ben Affleck, Elle Fanning, Zoe Saldana, and Sienna Miller.

Meticulously researched and artfully told, Live by Night is the riveting story of one man’s rise from Boston petty thief to the Gulf Coast’s most successful rum runner, and it proves again that the accolades New York Times bestseller Lehane consistently receives are well deserved. He is indeed, “a master” (Philadelphia Inquirer) whose “true literary forefathers include John Steinbeck as well as Raymond Chandler” (Baltimore Sun). And, “Boy, does he know how to write” (Elmore Leonard).

 

 

About Dennis Lehane

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Dennis Lehane is the author of nine novels—including the New York Times bestsellers Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day—as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He and his wife, Angie, divide their time between Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida.
 
Published October 2, 2012 by William Morrow. 417 pages
Genres: History, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Crime, Education & Reference. Fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Oct 21 2012
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Weeks as Bestseller
Bookmark Counts:
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Critic reviews for Live by Night
All: 19 | Positive: 14 | Negative: 5

NY Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Janet Maslin on Oct 03 2012

...his idea of plain old crime is sophisticated, literary and barbed enough...that it makes this book a sentence-by-sentence pleasure. You are in the hands of an expert.

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Guardian

Excellent
Reviewed by John O'Connell on Oct 11 2012

This is noir with added value: Lehane is terrific on family ties and at conveying the buzz of a city powered by immigrant labour of often dubious legality.

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WSJ online

Below average
Reviewed by Michael C Moynihan on Oct 05 2012

Mr. Lehane's reputation is heavily reliant on the blue-collar authenticity he brings to his work. Yet it can feel slightly contrived, as if learned...from the crooked cops and conflicted gangsters found in Hollywood films.

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NY Journal of Books

Excellent
Reviewed by Sam Millar on Oct 02 2012

Meticulously researched from beginning to end, this literary tour de force is certain to become a modern day classic.

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Washington Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Muriel Dobbin on Oct 26 2012

In less expert hands, this would be one more book about a Boston gangster. From Mr. Lehane it is a classic take on the underworld and how to survive in it.

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Entertainment Weekly

Excellent
Reviewed by Thom Geier on Sep 28 2012

Live by Night is a ripping, movie-ready yarn that jumps from a Boston prison to Tampa speakeasies to a Cuban tobacco farm.

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LA Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Dick Lochte on Oct 14 2012

...he's creative and generous in providing all the romance, surprises, violence, betrayals, treacheries and plot twists necessary to keep the pages turning.

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USA Today

Below average
Reviewed by Bob Minzesheimer on Oct 01 2012

Live by Night can't match the richness of his 2008 novel, The Given Day

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The Boston Globe

Below average
Reviewed by Eugenia Williamson on Oct 06 2012

Lehane feels compelled to beat the symbolism...into the reader’s head until she is doing the boneyard foxtrot, or at least left with the sense she is reading a reductive self-help manual.

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San Francisco Chronicle

Excellent
Reviewed by Michael Berry on Nov 12 2012

With a rich cast of underworld characters, dialogue as sharp as a prison yard shank and a melancholic sense of irony, "Live by Night" proves to be one of the most purely enjoyable novels of this fall.

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The Seattle Times

Excellent
Reviewed by Adam Woog on Oct 21 2012

..."Live by Night" is a superb and deeply felt story, set in a period that continues to fascinate.

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The Sydney Morning Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Winsor Dobbin on Nov 04 2012

This is dark, gritty and amoral stuff. A compelling read, but certainly not one for the faint of heart.

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The Washington Post

Excellent
Reviewed by Bill Sheehan on Oct 07 2012

“Live by Night” might sound like the sort of standard crime saga we’ve all encountered far too many times. In Lehane’s hands, however, it becomes something larger and infinitely more complex.

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The Miami Herald

Excellent
Reviewed by Nancy Klingener on Oct 14 2012

...this novel is just right at 400 pages, enough to absorb a reader without requiring a commitment of weeks.

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The New Republic

Below average
Reviewed by Sacha Scoblic on Oct 05 2012

There’s never a dull moment for Joe, but never a fun, twisty plot to unravel, either.

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NY Daily News

Excellent
Reviewed by Sherryl Connelly on Sep 30 2012

It’s a morality tale, but in keeping with the best of those, it’s complex and layered and damnably entertaining, too.

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Times Dispatch

Excellent
Reviewed by Jon Sealy on Oct 21 2012

Lehane is aiming big with "Live by Night," and he delivers a near-perfect Prohibition crime saga that... is undoubtedly his best work to date.

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Mail Online

Excellent
Reviewed by Geoffrey Wansell on Nov 01 2012

The gangster world is superbly evoked, and the story is as tight and powerful as the trigger on a Thompson sub-machine gun.

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Boston Daily

Below average
Reviewed by Matthew Reed Baker on Sep 28 2012

...we have a thrill ride narrative with lots of color and twists—which does quite nicely, thank you—but it feels like an opportunity missed.

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Reader Rating for Live by Night
78%

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