Dennis Lehane Talks About Live By Night and the Thrill of the Prohibition Era

Dennis Lehane is a master of contemporary crime fiction, with bestsellers like Mystic River, Shutter Island and his hugely popular Patrick Kenzie/Angela Gennaro series that includes Gone, Baby, Gone and last year’s Moonlight Mile

But Lehane showed with The Given Day in 2008, a sweeping historical novel centering on the 1919 Boston police strike. that he’s equally adept at storytelling from other notable eras in American history.

With that comes the just-released Live by Night, combining the crime and historical genres, following the story of Joe Coughlin, actually one of the characters from the family at the center of The Given Day. Joe is the youngest of three sons of Thomas Coughlin, a rising power in the Boston Police Department. But Prohibition has given rise to an underground world of speakeasies, gangsters, and for Joe, rum running. In our Bibliostar.TV interview, Lehane explains how he, like his main character Joe, was seduced by spoils and thrills of the 1920s:

“It was such an incredibly exciting and fertile time to write about, and I think that translates in the book. I think that what you see is me having the time of my life on top of that, and wanting to translate that to the audiences. I want to say, hey, this is the subgenre I love more than any other subgenre out there. Let me show you why.”

Lehane is at the top of his game with Live By Night, a fact Hollyood is well aware of. Warner Brothers, which has already adapted three very well-received Lehane novels, Mystic River, Gone Baby Gone and Shutter Island, announced last April that it had teamed with Leonardo DiCaprio‘s Appian Way production company to option the rights to Live By Night—a full seven months before it even hit the shelves—and others in an expected trilogy of historical novels that began with The Given Day.

Related Video

Dennis Lehane Tours Key Boston Locations from The Given Day



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