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Book Review: The Given Day

I read The Given Day by Dennis Lehane for my book club.

I think, if this hadn’t been for a book club, I might have put it down a few times and never picked it up again. It was really cool to read about some of the history of Boston and the way Lehane wove personal lives into what happened way back when – even with someone famous like Babe Ruth. (Funny story about that…more later). It would be neat to do a little research to see if indeed Ruth was in a slump at the time period…no way to know if the reason he was in the slump was what was written in the book, but my guess is that the slump actually happened.

When I first started reading it, I was intrigued by one of the main characters (Danny) and not the other (Luther). And then about 1/2 way through, it flipped and I was bored with the first character and more interested in Luther. There were scenes that made my stomach turn though, and that’s not normally the type of book I enjoy.

I was definitely entertained, but I don’t think I’d recommend this book to just anyone. It was brutal.

So…funny story. I was reading along and BOOM there’s a chapter about Babe Ruth. And I’m thinking to myself, “Geez, that was out of nowhere. Why’s this guy all of a sudden writing about Babe??” Turns out that since I read it on my Kindle, and the publishers decide where you start when you download a book…I MISSED the entire first chapter!! (It was a prologue of maybe 15 pages that totally ties in a whole part of the story!)

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks – I will most certainly not read this.

  2. Interesting to get your take on this. I saw Lehane do a reading of this book and it was awesome. He is very expressive and I really enjoyed it. It was at a library benefit and it was fun to hear his swear in a room full of people where I was the youngest by far. 🙂

    That said, I have a copy of this book that I may never read. He is an awesome writer in many ways, but his work is so dark Have you read anything else by him?
    Dana

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