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Manual World Gone By: A Novel (Joe Coughlin, Book 3)

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An infant at the end of the last novel, Tomas is now a precocious year-old who is starting to wonder what dad really does for a living. Prohibition, which helped make Joe and his friends rich, is long gone. The country is fully engaged in World War II. The war is consuming manpower and resources, but for smart gangsters, there are ways to profit. He still has to contend with risk and threats, from within the organization and from outside authorities.

He does his best to protect his son from learning exactly what his work entails, and throughout most of the novel, that is one of his most admirable strengths — his love and devotion for his son. When a convicted murderess requests a favor, she also tells Joe that there is a contract out on him. Is one of his most trusted allies about to betray him? Or is someone just trying to get him rattled? So far so good. But the plot drags in places. The dialogue, while well written, seemed to slow things down quite a bit.

There is also the obligatory illicit romance, which Lehane writes quite well. The most curious aspect of the book is the mysterious boy who keeps appearing. Joe even visits his doctor to discuss this ghost. That in itself was a very strange, disturbing scene. He is a complex person, full of contradictions. He believes in loyalty. Joe is intelligent. I would even call him sensitive. He dearly loved his wife, a non-white Cuban.

He seems to have no prejudice toward minority groups. He is a loving father; he reads to his son, answers his questions about life — in all respects, he appears to be a good father. But is he a good person? Even Joe cannot say that he is. He does not think that he is truly evil, but he admits that he is not virtuous by any stretch of the imagination. World Gone By is filled with complexities as well. Several of its characters are richly drawn; despite their apparent lack of morals, these criminals do have values and a code that they live by.

When others in their confederation fail them, they must pay the price.

ISBN 13: 9780060004903

As in the previous books in this trilogy, Lehane makes a strong impression when he focuses on race issues and attitudes. He brings in all sorts of events and issues of the day; some of them are pretty horrible. As for readability, however, I found this to be a mixed bag. At times I was enthralled and could hardly put the book down. At other times, I struggled to get to the end. Parts of this one were slow and dull.

View all 4 comments. Jan 03, Jessica Jeffers rated it liked it Shelves: fiction. I have been waiting for this book since before I even finished its predecessor.

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I'd gotten Live By Night from the library for an eight-hour drive that my boyfriend and I were making from Philadelphia, where we lived at the time, to Columbus, to assuage my homesickness. As we were piling into the car and pulling onto the turnpike, we caught the tail end of Fresh Air , and it took me a minute to realize that Terry was interviewing the author of the book in my lap. Near the end of the interview, Leh I have been waiting for this book since before I even finished its predecessor.

Near the end of the interview, Lehane mentioned that he was working on a sequel to the book, which would look at how the Mob contributed to the war effort by dealing with potential German spies.

The fires of my anticipation were only stoked by the publication date being pushed back at least twice. I tore through this book in two days and, by the time I got to the end, I was considerably less thrilled. Not that I can really hold that against the book, but I was disappointed.


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Joe is also trying to keep relations between his organization and the African-American gangsters from spiraling out of control. But there were some construction issues here as well. There was also a chapter that randomly change point of view in a very awkward way.

It made sense given that Joe could not have been present in the scene, but it was awkward given that there were only ten pages in the last one-fourth of the book that followed this convention. This criticism sounds way harsher than is typical for a three-star review. So I should note that I did enjoy the book enough that I was able to tear through it in two days, even if I was a little confused by the many plot threads. Jun 13, William Koon rated it it was ok. World Gone By Dennis Lehane is a mess of a novel.

World Gone By (Coughlin #3) by Dennis Lehane

Part ghost story which doesn't make sense and part crime fiction, the work flounders from almost page one. It conjures two tired tropes: I have to find out why and I have to do it before insert date. In between Lehane sets the action with a false setting of Tampa, There is really nothing to like about this work. It's disorganized and confused. I have enjoyed the author's works in the past, but in this case Homer has not nodded. He has blinded himself with a tire iron. Yeah, that doesn't quite work out.

Joe and his crime compatriots are well defined characters that give life the underworld. View 1 comment. Jul 07, Theresa Alan rated it liked it. Mar 16, Alena rated it really liked it Shelves: holds-without-hassles. Dennis Lehane has a real talent for writing bad guys.

And I don't mean thieves with hearts of gold; I mean unapologetic, make their own justice, murdering bad guys.


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His gangsters are nasty and vengeful, impossible to forgive and quick to pull the trigger. But Lehane's brilliance comes in his ability to also make them complex, even nuanced human beings. I have so enjoyed this trilogy of novels centered around bad-guy Joe Laughlin. Everything about this one is steamy and rumbling with danger. Once Dennis Lehane has a real talent for writing bad guys. Once I was about half way in, I just couldn't put it down. And then the ending I suppose this novel could stand alone, but I highly recommend all three books in this series.

Each is excellent in its own way. Listen, I'm the biggest Dennis Lehane fan there is. He's one of the few authors from whom I've read every publication. To Listen, I'm the biggest Dennis Lehane fan there is. It features the same protagonist, entangled with the same world and the same moral struggled with what he does. Don't get me wrong, it's still a decent crime novel, but nowhere near the quality of what Dennis Lehane got us used to. Apr 02, Mark Rubinstein rated it it was amazing.

World Gone By is the third in a trilogy by Dennis Lehane. I found it the most rewarding of the three novels. Joe Coughlin has presumably left the crime world, but is still consigliori to a crime family, and learns that a contract has been put on his life. Without spilling the plot, I will only say that Lehane is a master at piling on drama, suspense, and a literary gloss to his storytelling. You will encounter Lansky-Luciano mob thugs, the ruthlessness of the Batista regime in Cuba, and the ins-and-outs of the Florida crime scene in this vividly told novel of life, love, guilt and redemption.

A must-read from a novelist whose world view is reflected in the moral ambiguity of his works. Five well-deserved stars. Mark Rubinstein Mar 28, Simon McDonald rated it it was amazing. Joseph Coughlin has left behind his gangster past and now serves behind the scenes of the Florida crime syndicate as an advisor; completely hands-off, consultant work only. At the same time, he walks among the Tampa elite as a respected businessman. For all intents and purposes, despite a bloodied past, which turned him into a widower, Coughlin lives a comfortable existence. But all of that is about to change.

It starts with the appearance of a ghost. Perhaps Joe himself? His woes continue when he learns he is the target of an assassination. But who wants Joe dead? And why? The life he has constructed for himself, and his young son, wiped his criminal slate clean. He no longer has enemies. Joe Coughlin may no longer wield a fearful presence, but he maintains a respected one, and respectability holds a certain amount of cache in any spectrum of society, criminal or aboveboard. World Gone By is a novel about morality. Joe never denies his tainted past.

Gangsters, contrary to what their profession might suggest, have a code. World Gone By puts long-standing friendships and alliances to the test. Can you remove yourself from that life? Such themes have been explored previously, but few have done so as adeptly as Lehane. With its cracking pace and white-knuckled conclusion, World Gone By is a stunning historical crime novel.

More please. Mar 10, Ed rated it it was amazing. Joe is essentially a smart, charismatic bootlegger from Boston who over the years and the two previous books in the series , has risen through the ranks to a position of general facilitator to Meyer Lansky and his fledgling national crime syndicate. Next to his beloved son Tomas, Joe values loyalty above all and is incredulous when he learns there is a contract out on him due to be exercised on Ash Wednesday. What follows is a series of events that will hit you like a runaway freight train. Dennis Lehanne has not only created an exceptionally complex and dangerous world of organized crime in the form of a "Boardwalk Empire"-like life and times history but has created a truly unforgettable protagonist and supporting characters that I'm still thinking about.

Lehanne is first and foremost a truly gifted storyteller and this is his masterpiece to date. I highly recommend it! Jan 16, Kwoomac rated it really liked it Shelves: capital-d-dysfunctional , complicated-protagonist , reviewed , , fast-read , local-author , contemporary-lit , southie-is-my-home-town , am-i-supposed-to-like-these-people , action.

Lehane once again does a great job creating a believable group of gangsters. Here we see them struggle with changes in "the organization. The characters are all flawed obviously as they are gangsters. It was interesting to watch them struggle with their choices. A different locale for Lehane. While two of the characters grew up in Southie, the action takes place in south Florida and Cuba. I tore through t Lehane once again does a great job creating a believable group of gangsters. I tore through this book almost straight to the end. There everything slowed down while Lehane did an info dump on a whole new cast of characters.

This broke the rhythm and I actually put off reading the last twenty or so pages until the next day. I read most of it in one sitting. Lehane redeemed himself with a really satisfying ending. I'd love to know how this Boston kid knows so much about the mob.

Is it accurate or are the real mobsters rolling their eyes at this attempt to describe their world. I assume mobsters read, don't they? Joe sees visions. An Amazing novel by a amazing writer. The ending alone earns the 5 star rating i gave it. Apr 10, Mal Warwick rated it it was amazing Shelves: trade-fiction.

Here is a masterful piece of historical fiction from a veteran novelist with extraordinary talent.

World Gone By

World Gone By follows the interior struggle of a man with a tragic past he cannot escape and an uncertain future. The G Here is a masterful piece of historical fiction from a veteran novelist with extraordinary talent. The Given Day launched the series with a powerful tale of a troubled family in Boston during its most momentous period in the wake of World War I, focusing on the Boston police strike of Live By Night took up the story of young Joe Coughlin, the black sheep of that family in his early years as a hoodlum and his emergence as a powerful figure in the Florida mob.

In World Gone By, Coughlin has retired as the head of the mob, remaining as consigliere to his childhood friend who succeeded him as capo. Coughlin remains a member of the Commission that monitors the activities of its branches in cities throughout the country, thus dealing face-to-face with familiar figures such as Meyer Lansky his partner in Cuba and Lucky Luciano.

In action shifting from Ybor City, Florida, to Cuba, the tension builds relentlessly to a shattering conclusion. World Gone By is a masterpiece of plotting. He has written twelve novels, including his magnum opus, A Given Day, plus three others which have already been adapted into popular, attention-getting films: Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; and Shutter Island.

Lehane has also written extensively for television, including such notable series as The Wire and Boardwalk Empire. Sep 28, Mike rated it liked it Shelves: crime , fiction. It had to end this way, never any doubt. A quick read and the shortest of the 3 Coughlin books, I am always drawn in by Lehane's writing.

This is probably my favorite of the Joe Coughlin series. Joe's older now, living with his son Tomas in Florida with regular jaunts to Cuba, secretly seeing the mayor's wife. He's the Irishman still doing business and somewhat of a consigliore to the mob. Turf wars continue to be fought, contracts out on competitors, young guns trying to move up, older guys trying to live to an old er age. Joe trying to care for his son and stay alive and not orphan the kid.

But wait. An imprisoned woman summons This is probably my favorite of the Joe Coughlin series. An imprisoned woman summons Joe and asks him to help ensure funding for her son in return for information on who's put a contract out on Joe. Joe, the guy who's helped make the Family money.

Who can broker deals with his verbal skills. Dec 10, Tim Healy rated it really liked it. This is the shortest of the Coughlin books, and also my least favorite. The two aren't really connected. There's actually a lot to like here, but it feels too much like it's just there to wrap things up that I'm not really sure still needed wrapping up. It's Lehane, so it was enjoyable.

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Read it for completion sake if you like him. Jun 03, Ms. Recommended to Ms. Shelves: suspense , fiction , history. It's just business, not personal But the result is the same: Betrayal and death. The story begins in Tampa, December , at a fundraiser for soldiers fighting Hitler. It attracts the mayor of Tampa, his wife, and all the interconnected luminaries of the small town's society. And if the other rumors were true — that he hadn't fully left his criminal past behind — well, one couldn't fault a man for a bit of loyalty to those he'd known on the way up. Certainly if some of the assembled tycoons, factory owners, and builders wished to settle any labor unrest or unclog their supply routes, they knew who to call.

Joe Coughlin was the bridge in this town between what was proclaimed in public and how it was achieved in private. An eager reporter pitches a story to his editor in the prologue. He points to the photos from the gathering. In the space of a mere six months nearly a dozen of the party-goers in the photos are dead. The reporter doesn't get the green light, but the story is there, and Lehane is about to tell it.

The book is fast paced. Within the space of a few pages, Coughlin is confronted with several problems. He hallucinates on the lawn at the party. It's not one of the victims from the past, but a ghostly unidentifiable boy from the 's era. Then, a petty thief named Bobo Frechetti pleads with Coughlin to intervene on his behalf with a vindictive upper echelon mobster. Of course Frechetti is reminded of the obligatory quittance. Other problems follow. A recent police narcotics raid has aroused suspicions of an informer in the Coughlin-Bartoli circle. Instead, Montooth kills the hitmen and the DiGiacomo Brothers invoke racism to sanction their insistence on retaliation.

Finally, Coughlin learns of a rumor that a contract is out on him. The information is puzzling, because no one has an obvious motive for killing him. The hit is said to be scheduled for Ash Wednesday. He vacillates between the improbability of the rumor and the idea of a ticking time bomb. But for opera buffs, going backstage at Teatro La Fenice is the real treat.

Dennis Lehane on "Live By Night"

But the extent of that cruelty is not revealed until years later, when the luridly posed bodies of murdered women begin turning up all over Montreal. The panicked mayor delegates Martine LeDuc, his public relations director, to work with a young police detective on containing the damage before the tourist industry implodes, and they trace the current atrocities back to a time when medical experiments were performed on unwanted children warehoused in mental asylums.