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Extended Audio Sample The Given Day, by Dennis Lehane Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (9,149 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dennis Lehane Narrator: Michael Boatman Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: Joe Coughlin Series Release Date:
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Set in Boston at the end of the First World War, New York Times bestselling author Dennis Lehane's long-awaited eighth novel unflinchingly captures the political and social unrest of a nation caught at the crossroads between past and future. Filled with a cast of unforgettable characters more richly drawn than any Lehane has ever created, The Given Day tells the story of two families—one black, one white—swept up in a maelstrom of revolutionaries and anarchists, immigrants and ward bosses, Brahmins and ordinary citizens, all engaged in a battle for survival and power. Beat cop Danny Coughlin, the son of one of the city's most beloved and powerful police captains, joins a burgeoning union movement and the hunt for violent radicals. Luther Laurence, on the run after a deadly confrontation with a crime boss in Tulsa, works for the Coughlin family and tries desperately to find his way home to his pregnant wife.

Here, too, are some of the most influential figures of the era—Babe Ruth; Eugene O'Neill; leftist activist Jack Reed; NAACP founder W. E. B. DuBois; Mitchell Palmer, Woodrow Wilson's ruthless Red-chasing attorney general; cunning Massachusetts governor Calvin Coolidge; and an ambitious young Department of Justice lawyer named John Hoover.

Coursing through some of the pivotal events of the time—including the Spanish Influenza pandemic—and culminating in the Boston Police Strike of 1919, The Given Day explores the crippling violence and irrepressible exuberance of a country at war with, and in the thrall of, itself. As Danny, Luther, and those around them struggle to define themselves in increasingly turbulent times, they gradually find family in one another and, together, ride a rising storm of hardship, deprivation, and hope that will change all their lives.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “[A] massive, enormously readable new novel…A huge leap forward for Lehane.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Passionate and powerful.” 

    Chicago Tribune

  • “This may be Lehane’s finest work.” 

    USA Today

  • “In a splendid flowering of the talent previously demonstrated in his crime fiction…a vision of redemption and a triumph of the human spirit. In short, this nail-biter carries serious moral gravity.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Dennis Lehane’s epic story of one family in post-WWI Boston is truly a massive achievement…Narrator Michael Boatman delivers a solid performance filled with the rich elements of the story itself—layered characters, moving dialogue, and a powerful message.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2008 New York Times Best Book for Fiction
  • A 2008 Publishers Weekly Best Book for Fiction
  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A 2008 Christian Science Monitor Book of the Year for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Charlie Crummer | 2/17/2014

    " This was a fascinating read. Pretty historically accurate. I'd put it in the class with Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth" and "World without End." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Leslie | 2/16/2014

    " Once again Dennis Lehane comes through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Joanne Costello | 2/5/2014

    " Not Lehane's usual gritty drama/mystery genre but a really gripping historical fiction with great characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Irene Ziegler | 2/3/2014

    " As always, Lehane's skill with dialogue lifts this tale of Boston's working class from melodrama to a high stakes story of good vs evil. Nora's undoing is worthy of Henry James. "

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