Customer Reviews for

The Given Day

Average Rating 4
( 238 )
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5 Star

(119)

4 Star

(56)

3 Star

(35)

2 Star

(13)

1 Star

(15)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

Lehane is a master....

Stepping away from the familiar, Lehane takes us back to 1900s Boston. Other reviewers have given loads of info. All I will say is, you won't be dissappointed. Loved it from first page to last and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a historical but readable novel...
Stepping away from the familiar, Lehane takes us back to 1900s Boston. Other reviewers have given loads of info. All I will say is, you won't be dissappointed. Loved it from first page to last and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a historical but readable novel. This one should go to the top.

posted by Anonymous on September 29, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

M

Thanks to harriet klausner and the other long winded plot spoilers here is another book ruined. I am curious as to why these rude ppl think they have to give away every detail of a book? That is not a review, it us a book report, a dissertation, a cliff note wanna be. B...
Thanks to harriet klausner and the other long winded plot spoilers here is another book ruined. I am curious as to why these rude ppl think they have to give away every detail of a book? That is not a review, it us a book report, a dissertation, a cliff note wanna be. Bn, you r losing sales to these hateful ppl. But i guess you dont care.

posted by 8888649 on December 19, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2008

    Lehane is a master....

    Stepping away from the familiar, Lehane takes us back to 1900s Boston. Other reviewers have given loads of info. All I will say is, you won't be dissappointed. Loved it from first page to last and highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a historical but readable novel. This one should go to the top.

    16 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2012

    M

    Thanks to harriet klausner and the other long winded plot spoilers here is another book ruined. I am curious as to why these rude ppl think they have to give away every detail of a book? That is not a review, it us a book report, a dissertation, a cliff note wanna be. Bn, you r losing sales to these hateful ppl. But i guess you dont care.

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Another great one by Lehane

    I have read all the books Dennis has written and this one was no disappointment as well....interesting times and great plot....characters felt like more than one ...almost like a group of people from that time....impossible to put down and sad when I arrived at the end.

    9 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    What a read!

    What a piece of work Dennis Lehane has brought us! I was taken back in time in the early 1900's when Babe Ruth was playing and the Boston policemen went on strike and the city went crazy. One of the most touching characters in the book is Luther. His team played Babe Ruth! I felt like I was there and was angry and hurt as if I had been playing myself. I hate to give too much away and ruin the book. The Given Day also deals with race relations in the 1900's. Later Luther befriends a Boston policeman and his wife. They have a wonderful and amazing friendship. The Given Day deals with power, corruption, good and evil. I loved it!! Thank you Mr. Lehane

    7 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2008

    It flows like silk

    I've been waiting forever for this to be published. The last time I talked to Lehane, he said it was turning into a 'brick', and he didn't know when it'd be published. He is my favorite writer and I wasn't too happy with the 5 year wait. But, it was worth it, totally. The rest of his novels have been mysteries, this is not. It is historical fiction, at it's finest. Well written, well researched, The Given Day covers a turbulant time in American history, at the end of The Great War and, of course, it's set in Boston. Over 700 pages, but truly a fast read because you can't put it down, it just flows and you are swept up, as you read it.

    6 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2009

    A new favorite book

    I loved this book! Lehane does such a great job developing the characters that I felt like I knew them each and was very attached to them. There are few twists that you don't see coming, and some predictable stuff mostly because of the period in time it takes place. He does a great job weaving the story into historical events. This is the kind of story that can go on and on.

    5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 16, 2009

    Disappointing

    I had great expectations for _The Given Day_, and if Dennis Lehane had stuck to what he knew - authenticity of setting, tight-as-a-drum plotting, and unexpected denouement - the book would have succeeded in enthralling me. While his 1918 Boston is drawn impeccably, Lehane's attempts at creating involving romantic subplots among the protagonists and the objects of their affections fall flat. Perhaps this is because we never know the inner lives of the characters intimately enough to care about them. Luther is by far the most sympathetic character of the novel because we hear his conscience and his dreams; we hardly know Nora and Lila, and Danny is far too busy as the hub around which all the historical figures and happenings that Lehane feels obligated to squash into his 650+ pages must turn. The rambling plot feels like a blatant, sophomoric grab at 'the great American novel', and while the history is interesting, one can almost feel Lehane's compulsion to include every last found bit of his research on the place and the era. By the last few pages, my primary feeling about the book was "get it over with, already" - and as expected, the ending felt flat and forced. _The Given Day_, far from being a keeper, is kindling-in-waiting for my fireplace.

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2008

    A terific historical

    In 1917, the Great War has expanded with the Yanks coming over there. While patriotism to support the troops remains high on the home front there is also resentment not just by those who opposed America entering the war some are irate because of conditions in the States. --------------- In Boston by 1918 most of the police force feels strongly they have twin grievances. First there was a promise made that if the cops accepted 1905 cost of living wages during the war, they would be adjusted soon after. Second with danger seemingly everywhere from anarchists setting off bombs, other social unrest in the name of all types of cause and the Spanish Flu lurking behind every door, the job has become much more dangerous without any efforts to counter the peril a cop faces constantly. A strike is expected as the Boston Social Club takes a major stronghold amongst the police officers with promises to bring wages to current cost of living and improve safety conditions. --------------- When Irish policeman Danny Coughlin meets Black Luther Laurence, they become unlikely friends. The former is the son of the most influential police captain and nephew of another ranking officer while the latter is on the run after an incident involving an organized Tulsa crime mob tied to the esteemed older Coughlin.------------- This terific historical takes a deep look at Boston just as WWI is ending through the Coughlin and Laurence families. The story line focuses on social class and social warfare as reform, anarchism, and a return to the golden days prior to the war all battle for supremacy. The ensemble cast is solid with extended family members playing key roles while real persona like Babe Ruth as a Red Sox pitching star about to be traded and W.E.B DuBois forming the NAACP set the era. Dennis Lehane provides a superb look at the situation on the ground when the city is divided between those who want to destroy the social order, those who want to change to social order into being more inclusive, and those who want to return the social order to before the democratization of WWI.--------------- Harriet Klausner

    5 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2010

    The GIVEN Review.

    Now I'm just a high school student, but personally this was a book that compared to a movie, tv show, a song, etc.. I was actually able to focus, understand, and enjoy this book. The Given Day was about a white man, who ia an amatuer boxer, police officer, and owns two servants, his name is Danny Coughlin. I mentioned his servants because they are just as important to the story as he is. The first servant is a woman, Nora O'shea. Danny and her have had a past and had a very strong relationship thats now coming back into the light. Danny's other servant is his driver, Luther Lawrence; Luther has fled the south and left his pregnant wife behind because the policed identified him to be a shooter in a murder case. After reading this book I realized that I enjoyed the end of the book just as much as the beggining of the book. I'm not going to ruin it, if you're planning on reading this book, but I liked the end because in the end all of he characters were happier considering that their situations are worse then when we first met them. Enough about what the book is about this is just an overall good book, involving hints of Babe Ruth, the Boston Police Strike of 1919, corrupt cops, what one will do for love, and the coming of new technology. Like I said I'm just a high school student but in my opinion any adult would appreciate this book for all its worth! I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Aye-Aye

    This is like the best eva!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2010

    stinky.....

    This book started out great, I felt I was right there with Babe Ruth playing baseball just for the fun of it in a little town during a stopover and then it all headed down. The author must be a chain-smoker because he's goes on obsessively with all the characters being smokers and goes on endlessly, page after page, of when they're smoking, what they're smoking, how the smoke curls up etc etc. I'm part of the 80% of people that don't smoke and I just found it disgusting, that I wouldn't want to be in the same room with any of these people. I tried and tried and made it thru the halfway mark, but I just had to toss it away. A good book will draw you to the characters, not make you want to shun them and put them far enough away that you can't smell them. And the plot, endlessly boring about Bolsheviks and Marxists etc trying to start unions...it may be an important part of our country's history, but it's a snoozer for reading about. Maybe it would have been interesting if I could've read thru all the smoke?

    3 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    And the award for favorite book of 2009 goes to, Dennis Lehane - "The Given Day"

    Before leaving to spend Christmas in London, I purchased "The Given Day" at my local Barnes & Noble. At the time, I had no idea that I had given myself the best present of all. From the beginning, the characters, plot, pace and writing style had me hooked. What a stoke of genius to include Babe Ruth in the story! I would highly recommend this book for anyone that is a fan of either history, baseball, the human condition or, just wants to read one heck of a story.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great historical fiction

    An interesting snapshot of post WWI Boston.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Michael Boatman is the real star of this novel.

    Having listened to the audiobook version of this book, Michael Boatman's ability to get into audio character of each of the various characters is astounding. He voices the different accents, from thick Irish, to Bostonian, Black, Yankee, and yes, although somwhat lacking, even the female persona. The actors come alive in the story and one finds themself transformed into an era long forgotten. The issues surrounding post war America and an economy struggling to survive, while a true flu pandemic rages throughout the country, are met with various political groups bent on altering America as they knew it. It pits labor against management while focusing on issues of ethnicity, gender, religion, and national pride; all while millions of servicemen are returning to an economy incapable of handling so many white men looking for jobs where none exist. It shines a spotlight on the huge underbelly of corruption. That was the Boston Police Department, and the mob power brokers on the eve of the 1919 prohibition and woven into the fabric of nearly every societal faction, from the lowly beat cop, to the governor of Massachuchetts, to the black culture of corruption in Tulsa, Oklahoma, of all places. One could confuse the conditions of society then with the very issues facing America today. Then it was anarchists, bolshevicks, and unions. Today it is Al Queada, health care, the green movement, ACORN and an out of control government. LeHane pulls together so many seemingly disconnected issues and weaves them in such a way that one finds themself researching historical archives to verify his story. Oddly enough, the historical accounts of the riots and the Boston Police strike are quite accurate and his portrayal of the events are nothing less than amazing. Historical perspective is the biggest contribution LeHane brings to the table. Boatman simply brings his work to life. This would make a great movie on par with Mitchell's Gone With The Wind. Every time I listened to the audiobook, I came away with something new that had escaped me on a previous listening. I will listen to it a few more times before I am completely satisfied. This is a must for any library.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing

    Yet another amazing book by my favorite author, Dennis Lehane. Deatiled descriptions on the story have already been given so I won't rehash them, but I had to add my 5 stars to such an excellent book.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An instant classic. . .

    The Given Day by Dennis Lehane is one of my all-time favorite books. Lehane creates some of the best characters and plot-lines that I have ever read, period. Lehane incorporates many interesting historical topics throughout. . .such as civil rights, WWI, unionism, communism, as well as many others. Not only is this book historically educational, it is extremely entertaining as well. 700+ pages seems short for this masterpiece work of fiction. I hope Dennis Lehane receives all the awards and recognition that he deserves for this book. I will be recommending it to everyone that I can.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 12, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic story

    This book combined fascinating characters and historical perspective to provide an unflinching portrait of Boston post WWI. Unionism, civil rights, a fear of communism, with a little Babe Ruth thrown in are combined to tell of a changing world. Dennis Lehane keeps you interested from page one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 11, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A MUST READ

    LEHANE SHOULD BE A MASTER WEAVER BECAUSE AS HE SITS AT HIS "LOOM" THAT IS THE GIVEN DAY HE MARRIES THE POLITICAL, SOCIAL, & LABOR ISSUES OF BOSTON CIRCE 1919 INTO SUCH A RICH TAPESTRY IT CAN ONY BE DESCRIBED AS GENIUS! 2 LOVE STORIES TO BOOT! KUDOS!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 15, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    It will draw you in

    This book started a little slow for me, but be patient and allow yourself to be drawn into the world Lehane has created. The interweaving of real events with the fictional story of these families adds another point of interest. Who knew there was such a thing as a molasses flood? This great big book went all too fast as I progressed. I thought the characters and situations were believable, and I liked that the main characters were not drawn in black and white. This is the first of Lehane's books that I have read, but won't be the last.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 29, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Several Days

    It takes several days to read The Given Day, but each day is worth it. This is just the kind of book one can sink into and get carried away with. Lehane creates the sights and sounds to involve you in the lives of the characters. I was glad that it was a long book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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