My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Dennis Lehane is one of those rare authors whose books get better and better: this one is his tenth (not counting his book of short stories) and is just as smooth as everything else he’s written. The words flow off the page, forming perfect mental images filled with colour, sound and smell: the steaming hot Florida summers, the crowded desperate Boston streets, and the sordid violent Charlestown prison – all were rendered perfectly in my mind.
Live By Night also made one of the most satisfying conversions to film – some events and motivations were changed, and large chunks were cut out (the book almost warrants a whole 10-episode season to do it true justice), but it perfectly retained the story’s heart.
If you’ve only seen the film, I highly recommend you read the book; you may be surprised at the depth of the story’s soul in the written version, and the differences will only add to the movie experience, not change it.
Lehane has once again taken a simple story with simple motivations, and expanded it into something human, real, and warm.
Thanks to Hachette Australia for choosing my Twitter account at random and sending me the free book and movie tickets