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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.

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

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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.

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.


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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. 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.

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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.

World Gone By: A Novel (Joe Coughlin Series)

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.

World Gone By: Joe Coughlin Series (Book 3)

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.

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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.