I read these short stories across a few weeks: in those awkwardly shaped blocks of time where a short story is a neat fit and no great commitment of concentration is required. I felt that some of these short stories could well be the genesis of novels, whereas others were neatly executed within the pages allotted.
I am new to Mr Lehane’s work and I know that there are a number of novels awaiting me. Usually I prefer novels to short stori...more
'Coronado' is a book of short stories, however, and while some of the stories work, some of them don't. I think he's at his best describing grimy inner city living. Where those elements pop up in these stories, the book works well. Where they don't appear, the story is missing something I feel.
I don't know w...more
The structure of the book is very unusual. Lehane wrote several short stories with a variety of characters and then decided to write a play that summarized all of...more
The sequel to that book, "Live By Night" takes the reader down to Tampa. And this collection of short stories has us in Texas, South Carolina, among other places in the great U.S. No surprise, they're mostly pretty grim tales, folks ru...more
“The man’s eyes are the clear and the bright of skyscraper panes” (58).
“…a guy in a johnny leading his IV-stand across the carpet as if it’s a slow relative…” (63).
“Though he still feels like apologizing. It’s natural, he supposes, to not want to be the cause of any sort of ado, any kind of mass consternation. It’s a judgment, no matter how nebulous, of your entire life”...more
Coronado was no exception. This work had that classic Lehane...more
-“Until Gwen,” p. 111
Everyone seems to agree that Dennis Lehane easily qualifies as one of America’s most powerful writers of crime/thriller fiction. With an extremely popular detective series to his credit – not to mention his award-winning Mystic River – Lehane has become one of the most well-paid script writers on television. (He is currently writ...more
Dennis Lehane, one of the best crime and literary fiction writers alive today, successfully answered the question most critics asked when eyeing this new collection: Can a novelist write good short stories? The answer here is a resounding yes. Reviewers agree that these stories, some previously published, illustrate Lehane's ample talents in portraying pure evil through character-driven dramas. While "Mushroom" is perhaps the weak link, "Until Gwen" and its companion Coronado, which was produced...more
It is true that the stories are uneven. Until Gwen is brilliant and Coronado is an excellent retelling of the story. Mushrooms, Down to Corpus, and Running Out of Dog, are not as solid, but effectively convey the themes of hopelessness of an emerging generation of blue collar kids/the lost opportunity of a similar aging generation that is seen in many of Lehane's books, especially Mystic Rive...more
Running Out of Dog: Scary. You see the disaster coming and don't know how it could be stopped.
ICU: Depressing Paranoia. In a Kafka-esque way.
Gone Down to Corpus: Very weird. Strange...more
With most of the stories in this collection, the reader gets only glimpses of backstory, and at first that bothered me. However, Lehane tells such a rich story in that short amount of pages that backstory becomes unnecessary to a certain degree. His deeply mysterious, morally ambiguous characters powerfully draw you in to their flawed worl...more
I ended up reading a couple other stories before giving the book back. I think the blurb from Entertainment Weekly found in the first few pages says it best:
"Lehane has a startling capacity for assessing broken people."
Highly recommended as a good writing and engrossing stories with the disclaimer: the stories are moody, the characters are often deeply fractured, and Lehane is no...more
"Until Gwen" and "Coronado" are, respectively, a play and a short story involving the same characters, which include a con man with no scruples or moral conscious, and his son, who is forced to commit a painful, destructive and violent act that will forever change his life . . . perhaps for the better.
This book will keep you turning pages long past...more
The most unusual story here is "Gone Down to Corpus", where some Texas high school gridiron grunts decide to "mess up" a team member who dropped the ball on the two-yard-line and cost The Team a championship. In Texas, high school footballers are worshipped as heros. LeH...more
Until Gwen and Cornando were two of my favorite stories. The characters really got inside of my head...and I enjoyed the play format of Cornando.
ICU had a really interesting concept and I found the whole story fascinating.
The other three stories were interesting, but didn't captivate me like Until Gwen, ICU, and Cornando.
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compartment and a hooker named Mandy in the back seat.”