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  • Published: 1 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780552775588
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 736
  • RRP: $19.99

The Given Day

Once every couple of years, a Big Literary American novel comes along and blows everyone away. This is it.

1918. Boston. A city in turmoil as soldiers return home from World War One, bringing with them an epidemic of Spanish influenza.

Danny Coughlin is the son of one of Boston's most powerful police captains. An undercover cop, he is hunting for revolutionaries and anarchists who, in the aftermath of war, are pledged to overthrow the city's ruling classes. But Danny soon finds his ideals compromised as, drawn into the conflict, his family starts to question where his loyalties really lie.

Luther Lawrence is on the run. Having survived a murderous confrontation with a crime boss, he lands a job in the Coughlin household. But it isn't long before his dangerous past and his tenuous present are on a life-threatening collision course.

As the city goes into meltdown, Danny and Luther must confront the storm of violence that threatens to engulf them if each is to survive...

  • Published: 1 October 2009
  • ISBN: 9780552775588
  • Imprint: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 736
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane grew up in the Dorchester section of Boston's inner-city.

Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counsellor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar.

He has an MFA from Florida International University, and is the writer-in-residence at Eckerd College in St Petersburg, Florida, where he runs the Writers in Paradise Writers' Conference.

He and his wife divide their time between St. Petersburg and Boston.

For more information on Dennis Lehane and his novels, visit his website: www.dennislehanebooks.com

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Praise for The Given Day

The Given Day stands in the great tradition of the American novel, setting an enthralling personal story against a great sweep of history. The result is epic, romantic and intelligent. I loved it.


This is a sprawling, enthralling novel... every sentence is a treat, every image vivid....an extraordinary freshness and vitality.

Sunday Telegraph

This is a book with Big Ambition written all over it: a thick, doorstopping, compulsively readable epic.

The Times

Wrenchingly suspenseful...A majestic, fiery epic [with] a rich, intricate story.

New York Times

The acclaimed author of Mystic River has produced a contender for the Big American Novel... not only a powerful, beautifully written novel, but the best kind of history lesson.

The Daily Mail

A grand historical epic that rather conspicuously sets its cap at the status of Great American Novel.

The Independent

[A] brilliant historical epic. Lehane earned his reputation for writing crime thrillers...And the same hard-boiled skills - and sheer love of storytelling remain in place now he's turned to something more ambitious.

The Daily Telegraph

A brawling, brawny, muscular epic - exactly what great mainstream novels used to be.


Although Lehane is keen to offer a complete historical portrait of Boston after the First World War, he does not stint on characters and plot either. It is an accomplished balancing act.

The Daily Express

Dennis Lehane takes on the volatile beginnings of the American century and, like the master storyteller he is, effortlessly makes that vast canvas come alive. A rich and satisfying epic.


Beautifully written...ambitious and hugely impressive.

Time Out

This is history brought thrillingly to life and it makes for a captivating read from start to finish.

Siobhan Murphy, Metro

[An] engrossing epic [that] carries serious moral gravity.

Publishers Weekly

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