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World Gone By Paperback – 7 Apr 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Abacus (7 April 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0349141096
  • ISBN-13: 978-0349141091
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 2.7 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The best gangster novel since The Godfather. Terrific story, shattering conclusion (Stephen King)

This is not just brilliant period crime writing but brilliant writing full stop (Independent)

Echoes of The Godfather abound, but between the mob showdowns you are reminded too, of literary novels tracing a man's inexorable advance towards death . . . impressive (Sunday Times)

Dennis Lehane just keeps getting better . . . a lost America of sharp suits and sharpshooters brilliantly to life (Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

The brilliantly dark and atmospheric new masterpiece from one of the most critically-acclaimed and respected crime authors of his generation

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
World Gone By is the sequel to Live By Night and continues the story of the youngest Coughlin Brother, Joe, from The Given Day. For those who have not read the earlier books in "The Coughlin Trilogy",Joe plays a relatively minor part in The Given Day while the later 2 books are very much his story. While it's not strictly essential to read The Given Day before the the others it's a good idea as firstly it gives Joe's family background,which plays a big part in his story,and secondly it's such a great read.
While Live By Night tells of Joe's rise through the ranks of Gangsterdom ,World Gone By sees him as ,on the surface at least,more of a fixer and the "respectable" public face of the Mob. Despite seemingly having no enemies word comes to Joe that someone has put out a contract on his life. The hunt for the potential killer and the reasons behind the impending hit start a series of events that end in bloodshed and Joe questioning the certainties in his life and even wondering about his sanity.
The Given Day is one of my favourite books,along with Shutter Island and Mystic River, and I don't think either of the later Joe Coughlin books reach that standard. Both however are still excellent reads,it's just that Dennis Lehane has written better books. World Gone By shows a more reflective and introspective Joe Coughlin who seems to have a problem with what he has become and the the life he's led.He's part Michael Corleone with a dash of Tony Soprano and there's a great supporting cast from the cool and deadly Montooth Dix to the diabolic King Lucius.and Vivian Ignatius Brennan,the world''s most sociable hitman.
By Dennis Lehane's lofty standards this is not his best but still an excellent read. Definitely read Live By Night before this one if you haven't already and The Given Day if you want to really understand Joe Coughlin and some of the things that happen in this book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Stephen King said it was the best gangster novel since The Godfather...I can't do any better than that. You REALLY need to read Live by Night first, for which this is the sequel. In a more ordered world, they would be sold together in the same volume, like siamese twins, or perhaps MORE like Wilbur Smith's The Sunbird: parts 1 & 2. Having read half this book, I thought to read a couple more chapters before bed...that was about four hours ago. It's now coming up on 1am and I've finished the book and will hate myself in the morning. No, not because I have to get up early but because there isn't a part 3 and I will have to find something else to read and I can't imagine it being even close to 'as good'. Maybe I'll give Stephen King a call and ask what he went for next? Mario Puzo has - at last - a rival and damn, he's good!
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Format: Kindle Edition
Dennis Lehane is one of my favourite noir writers and World Gone By is one of his better 'genre' efforts. That he is capable of more is evident in his better books, like Mystic River and Shutter Island, but his rounding off of the Coughlin trilogy is very good indeed.

Joe Coughlin, now a widower and 37, looks after himself, his 9 year old son and Dion, his mob boss. No longer in charge since the carnage depicted in the previous book, Live By Night ( a three star effort, poor for Lehane), Joe is still a power in the mob with interests in running Tampa and Cuba with Meyer Lansky. But someone wants to kill him. You know it will end badly, but you don't know how. Using all the best tricks developed by thriller writers to misdirect readers, Lehane produces his version of the mystery reveal developed by Dashiell Hammett in The Dain Curse back in 1927. For those who don't read or study thrillers, the trick is - you always meet the villain/killer early, and he is nice. Lehane, being a tricky customer, pulls the trick twice. And even while he's pulling it, you don't care, because it is so artfully done. There is a bit of the supernatural in this one, which takes it down a star, a bit like Shutter Island, but still seems satisfying.

Like with all Lehane, it is brutal, very Catholic, and over the top. Joe is a decent enough hero, and the end is inevitable, and just a little bit unsatisfying. For those who never read the previous three books, I prefer Any Given Day (the father's story) to the two stories of Joe Coughlin. But there is much to admire in Lehane, the pace, the cracking imagery and the amoral characters, and of course, the twists and turns.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dennis Lehane is a great writer. His prose can be sublime. His stories are usually engrossing. The two previous books in this series were splendid. Unfortunately, this is not. We are repeatedly reminded about the protagonist's history. While this may be fine for those coming to the book without having read the others it quickly becomes very tedious for those who have. Perhaps it is because this is not a stand alone book in the way that the earlier two were. The story line is contrived, conversations are long and generally (with one notable exception) dull and unnecessary supernatural tangents are introduced. It's almost as though the author has run out of inspiration. I'm very glad that this is not the first of his books that I've read because I certainly would not have been tempted to try another. I'm surprised that this was not edited but it is an unfortunate fact that the better known a writer becomes the less he or she is prepared to tolerate any editorial interference.
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