Sunday, Sep. 07, 2008

The Given Day

Not that there's anything wrong with crime novels, but you've got to wonder what would happen if Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) just hauled off and wrote a big fat literary-type book for a change. We're about to find out. The Given Day is set in Lehane's beloved Boston shortly after the First World War, and centers on two men, one black and one white, one a fugitive and one a cop, both caught in the brutal politics of race and labor. Lehane has taken the brakes off: 720 pages long, The Given Day starts with Babe Ruth puking off the back of a caboose on his way to Game 4 of the 1918 World Series and never slows down.

— Lev Grossman