Synopses & Reviews
From Dennis Lehane, the award-winning author of Mystic River, Shutter Island
, and the Kenzie-Gennaro series, comes a striking collection of five short stories and a play.
A small southern town gives birth to a dangerous man with a broken heart and a high-powered rifle....
A young girl, caught up in an inner-city gang war, crosses the line from victim to avenger....An innocent man is hunted by government agents for an unspecified crime.
...A boy and a girl fall in love while ransacking a rich man's house during the waning days of the Vietnam War....A compromised psychiatrist confronts the unstable patient he slept with....A father and a son wage a lethal battle of wits over the whereabouts of a stolen diamond and a missing woman....Along with completely original material, this new collection is a compilation of the best of Dennis Lehane's previously published short stories, including "Until Gwen," which was adapted for the stage in 2005 and appears in this book as the play Coronado.
At turns suspenseful, surreal, romantic, and tragically comic, these tales journey headlong into the heart of our national myths about class, gender, freedom, and regeneration through violence and reveal that the truth waiting for us there is not what we'd expect.
"Lehane (Mystic River) hints in the first of these five richly vernacular (and, save one, previously published) stories and one play that 'a small town is a hard place to keep a secret.' In 'Running Out of Dog,' two Vietnam vets return to their hometown of Eden, S.C., and become tragically entangled with the wife of a man whose rich family kept him out of the war. Class resentment similarly erupts in 'Gone Down to Corpus,' set in back-water Texas, 1970, as a group of high school football players breaks into the house of rich kid Lyle, who fumbled the big pass at the last game. They drunkenly wreck the house and are shocked by the appearance of Lyle's younger sister, Lurlene, who is eager to join the party. The collection's centerpiece is 'Until Gwen,' which has also been adapted by Lehane into a two-act play, Coronado. Transcribed, the play revolves around the edgy reunion of a hustler father and his son, Bobby, newly released after four years in prison. It quickly becomes apparent that Bobby's father has retrieved him only to find out where the heist loot is hidden, and Bobby, in turn, needs to know what happened to his girlfriend, Gwen. Powerfully envisioned lives, recounted unflinchingly. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Hardcore fans may object to the fact that the latest work from suspense master Dennis Lehane involves short stories instead of serial killers. But a wide streak of Lehane's vivid and melancholy darkness winds through this mean, gripping collection." Miami Herald
"Lehane took a risk somewhat uncommon to successful novelists by writing a short-story collection. Some writers are able to make the transition seamlessly Hemingway, Richard Ford and Francine Prose come to mind...and we can add Lehane to that literary canon with Coronado, a great read by any standard." Hartford Courant
"Far worse is done in these stories than simple murder, and that's what enlivens Lehane's books." Rocky Mountain News
"Tough-as-nails crime fiction transcends genre in this first collection....[A] knockout performance. An impressive step forward for a writer of commanding gifts, who seems poised on the threshold of even greater accomplishment." Kirkus Reviews
"Dennis Lehane has a startling capacity for assessing broken people i.e., who can be restored to the fold of humanity and who should be put down like animals. These five stories are filled with hard cases... (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"[A]n apt reminder that the master of crime and literary fiction is also a proficient short-story writer....And who better to entertain the newcomer to the genre than an author whose stories make us dig deep down into our own hopes and fears." USA Today
From Lehane, the award-winning author of "Mystic River" and "Shutter Island" comes a brilliant collection of five short stories and a play. At turns suspenseful, surreal, romantic, and tragically comic, these tales journey headlong into the myths about class, gender, freedom, and violence.
Along with completely original material, this new collection is a compilation of the best of Dennis Lehane's previously published short fiction, including "Until Gwen," which was adapted for the stage in 2005 and appears in this book as the play Coronado. By turns suspenseful, surreal, romantic, and tragically comic, these powerful tales journey headlong into the heart of our national myths—and reveal that the truth awaiting us there is not what we would expect.
About the Author
Dennis Lehane is the author of A Drink Before the War, which won the Shamus Award for Best First Novel; Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; and the New York Times bestsellers Mystic River and Shutter Island. A native of Dorchester, Massachusetts, he lives in the Boston area.