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Coronado: Stories (P.S.)
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About the Author

Dennis Lehane is the author of ten previous novels--including the New York Times bestsellers Live by Night; Moonlight Mile; Gone, Baby, Gone; Mystic River; Shutter Island; and The Given Day--as well as Coronado, a collection of short stories and a play. He lives in California with his family.

Reviews

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.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Adult/High School-In this collection of five short stories and a brief play, Lehane assembles a disparate cast, yet each individual takes part in a similar search for something elusive. In "ICU," Daniel is hunted down by assailants and must hide in a hospital waiting room to survive. "Until Gwen" reunites a young man just released from prison with the father who corrupted him. Several of the pieces are set in the South, and their pacing is infused with the slowness of a Southern drawl. The mastery of the author's storytelling lies in his ability to create atmosphere. His characters are defined by the mood of the world around them, a world that is often confining and in which hope is thrown aside in favor of a grim pragmatism. Lehane populates his stories with people who are ordinary and reveals the extraordinary complexity of their lives. The decisions they face are unenviable and their choices somehow unavoidable. The author invents nuanced relationships in which murder and betrayal become acts of loyalty and friendship. Each story introduces a touch of the unlikely or unfortunate into otherwise mundane circumstances, then relays the consequences as events unfold. Haunting imagery lingers long after the book is closed.-Heidi Dolamore, San Mateo County Library, CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Long before he became well known for Mystic River (2001), Lehane was writing short stories and teaching creative writing. This modest-sized volume of five previously published stories and a two-act play aptly show off his talents. There's not a wasted word in these dark, spare tales about disenfranchised males of the South. "Until Gwen" moves like a chess game, pitting a heartbroken Bobby against his amoral father. Readers can appreciate it even more after reading Coronado. The play brings seemingly unrelated characters together in a bar (plenty of drinking and gun toting in these stories), and Lehane cleverly weaves them together, watching to see if we can figure out the crime. Just what is the ultimate crime ("What's worse than murder?" asks one character) might be the author's main theme, as Bobby, Elgin, Blue, and the others repeatedly flail against some tide they cannot control. Highly recommended for those who appreciate the psychological fiction of Pete Dexter and George Pelecanos and essential for libraries populated by aspiring screenwriters and playwrights. [See Prepub Mystery, LJ 5/1/06.]-Teresa L. Jacobsen, Solano Cty. Lib., CA Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

"[Dennis Lehane is} an author whose stories make us dig down unto our own hopes and fears."--USA Today
"the kind of lyrical writing that is to literature what John Prine and Tom Waits are to music."--San Jose Mercury News
"A knockout performance...This one is a classic."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"a brilliant, insightful and intriguing literary voyage"--Boston Herald
"Lehane has a startling capacity for assessing broken people "--Entertainment Weekly
"There's not a wasted word in these dark, spare tales about disenfranchised males of the South"--Library Journal (starred review)
"Five richly vernacular stories and one play...Powerfully envisioned lives, recounted unflinchingly."--Publishers Weekly
"the stuff of a reliable pro"--Daily News

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